Murphy, Bresee Selected Back-to-Back in First Round of 2023 NFL Draft
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s defensive line produced a pair of picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday evening, as the Cincinnati Bengals selected defensive end Myles Murphy with the No. 28 overall selection and the New Orleans Saints added defensive tackle Bryan Bresee one pick later with the No. 29 overall selection.
The consecutive selections of Murphy and Bresee gave Clemson back-to-back first-round picks in a single draft for the first time in program history. The duo became the third Clemson tandem to be drafted back-to-back in any round all-time, joining Chris Clemons and Michael Hamlin in 2009 and Marcus Gilchrist and Da’Quan Bowers in 2011.
Clemson has produced at least one first-round pick in nine of the last 11 drafts. Clemson is one of only five schools with at least one first-round pick in at least nine of the last 11 drafts, alongside Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State.
Thursday’s first-round marked the eighth NFL Draft in which Clemson has produced multiple first-round picks, joining the 1979, 1982, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 first rounds. Clemson has had multiple players selected in the first round in four of the last five — and six of the last nine — drafts.
Murphy followed consensus Top 5 national status in the 2020 recruiting class with an all-conference career at Clemson from 2020-22. After earning Freshman All-America status in 2020, he earned a 2021 All-America selection from Phil Steele. He played 38 career games with 27 starts for Clemson and Gaines Adams, Vic Beasley and Clelin Ferrell as the only Clemson players since 2000 to post multiple seasons with multiple forced fumbles and at least four sacks.
“On pure talent, I would probably name Myles with Gaines Adams as far as the combination of length, strength, athleticism, ability to bend, natural explosive power,” Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “He is really, really, really special.”
Bresee entered Clemson in 2020 as the nation’s No. 1 prospect in his recruiting class and also earned Freshman All-America status that season in addition to earning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. This past season, he earned All-ACC honors and was named as a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy despite battling a myriad of issues that included family tragedy and personal health concerns.
“Bryan is a guy that could be a Pro Bowler for years to come. He has that in him,” Swinney said. “And I’m just excited for the Saints because his best football is in front of him.”
Overall, Clemson has now had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in 21 consecutive years, adding to Clemson’s second-longest such streak. Clemson previously had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft every year across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts, a span of 24 years.
The 2023 NFL Draft will resume at 7 p.m. ET on Friday with Rounds 2-3. Notes and comments from Clemson coaches following each selection will be available on ClemsonTigers.com Draft Central.
ON MYLES MURPHY:
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY:
“On pure talent, I would probably name Myles with Gaines Adams as far as the combination of length, strength, athleticism, ability to bend, natural explosive power. He is really, really, really special. I think with another year he may have been the first pick in the draft. I think he has that type of talent. I mean, there’s not many people walking the planet that have first overall pick type of talent, but Myles Murphy does. The Bengals are getting him at a value because he’s still a developing player. He was at Clemson for three seasons — two-and-a-half years. He’s an incredibly smart kid, loves football. His dad played pro football. He’s been around it his whole life but his best football is still in front of him. I’m just really excited about seeing him take that next step. He’s just a rare talent. A great kid, very smart and a very cerebral player. Incredibly strong and can fly, you know? You just don’t see guys that can move like him and bend. He’s going to be a great one.
“And the other thing about Myles a lot of people don’t really talk about is he’s durable. Rarely can I ever recall him missing a game or a practice for injury. He always practiced, he was always available, and I think that says a lot about who he is and how he takes care of his body.”
DEFENSIVE ENDS COACH LEMANSKI HALL:
“They are getting a guy who is relentless, powerful and loves the game. He is a physical player, smart. He’s great off-the-field. He’s a professional, and he’s going to come in every day with the mindset of getting better.”
ON BRYAN BRESEE:
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY:
“Bryan is a guy that could be a Pro Bowler for years to come. He has that in him. And I’m just excited for the Saints because his best football is in front of him. He’s really gotten himself healthy, but this kid has been through so much. He had a great freshman year, missed his second year, got hurt, tore his ACL, and then he comes back and obviously his sister passing, he missed a lot of time and then he had a kidney issue. When this guy is on the field, everybody in the stadium notices. I mean, that’s just who he is, and he’s been that way at every level of football of his life from pee wee to middle school to high school to college. It won’t be any different in the pros; when he’s on the field, everybody will notice him. And the good news for him is, again, he is a high-value, first-round type talent that was available just based on where he is in his development.
“This guy is the ultimate gym rat. He absolutely loves football. He’s passionate about practice, he’s strong and he’s just a guy that I think his teammates are going to love. He’s got a great spirit to him every single day. I think if he can stay healthy, he’s got a great future in front of him as a pro football player.”
DEFENSIVE RUN GAME COORDINATOR/DEFENSIVE TACKLES COACH NICK EASON:
“What they’re getting in Bryan is a great young man who comes from a great family, who is very competitive, very tough, very disciplined. He’s very smart and he loves the game. He exemplified all of that throughout my time at Clemson and before and that’s why he’s going to be one of the NFL’s greats for years to come. They have not seen the best of Bryan Bresee yet.”