By the numbers:
6’2”, 241 pounds. 4.52 40-yard dash. 32-¾” arms. 38-inch vertical jump.
102 tackles (17 for loss), four sacks, four passes broken up in 2019.
First and foremost, Kenneth Murray is a tremendous athlete for a linebacker. At 241 pounds, he possesses impressive sideline-to-sideline speed. He’s an attacker that acts as a heat-seeking missile and blows plays up in the backfield. These qualities may remind Kansas City Chiefs fans of longtime middle linebacker Derrick Johnson.
Murray is aggressive from the snap of the ball, plays with a high motor and can flat-out overwhelm opposing offenses at times. He has value as a pass-rusher from the WILL linebacker spot and has a knack for being disruptive. His character and work ethic are both plus traits that will translate well to the NFL.
If there’s one thing Murray needs to work on in order to become a complete player and reach his sky-high ceiling, it’s coverage. He simply didn’t drop into man coverage as much as some of the other top draft prospects and when he did, it wasn’t always pretty. Even in zone coverage, he seemed out of place at times.
Murray has the athletic profile necessary to become a good cover linebacker and, because the rest of his game is already so advanced, he can gradually improve in that aspect over time. A lot of that improvement will come with experience. NFL coaching could help make him more comfortable in coverage and alleviate the minor concerns surrounding his technique when attacking gaps.
How Murray fits with the Chiefs:
Murray is the type of player Steve Spagnuolo would love to have. He’s athletic, already has NFL-ready size and can start from day one. He has work to do before he’s ready to cover tight ends and running backs routinely but for now, the Chiefs can use him as a human wrecking ball and still get a ton of value out of him in his rookie season.
It’s entirely possible Murray goes in the top 20 of the draft. His college resume is terrific and despite his weaknesses, he’s already a very good football player. Deciding between him and Patrick Queen at 32 would be the best possible problem for the Chiefs to have. If they want a more proven prospect that plays similar to a franchise legend, taking Murray would be a great move.
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