Kenneth Murray is your typical junkyard dog player. He’s a student of the game, puts in hours into his craft, and shows that he has the potential to be something great in the future.
“I’ve always been a guy that’s always harped on being a hard worker,” Murray said. “I truly just try to lead by example and it’s just my passion for the game. I try to pattern my game after guys like Luke Kuechly and seeing how smart he is, how much time he puts into the film room.”
If the Falcons are looking for another speedy, athletic linebacker, Murray is the right choice for them.
The first thing that jumps out when analyzing Murray is how fast (4.52 second 40-yard dash) he is sideline to sideline. With that comes the ability to be a high-level playmaker, something he improved on during his junior year.
His tackles slightly dropped from his sophomore year, but his 17 tackles for loss and four sacks helped led the Sooners to become Big 12 champions last season. In his last two seasons, Murray has totaled 257 tackles and 29.5 tackles for loss.
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One of the things many are questioning about Murray’s game is how he reads the field. His quickness gets him in trouble at times if he’s not patient, which leads to big plays on the field. Despite the shortcomings in that area of his game, Murray thinks that may be his biggest misconception.
“I just think a lot of times people don’t really understand my intelligence,” he said. “And so I think that’s what these meetings are for, I think having these formal meetings and sitting down and talking some ball with these coaches and general managers and just letting them understand how smart I am.”
With the departure of De’Vondre Campbell during free agency, the Falcons will be looking to fill that void next to Deion Jones. Two athletic linebackers like Jones and Murray could cause nothing but problems for opposing offenses. Their ability to track down running backs out of the backfield and get to the quarterback on blitzes would be an upgrade for the Falcons defense.
Murray is projected to be a late pick in the first round, which would be good news for the Falcons. They can decide to draft him at No. 16, or they can trade back into the 20s to select him and add more draft picks while doing so.
It seems as if the Falcons have shown interest in the linebacker, participating in a video conference with him recently.
Linebacker may not be at the top the list for the Falcons as far as needs, but when a talent like Murray comes around it could be hard to pass up the opportunity to draft him.