Back in April, the Buccaneers used the 39th overall pick in the NFL Draft on Central Michigan cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. There was some confusion, to say the least.
Tampa Bay passed on LSU corner Greedy Williams, who had been linked to them all offseason. Williams had fallen into the second round, and he was there for the taking. Instead, Jason Licht and his staff went with Murphy-Bunting, a relative surprise compared to who was on the board.
Fast forward to July 27. The second day of training camp. There have been a few takeaways from the first two days, but one very clear takeaway is this: If you didn’t know who Sean Murphy-Bunting was before, you’re about to.
The 22-year-old corner has made an early impact in training camp, playing a huge part in the impressive start for the team’s young group of defensive backs. Just about every high-level corner and safety on the roster has made a play at some point in the first two practices. Murphy-Bunting has been all over the place, flying to the ball and making an impression on just about everyone watching.
Working both at nickel and on the outside, he has been breaking up passes left and right. On Saturday, he picked off a pass during a drill and later made an impressive breakup during 11-on-11s. He went up high and nearly came up with a backhanded, one-handed pick.
Excellent breakup by rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting in the end zone. Almost came up with the one-handed pick. #BucsCamp pic.twitter.com/1xClxtGKlk— Bailey Adams (@BaileyJAdams22) July 27, 2019
The second-round pick is being asked to learn two positions in Todd Bowles’ defense, but it doesn’t look like it’s phasing him. The whole secondary has been a big bright spot in the first two days of camp, which is certainly encouraging. Tampa Bay fielded the 26th-ranked pass defense in 2018, up from dead last in 2017. A rebound from the secondary has to be near the top of everyone’s wish list heading into 2019.
With the way Murphy-Bunting and the rest of the young defensive backs are playing, the Bucs look to be on the right track. We’ll see how things hold up when the pads come on and then later in live game action, but for now, be encouraged, Bucs Nation.