The Washington Redskins on Friday made Trent Murphy, an outside linebacker from Stanford, the team's first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Murphy — who in 2013 led the nation in sacks with 15 for the Cardinal — was taken with the 47th-overall pick in the second round.
NFL.com's scouting report indicated he's a "tough, smart and hardworking with a throwback personality," something with which Redskins head coach Jay Gruden tends to agree.
"He works his tail off," Gruden told reporters after the third round was complete late Friday. "He's first on the field every day and the last to leave. He studies the game."
In a conference call with the media, Murphy — who stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 250 pounds — said he was excited and honored to be the Redskins' first pick in 2014. The team had traded its 34th-overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys for their 47th and 66th picks, and did not have a pick in the first round this year.
"It was pure joy, really, such a sigh of a relief just to be drafted and have this waiting game over," Murphy said of his selection. "It's definitely been building up and so it just hit my family abrupt and we just have joy and cheer inside. So we're all pretty excited."
Murphy said he made a draft prospect visit to Redskins Park about six weeks ago and "walked into the place and knew that was definitely a place I could work in and work hard every day."
"It definitely felt like home there," Murphy continued, "so I couldn't be more excited that's where I ended up."
Murphy said he's excited to learn from the veteran Redskins linebackers, especially those on the outside — namely starters Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
"That is pretty exciting for me just to be able to learn from a couple of guys like that and to see two guys who have been successful at this position and how they do it and how they teach it, everything like that," he said. "I am pretty excited and hopefully I can find a role into that rotation."
Murphy's role, Gruden said, hasn't been etched in stone just yet. The first-year head coach said he envisions Murphy moving around the field depending on the down and distance.
"He's predominately lined up outside but we feel like he can line up inside," Gruden said. "He can move around a little bit, but for the most part his flexibility, his athleticism, I think is a little bit underrated. We feel like he can provide us with immediate pass rush on third down and we'll find a spot for him."
Murphy said he was planning on celebrating his selection with a barbeque dinner with family, and said he definitely feels the weight on his shoulders of being the Redskins' first pick this year.
"It definitely shows, acknowledges, I was high on their board," Murphy said. "They really, really wanted to take me and that kind of means a lot to be a team's first pick even though it was not in the first round. I couldn't be more excited to be that guy and to put that weight on my shoulders and to wake up every day and give it my best effort and pushing myself and the organization to new levels."
NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF TRENT MURPHY
Murphy is the first selection of the Jay Gruden era and is the 35th selection by the Redskins under Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen. * Murphy is the 432nd selection made by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967) and the 34th second-round selection in that time frame. He is the 52nd second-round selection by the Redskins all-time since the institution of the draft in 1936. * The selection marks the third time the Redskins have taken a pass rusher with their first selection in the last six drafts (DE/LB Brian Orakpo in 2009 and LB Ryan Kerrigan in 2011). * Including the selection of CB David Amerson with their initial pick last year, the Redskins have now selected a defensive player with their top pick in consecutive seasons for the first time since drafting S Sean Taylor, CB Carlos Rogers, LB Rocky McIntosh and S LaRon Landry with their first selections in the 2004-07 NFL Drafts. * Murphy is the 15th Stanford product selected by the Redskins all-time, joining E Keith Topping (1936), B Bill Joslyn (1944), B Willard Sheller (1944), B Bill Shipkey (1945), C Jim McCurdy (1945), B Lynn Brownson (1947), B Bob Anderson (1948), B Bob Mathias (1953), E Sam Morley (1954), QB Don Bunce (1972), DE Duncan McColl (1977), G Brad Badger (1997), QB Todd Husak (2000) and LB Jarred Newberry (2005). * Murphy is the sixth Stanford product selected by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967), tied for 11th-most by a single college in that timeframe. * Murphy's selection at No. 47 marks the highest the Redskins have taken a Stanford product since selecting E Keith Topping with the No. 11 overall pick in the 1936 NFL Draft. * With Murphy's selection, the Redskins used a second-round pick to draft a linebacker for the first time since selecting McIntosh in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. * Murphy is the third player selected by the Redskins at No. 47 all-time, joining T Larry Lutz (1936) and DE Shane Collins (1992). * All three of Washington's all-time selections at No. 47 have played collegiately in the conference now known as the Pac-12. * Murphy is the first Pac-12 Conference player selected by the Redskins since selecting UCLA WR Terrence Austin in 2010. The two are the only Pac-12 products selected by the Redskins in the Allen era.
High school defensive end-tight end who also played basketball and ran track as a prep in Arizona, where he won a state championship. Redshirted in 2009. Appeared in two games in '10 and made two tackles, one for loss and one sack before a broken foot sidelined him. In '11, started all 13 games at outside linebacker in the Cardinal's 3-4, tallying 40-10-6.5 with a pass breakup. Started all 14 games at OLB in '12 and totaled 56-18-10 with four pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. Led the nation in sacks in '13 when he started all 14 games at OLB and registered 62-23.5-15 with six pass breakups, an interception return for a touchdown, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Also was used with his hand in the dirt in nickel. Team captain.
Naturally big-boned with a good frame to add bulk if desired. Very good instincts. Above-average athlete -- bends fairly well. Massive mitts (11 1/8 inches) measured bigger than any other player at the combine. Good hand use -- can jolt blockers with his punch. Controls the line of scrimmage and consistently outleverages tight ends. Very physical re-routing tight ends at the line. Outstanding motor and sack production -- led the country in sacks (15) as a senior. Tough, smart and hardworking with a throwback personality. Leader vocally and by example. Will hold teammates accountable and represent the program with class.
As a base end in an even front or a LOLB in an odd front, Murphy's instincts, motor and toughness are what define his success and could allow him to eventually become a double-digit sack producer in the pros. Will require a few years to adapt to the speed of the NFL game.