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2020 All-22 Analysis: Buffalo Bills free agent defensive end Trent Murphy

How did Murphy do in 2020?

Defensive end Trent Murphy used to be the man opposite Jerry Hughes. A number of new faces on the defensive line changed that in 2020. Murphy missed six games in the regular season and two in the postseason. None were the result of injury. The line is likely to undergo significant changes again this season and the Bills may want some familiar faces to stick around. Let’s check in on Murphy’s 2020 season to see if he may be one of them.

Play 1

Trent Murphy loses the leverage battle early and gets washed out of the play. In 2020, Murphy seemed to get pushed around a little more than what we’re used to seeing.

Play 2

This is closer to what we’re used to seeing. Murphy has the leverage advantage this time around. As a result, he drives to the play and disengages for the tackle. This one is better, but not perfect.

Play 3

This one is pretty much perfect.

Play 4

Trent Murphy shows off some veteran savvy here. He keeps his eyes in the backfield and uses one of my favorite moves to come completely clean.

Play 5

Some more positives as he reacts quickly and swipes away the tackle’s hands to try to get around the edge.

Play 6

And here he establishes good leverage and drives his man back. Giving a quarterback like Russell Wilson less room to maneuver is always a positive.

Play 7

And this is the Trent Murphy special. After watching his play for several years now, I’ve often praised his ability to set and maintain edges. The Buffalo Bills had Murphy active for just the Baltimore Ravens game when it came to the playoffs. They might have had Lamar Jackson in mind for this decision.


I hinted at it in the first play but then circled around it on the rest. Trent Murphy seems to have lost a step and some physicality. Football intelligence and technique-wise he’s still much the same player. At times he was also able to turn it up and perform as we’d all like to see. Play 7 is a great example of that.

I’ve defended Trent Murphy for years now but the combination of likely cap woes in 2021 and Murphy falling off a bit concerns me. It might be time to see if A.J. Epenesa and Darryl Johnson have learned some tricks.

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