Something about a 2-time AP Coach of the Year raving about his new rookie corner should get Tampa Bay excited about the future. It’s been ages since a Buccaneers corner was consistently on the opposing teams scouting list. So let’s talk facts.
Sean Murphy-Bunting looks like an absolute steal. The small school prospect had been on the Bucs radar for quite some time, and knew they needed to pull the trigger on him early as other teams began to catch wind.
Just seven picks into the second round, Murphy-Bunting was selected 39th overall by the Bucs. The questions soon followed regarding the pick being a reach. But Arians, Bowles and Licht knew what they were getting in him. A young, but matured, extremely athletic scheme fit corner with an exceptional resume.
Looking at the numbers on him last season at Central Michigan, he stuck out on some key cornerback statistics. Overall on his career, the 6’0 195lbs corner tallied 104 total tackles, 9 INTs and 15 PDs in 3 seasons. Pro Football Focus notes that Murphy-Bunting had a passer rating of 41.5 when targeted (7th among all corners) and one of only FOUR cornerbacks to not allow a single touchdown last season in college football.
Folks that is not a typo. It’s easy to understand now why he went so under the radar playing at a small school, but also why his measurables are intriguing. A little over a month after the draft and a slew of interceptions, Murphy-Bunting has begun to prove his draft status was not fluke worthy and coach Bruce Arians echoed that sentiment earlier today.
This week he grabbed two picks Wednesday in minicamp among many others this offseason, and even WR Chris Godwin mentioned the play of the rookie.
Aside from his potential in the field, Murphy-Bunting is also a very smart and diligent human being. Read what he had to say in an interview with Central Michigan Life:
“I want people to remember me by my character,” Bunting said. “If I’m not a good person, then I’m not a good football player. I wasn’t highly recruited out of high school and everyone knows that by now. I put my head down, grinded for what I wanted and always play with a chip on my shoulder. I want people to know anything is possible. You just have to put in the work.”
This young prospect has been a model on and off the football field. And one thing for sure is that you’ll find Murphy-Bunting making headlines this upcoming Fall while staying out of them during the offseason. Solid pick, Buccaneers.
Sources: PFF and Central Michigan Life