Undrafted, Murphy joins Titans with chip on his shoulder

Published 8:13 pm Sunday, April 30, 2023

DOWAGIAC — 259 players heard their names called during the 2023 NFL Draft and Caleb Murphy was not one of them.

With an impressive final season at Ferris State and a good showing at the NFL Combine, it was a surprise to many when the former Dowagiac standout was left waiting for a team to call home at the end of the draft. Murphy signed with the Tennessee Titans moments later as an undrafted free agent and will get the chance to prove himself and potentially earn a spot on the Titans’ roster.

He interviewed with the Tennessee Titans at several pre-draft events, including the NFL Combine, East-West Shrine Bowl Game and his pro day.

“I actually thought I was going to get drafted, but I’m going to keep that chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I’m very excited for the opportunity and very grateful for it. I’m excited to be a Titan.”

Murphy said he went into day three of the draft thinking he could be taken anywhere from round four to round seven based on feedback he and his agents received. He said the strong “edge rusher” field this year played a factor in how the draft played out for him.

“Some teams had gotten some guys that they wanted with the edge,” he said. “The edge group is elite this year… It’s just one of those things, I took the opportunity and ran with it. At the end of the day, I was waiting for the opportunity and got it in a different way.”

While the weekend did not play out as he had expected, Murphy said it has fueled his drive and motivation.

“It just shows that some coaches didn’t have the faith because of me being D2, and some coaches just had to draft other things,” he said. “For me not to be a priority pick for those teams, it just shows I need to continue to prove myself, continue to work hard and continue to be the man that I am and wear the chip on my shoulder that I’ve worn at Ferris State, Grand Valley State and Dowagiac. I’ll continue to wear my chip and embrace it and be proud.”

Murphy will report to Nashville for rookie mini-camp taking place May 13 to 15 before participating in Organized Team Activities. The Titans will have three of these sessions throughout the offseason. The first session takes place May 22, 23 and 25. The second is on May 30, 31 and June 2 and the final session takes place from June 12 to 15.

With the draft in the rearview, Murphy is ready to make his dream come true.

“I’m a guy who’s gonna work hard and put their head down and just be an a**hole (on defense) in the nicest way possible,” he said. “I’m gonna go out there and try to dominate and be one of those guys.”