2020 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Kenneth Murray
Weight: 234 pounds
When most think of splash plays, they envision, a tooth-loosening shot that jars the ball loose. For Murray, that applies, differently. With quick hands and sure grip, even when the play veers away backside, he secures the stop. On those plays, his tackle radius catches u with his speed, allowing him to get hands and forearms on the target. When squared up, Murray sits down, dropping the pad level to an outstanding position for the hit. When he tackles facing, he springs forward, never rocking back to propel forward. All of his energy remains positive through the ballcarrier.
When deciphering plays, Murray uses vision and instinct to make the right call. For instance, he will stay home on misdirection because of something he catches during the play. While many players want to bust up the play before accurately assessing, Murray knows that he has the physical gifts to capitalize when he wants to.
In football, the term sideline-to-sideline lost its meaning and importance, In contrast, Murray’s range remains everything in front of him. To that end, his ability to streak towards the ball stands out. Plus, it helps defeat blocks. Opponents that lazily push two hands at Murray will see him flay right by with little regard. As a blitzer, Murray uses this to avoid being mugged by guards and tackles alike. At the next level, he will need this trait to carry over.
With a smooth backpedal and transitions, Murray not only meets the receiver, but beats them to the spot. He appears comfortable in veering away from the line and stays attached. In the flats, Murray fans out with angles that display his agility.
The Raiders, for the majority of this century, lacked an athletic middle linebacker. Granted, their defensive coordinators preferred minimal zone, hammer types. Yet, the defense, with or without Paul Guenther at the helm, needs to throw away their current construct. Today’s NFL require playmakers at linebacker, not just run stoppers. In the middle, Murray would give the Raiders an explosive player, capable of staying on the field for three downs. As a result, he would grown into wearing the green dot on the helmet.
Facing the Chiefs, Chargers, and eventually the Broncos’ improved lineup requires a middle linebacker that can’t move. For years, opponents feast on the Raiders coverage underneath. On top of that, Murray’s presence of mind and vision can sniff out the screen. If you have cheered for this team for an extended amount of time, you know how much the defense, regardless of coordinator fails versus the quick screen.