A tackling machine at Oklahoma, Kenneth Murray should be one of the first linebackers taken in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. With a nose for the ball and determination to do what is necessary to make the stop whether it's in the open field or behind the line of scrimmage, Murray has enough ability to be an immediate contributor with the potential to become a special player.
Kenneth Murray Draft Profile
Murray is a fast, fluid athlete who flies to the ball, one of the fastest linebackers in this year’s class. Once he diagnoses, he is absolutely manic, with pure speed to close on the ball and the twitchy athleticism to finish with a violent tackle. He shows the agility and quickness to slip blocks when working through traffic. He was adept at dropping into zone coverage and reacting to the action in front of him, with the ability to close fast on the ball. He’ll attack downfield and blow up plays in the backfield, and his speed gets put to good use as a blitzer, where he times his rush well and has the closing burst to finish the play.
For all his range, Murray’s processing speed can slow down his play speed. He can be too deliberate reading his keys and locating the ball in the backfield. He’s too often slow to react on plays between the tackles and often overreacts to play-action. They’re issues that didn’t really get ironed out despite 42 career games at Oklahoma. More troublingly, despite the kind of length and strength that should add up to excellent take-on skills, he really struggles to get off blocks once an opponent gets into him. In coverage, he seems much more comfortable in zone than turning his back to the action in man coverage.
Between his speed, size and playing temperament, Murray has an enormously high ceiling. At this point, he’s best in a scheme that allows him to just run, chase and hit, keeping things simple early in his career. But if he becomes more instinctive under NFL coaching, he’s a three-down stud.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round