One Seahawks teammate has great two-word description of Byron Murphy II

Seattle took defensive tackle Murphy in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft.
Seattle Seahawks rookie Byron Murphy II
Seattle Seahawks rookie Byron Murphy II / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks had a lot of work to do defensively this offseason. Bringing back head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt would have been a mistake. Instead, Seattle hired Mike Macdonald to take both of the jobs of Carroll and Hurtt.

Seattle was 31st in run defense in 2023. They were not much better in 2022. The team was trending downward and Carroll seemingly had no fix even though he told 12s he did. The numbers didn't lie. Neither did the fact that Seattle failed to make the postseason last year.

Other than changing coaches, the biggest change Seattle made this offseason was drafting defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with the team's 2024 first-round pick. Murphy was quick, strong, and dominant in college at Texas. That does not mean his success will translate to the NFL, however. He is physically capable possibly, but lots of players have had great raw athleticism and not transposed that into the league.

Leonard Williams has high praise for Seahawks rookie Byron Murphy II

In rookie minicamp, Macdonald said something a bit worrisome about Murphy. He said that the defensive lineman needs to get into a "little better shape." While a rookie not being in NFL shape is expected as they have never played at the level, if a player comes into rookie camp a bit out of shape, that could imply a negative work ethic.

After mandatory minicamp, however, 12s can rest a bit easier. Maybe Murphy is not yet ready to play 70 percent of defensive snaps in 2024, but he apparently is already working hard to get in much better shape in preparation to play early and well this season. This is not based on Macdonald updating his view of the player, but Murphy's veteran teammate, the excellent Leonard Williams, giving his views on Murphy.

In a post-minicamp practice press conference, Williams was asked about the young defensive tackle. His praise was effusive. Williams also gave the rookie the highest compliment that Williams could give.

Williams said, "He understands the game already, which is really nice to see. A lot of times you see first-rounders, rookies...they have all the physical attributes but they still have to kind of learn football a little bit. Whereas he seems like he kind of has that under wraps already. So they did a good job over there at Texas teaching him football. Also, he's just a hard worker. That's the No. 1 compliment I can give somebody is that they work hard."

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There are two important parts to what Williams said. One is that Murphy is a "hard worker" - perhaps the best compliment that could be paid to any rookie - and that should mean that if there is anything the defensive tackle needs to work on he will do so willingly and diligently.

The other piece of importance from Williams is mentioning that Murphy got good coaching at Texas. This should mean he is more NFL-ready than other players. The Seahawks need the rookie to help early in his career, and Murphy appears prepared to do so.

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