With the staggering numbers that Stanford's Trent Murphy posted in 2013 as a rush linebacker, it's somewhat surprising that Senior Bowl North squad coaches from the Atlanta Falcons are taking him out of his comfort zone some this week with a look at defensive end.
But while Murphy admits defensive end isn't quite where he feels at home, he's more than happy to develop as a line-of-scrimmage player if it means showing NFL clubs the sort of versatility he can bring on Sundays.
"I can really play either. I played outside linebacker as a standup at Stanford, mostly the last three years, so that's what I'm comfortable with," Murphy said. "I think when you start getting down to the D-end, they start moving you to go four-eye, which gets you a little more inside. They keep bumping (me) in and in and in. So I'm not quite comfortable there. I like being on the edge."
Murphy posted a whopping 23.5 tackles for loss last year, including 15 sacks and six pass breakups. He was a one-man wrecking crew in the Pac-12 Conference, but if he can learn to be effective in both roles, he could be all the more difficult for offensive linemen to handle.
"It's huge. It (would) make me a dynamic player, which is a huge benefit," he said.
Murphy said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders have been among his early interviews. Asked if he gave any answers he wished could take back in the interview process, the Stanford scholar was too sharp for the bait.
"That's an interesting question, because the answer to that question would make me repeat the answer," he quipped. "There was one that sounded a little funny when I said it, but it was a fine answer."
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