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Falcons 2020 NFL Draft scouting report: LB Kenneth Murray

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A review on one of the top linebacker prospects int his class.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Kenneth Murray was a play making linebacker for the Oklahoma Sooners before entering the 2020 NFL Draft. He started all 42 games in his college career, finishing his college career with 335 tackles, 37.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Murray was also named a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press and was semifinalist for the Butkus Award in 2019. A well built linebacker with tremendous sideline to sideline speed, Murray is certainly a tackling machine. Might he also be a good fit for a Falcons team that looks thin at the position?

Strengths

  • Great NFL size (6’2”, 241 lbs)
  • Tremendous speed for his size ( 4.52 40 yard dash)
  • Decisive in his movements and plays like his hair is on fire
  • Fluid in space
  • Sound and physical tackler
  • Has the ability to be a good blitzing linebacker due to his speed and decisiveness.
  • Knows how to move through traffic and make plays in the backfield
  • Shows an ability to read and react
  • A natural team leader
  • Very high character player
  • Incredibly tough and aggressive

Weaknesses

  • Speed works against him when it comes to misdirection
  • Can run himself out of plays
  • Despite his size, has issues stacking and shedding blocks
  • Has the size to play man, but is currently a liability in man or zone pass coverage
  • Needs to exhibit more patience and control in space.

Kenneth Murray is a linebacker who plays with urgent intentions and explosiveness. That, along with his character on and off the field, will have the Falcons paying attention as the first round of the draft plays out.

If kept clean, he will make a ton of plays. However, given his limitations in coverage, picking him at 16 is a bit rich for me. Murray, to me, is a feast or famine prospect. His success in the NFL will greatly depend on where he goes and how he is used.