Draft Rumors: Murphy, Banks, Branch, Forbes, Torrence

One of the top edge defenders available in the draft, Clemson’s Myles Murphy will have a busy week. The 6-foot-5 pass rusher met with the Jaguars earlier this week, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets, and Bengals, Falcons and Texans visits are on tap for one of Clemson’s two first-round-caliber D-line talents. Joining D-tackle Bryan Bresee on this front, Murphy submitted a consistent resume at the ACC power. In three seasons, the 268-pound edge recorded 18.5 sacks and 36 tackles for loss. The Jaguars, who have drafted an edge in Round 1 three times since 2019, go on the clock at No. 24. The Bengals, who have Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard signed beyond 2023, hold the No. 28 pick. The Texans (Nos. 2, 12) and Falcons (No. 8) are needier on the edge, but their draft slots might not align with a player ranked just outside the top 20.

Here is the latest from the draft:

  • Both Scouts Inc. and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah grade Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks just outside the top 20 as well, but he appears to be interviewing well with teams and trending upward. The Commanders, Ravens and Steelers are three of the teams impressed by Banks, per the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora, who adds others are intrigued by the 6-foot cover man. The Raiders will host the former Big Ten defender today, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. The Steelers will be connected to Round 1 corners, having lost Cameron Sutton, and the Ravens have not re-signed Marcus Peters. Both Washington and Pittsburgh cut William Jackson over the past seven months. The Raiders, who have not re-signed Rock Ya-Sin, seemingly have a perpetual cornerback need.
  • In addition to Emmanuel ForbesLions visit, the Mississippi State corner is a popular pre-draft guest. The Cowboys, Eagles, Patriots, Steelers, Titans and Vikings are on his visit schedule, Jon Sokoloff of WCBI tweets, with Wilson adding the Bengals and Commanders will take a look as well. Forbes’ frame will certainly come up at these meetings. Despite posting a Division I FBS-record six pick-sixes and intercepting 14 passes in three seasons, Forbes being 6-foot and 166 pounds will be an issue for teams. Nevertheless, he profiles as a late-first-round talent.
  • Staying on the DB front, Alabama’s Brian Branch might be the best bet for safety-needy teams in what is viewed as a weak class at the position. The Falcons, Commanders, Raiders, Texans and Vikings are on Branch’s pre-draft itinerary, per Wilson, who adds the Bills have a workout scheduled for the multiyear Crimson Tide contributor as well. Branch has extensive slot experience as well, providing potential flexibility for teams considering him in the late first round.
  • Like Branch, Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence profiles as the top player at his position going into the draft. The Louisiana transfer became a consensus All-American in 2022, and the Bills, Commanders and Steelers have auditioned him thus far, per Wilson and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links). Each of these teams have added at guard already this offseason. The Steelers signed both Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig, while the Bills signed Connor McGovern. The Commanders signed ex-Giant Nick Gates but have plans to use him at center, where he played before a severe September 2021 injury sidetracked his career.
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