Positives: Murray has a lot of athletic ability and that is what makes him dangerous. He has pretty good size and very good speed and quickness. He shows a good burst as a running back and when changing directions when healthy. He has very good hands out of the backfield and even lines up as a receiver at times and runs receiver routes in Oklahoma’s offense. Murray’s versatility is something that makes him very valuable. He can make plays running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield or as a receiver, and he has experience returning kicks. He is very dangerous in the open field as he has a good feel as a runner and is very elusive thanks to his speed and quickness. He flashes the ability to lower his pads and fall forward for extra yardage in short yardage situations. Seems to have good footwork and doesn’t often waste steps in the backfield or when changing directions in general. Murray also has a lot of experience as a running back and a very impressive track record of production.
Negatives: Murray is not a power back, just to make that clear. He is definitely a finesse guy that struggles to run through any legitimate contact from defenders and he is not effective in short yardage situations for this reason. The other reason is his relatively unimpressive vision. He can run through an obvious hole when it is there, but when he is asked to find cut back lanes or other seams he either runs right into the pile or tries to bounce it outside, neither of which will work very well in the NFL. Murray also doesn’t look like he is trying very hard when he runs at times. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but sometimes it looks like he is just going through the motions. He also does that on fakes, and doesn’t seem to carry out play action fakes very well, preferring to jog the fake out instead of acting like he has the ball to suck the defense in. He also runs a bit high and doesn’t keep the ball high and tight when running, which will lead to fumbles in the NFL. He also has serious durability concerns because he has gotten seriously injured multiple times at Oklahoma and tends to get nicked up a lot and miss time because of those injuries. That makes me think he will only be a complementary back in the NFL. He also needs to work on his pass blocking.
Overall: Murray has a lot of talent that is worth considering in the 2nd round area but because he won’t ever be a starter (in my opinion) because of his finesse running style and durability concerns I don’t think he will go in the top 50 picks, and if he did I would be relatively surprised. He definitely has ability and his versatility is intriguing, but something about him rubs me the wrong way and I don’t have a very good feeling about him as a NFL prospect. I just don’t like the combination of a guy with average vision, a finesse running style, durability questions and a guy that tends to look like he’s going through the motions at times. He could obviously prove me wrong because he was incredibly productive at Oklahoma and has a lot of athletic ability, but I think he is going to get nicked up in the NFL like he did at Oklahoma, and that will limit his potential since he won’t be on the field very much.
Projection: Late 2nd/Mid-3rd. I think he will end up going in this range. He has too much talent and production to slide out of the top 75 picks in my opinion but I think that some of the value at the RB position will start to be seriously tapped into in this range on draft day.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite