2020 NFL Draft Profile: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

Kenneth Murray

Inside linebacker, Oklahoma Sooners
6-3, 241
40 time: 4.52

OVERVIEW

Oklahoma Sooners
Dec 7, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Kenneth Murray (middle) reacts after the game against the Baylor Bears in the 2019 Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A three-year starter, Murray was ultra-productive throughout his career at Oklahoma, collecting 335 tackles (37 for loss), nine sacks and six passes defensed. He showed improvement and became especially disruptive in 2019, with 17 of his 102 tackles going for a loss, along with four sacks and four passes defensed. That included 10 tackles (three for loss) and a sack in the Big 12 championship game against Baylor despite a mid-game injury.

Murray had an outstanding workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, adding to a 4.52-second 40-yard dash with a 38-inch vertical and 127-inch broad jump, all ranking in the top six among linebackers.



ANALYSIS

Murray fits the prototypical mold for a linebacker. Excellent size, length and speed. His burst pops on tape, especially blitzing or closing in pursuit. He arrives to the ball carrier violently and has a wide tackle radius thanks to long arms. Good tools to be a weapon in coverage, with enough speed, fluid hips and length to be rangy in zone, and the quickness to track tight ends and running backs in man. Murray moves downhill vs. the run, reads things well and is willing to play physical, delivering blows with his long arms and pursuing with great energy.

Murray is still learning to harness his physical tools and is a bit raw. His instincts are inconsistent. He’s notably hesitant to pull the trigger and occasionally completely fooled by play design. Despite willing physicality in the run game, lagging trigger downhill. Can be quicker shedding blocks. Much to learn in coverage. He rarely played man-to-man, and his awareness in zone is spotty, as he was often fooled by eye candy in front of him while routes came open behind him. Most of the tools are present but unharnessed.

PRO COMPARISON

Darron Lee, Kansas City Chiefs — Murray didn’t run quite as fast as Lee did in 2016 (4.47). But more sturdily built, he brings the same type of promising skill set Lee had coming out of Ohio State. The biggest concern is whether Murray can develop the instincts and polish to turn his tools into production at the NFL level, which Lee did not.



Projection: First Round

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