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Return of the Return Game (Prospect Profiles): RB Demarco Murray, Oklahoma

 
The Giants desperately need help in the return game, and this is where Demarco Murray could fit in with the Giants. An electric running back at Oklahoma Murray has potential as a receiving third down back and return man in the N.F.L.
 
 

Taken from http://www.vikingsgab.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DeMarco-Murray.jpg

Measurables

Official Senior Bowl Weigh in information:

Height: 6′ flat

Weight: 215 pounds

Hands: 9 3/8 inches

Length: 32 4/8 inches

Wingspan:77 4/8 inches

Murray looked much stouter and better built than people expected him too which could help his draft stock.

Murray has reportedly been timed as low as 4.39 and as high as 4.58 (nfldraftscout) or wikipedia says a 4.42 40 yard dash.

Murray will probably run a low 4.4 40 yard dash because Murray is fast.

Stats

Career: 759 attempts, 3,685 yards, 50 touchdowns. 157 receptions, for 1571 yards and 13 touchdowns.

2010 282 attempts, 1,224 yards 15 touchdowns. 10 Kick Returns for 249 yards, 71 receptions for 594 yards and 5 touchdowns.

DeMarco Murray is a dynamic receiving option out of te backfield, which is something that should definitely pique the interest of Giants fans who have not seen a good receiving running back since Tiki Barber.

Video

He’s in the video, but you have too go halfway in and watch the Sooners offense. I can’t find any better video of DeMarcoMurray.

The second video is better.

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjbl0AXTXAQ&feature=player_embedded[/pro-player]

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6nOCef3Hic[/pro-player]

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFs5HZwyng&feature=related[/pro-player]

Scouting Report

NFLdraftgab.com

Strengths: A very good athlete with dynamic qualities; gamebreaking ability. Solid and muscular build with even distribution in both upper and lower body. Very good speed to get to the perimeter on stretch runs and shows a second gear once he turns upfield. Impressive short area burst/quickness for his size. Decisive to the line of scrimmage and won’t hesitate to hit the crease between the tackles. Light on his feet, balanced, and can stop and start momentum on a dime. Runs with good pad level and works to fall forward when finishing his runs. Consistently slips linebackers in space and is sharp in and out of cuts. Patient and waits for blocks to develop. Soft hands in the passing game and was as much a receiver as a running back for Oklahoma. All-purpose player who was asked to return kicks, play tailback, and run passing routes. Has improved his route running year to year and was one of teams most reliable receivers; over 150 receptions. Alert and physical in pass protection. Runs a 4.42 40 yard dash.

Needs Improvement: Running strength is only adequate for his size; often goes down on square contact. More of a finesse runner and will bounce left to right when straight ahead will get positive yards. Doesn’t always work to move the pile and lacks the overall strength in lower body to do so consisistently. Has only missed a handful of games in four year career but always seems to be playing with nagging injuries. Downfield vision.

Bottom Line: DeMarco Murray has the ideal combination of size and athletic ability for the running back position at the NFL level. He was given plenty of responsibility at Oklahoma during his time there and improved in every area of his game year to year. His gamebreaking ability wasn’t always on display game to game however, and I believe this had to do with his heavy workload as an all-purpose player.

Murray will need to develop a more physical mindset at the next level and work to add functional strength, especially in the lower body, as he won’t have the wide open running lanes he did in college. Vision could also improve as he didn’t always seem to anticipate blocking downfield and find the second level cutback lanes. Overall, his versatility will be a huge asset to teams and the argument can be made that Murray is as good a receiver as he is a running back. His constant bout with nagging injuries is a slight concern and will need to be looked at closely by teams. As long as he stays healthy, Murray should continue to be a productive player at the next level.

Sidelinescouting

Positives: Unbelievable athlete, great speed, jumping ability, overall athleticism is off the charts… Extremely quick in the open field, very good footwork and balance… Good short area burst, allows him to beat defenders to the corner… Good vision…Always knows where to go and sees things develop quickly... Exceptional receiving ability, will sometimes line up at wide receiver… Soft hands out of the backfield, versatile threat… Very good route runner… Oklahoma has put out some good runners in the past few years, and prior to his string of injuries, some thought Murray could be as good as Adrian Peterson… Puts up big numbers when healthy, had over 1800 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns this year… Has the ability to return kicks and punts in the NFL… Has a ton of potential if he can ever keep himself healthy.

Negatives: Shows too much of the ball when he’s running, NFL defenders will rip the ball away from him too often... Has an upright running style that allows him to be knocked off center and has a hard time breaking tackles… Has a hard time getting out of arm tackles, needs to be stronger through the hole… Below-average leg drive, doesn’t push the pile, gets driven backwards by larger defenders… Not a good pass blocker, usually goes out for passes on third downs… Tons of injury concerns, his upright running style leaves him vulnerable to a ton of hits, and missed games during each of his first three years at Oklahoma Likes to break too many runs to the outside, needs to work more between the tackles.

Big board Rankings

Drafttek.com 64th overall

mockingthedraft.com 69th overall

Fftoolbox 55th overall

CBS Draft Scout 66th overall

NFL Draft Bible 76th overall

Where the Mocks Have Him Falling

Drafttek.com 3rd round pick #79 Miami Dolphins

Walterfootball.com round 3 pick #79 Miami Dolphins

Sidelinescouting.com round 3 pick #91 Atlanta Falcons

Draftsite.com 3rd round pick #66 Bengals

Bartolis Final Thoughts

I’m torn on Demarco Murray because I think he can bring some much needed relief to some of the Giants weak areas both on offense and as a return man, but  it’s risky because he might be a fumbler and he is prone to injuries (which means he might never play a game if he’s with the Giants…who gets hurt more then players who play for the Giants?).

Murray can be dynamic receiver out of the backfield (which the Giants need), Murray can also be a very good return man with both punt and kick off returns, Murray can also be a breakway threat and can fill much of what I thought C.J. Spiller could do for the Giants last year, but like I said it comes at a price. He’s another fumble waiting to happen if he doens’t fix his running style, and he’s always knicked up and seems prone to injury which scares me off.

Reminds me of: Reggie Bush Light I don’t think he’s quite as dynamic as Reggie Bush is but they have a similar skill set. Both are lethal return men, and both are WR’s who also happen to play running  back. Murray is Reggie Bush light. He’s excellent with the ball in his hands, he’s a very good receiver out of the backfield, and he’s not that much of an in between the tackles runner and I don’t know if he’ll ever take as much attention from the defenese as Reggie Bush does, but he is someone who would have to be accounted for out of the backifled.

I think the Giants should consider Murray in the second round if there are no other better values available and pull the trigger on him if he happens to make it to the third round where his potential to complete the Giants offense (the receiving back and return man) outweighs his risk injury, in my opinion. He might also be a very good return man in the N.F.L. because of his dynamic athleticism and field vision.

[poll id=”39″]

Previous Profiles

OT

Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

CB

Brandon Harris

TE

Kyle Rudolph

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

RB

Mark Ingram

Let me know what you guys are thinking.

Also let me know who to profile next:

I’ve been working on LB Mark Herzlich and Mason Foster

RB Mikel LeShoure

DT Stephen Paea

DE Aldon Smith

OT Derrick Sherrod and Tyron Smith


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11 Responses to “Return of the Return Game (Prospect Profiles): RB Demarco Murray, Oklahoma”

  1. Steve B. says:

    I really like DeMarco Murray, think he has good vision, really good speed, and really good balance, not to mention the threat he is as a WR and KR. The reason I like him for the Giants is that he doesnt have to be The guy, I could be wrong, but it seems at Oklahoma he was the number 1 back, getting 20+ carries a game, and +amount of catches.

    With the Giants he would be the 3rd down back, and a great one at that. Who knows if Hixon is gonna be the same/effective as the Giants WR/KR, and I think by selecting Murray, you’ve added insurance as a KR/PR/RB/WR. Murray is a due it all type of back, a game changer, dynamic, but if he was with the Giants, he wouldnt have to do it all, and I believe that would significantly reduce the injuries. In other words, i think the reason he was banged up, was because he was doing it all, with the Giants he would be a complementary back.

    And lets face it, as good as a runner Bradshaw is (minus the fumbling), he is not really a good receiver, he is okay, but is not on the same level as Tiki was, or even Murray.

    Murray kind of seems like a Percy Harvin type weapon, but the other way (Harvin WR sometimes RB, Murray RB sometimes WR).

    I love DeMarco Murray in the 3rd round, but he would probably be taken in the second, which is all the more reason why it make sense to trade down in the first round, and get an additional 2nd round pick (say if Steelers wanted to trade).

    As much as I like Mark Ingram, I have to say that DeMarco Murray is my favorite RB in this years draft.

    PS This is my favorite vid of him, if you wanted to add it (good quality).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFs5HZwyng&feature=related

    • Maybe I should have had you proflie Murray haha.

      I hear what you’re saying and I too like Murray and have no problem with the Giants selecting him in the second (but like I said would prefer the third), but to me he’s the fourth best running back.

      Ingram is #1, LeShoure, Williams, and then Murray.

      • Steve B. says:

        Yea, I agree he is the fourth best RB, but thats why I said he is my favorite, not the best, RB in the draft.

        I just love what he brings to the table, Offensive Weapon.

        The year Giants Won Super Bowl they had 3 good backs, and they have been searching for that 3rd rotational guy for a couple years. Andre Brown wasnt the answer, and neither is Danny Ware.

        I have no doubt in my mind the Giants will add another RB (and CB, LB) this offseason, the question is who, and when?

        Next Profile Suggest: CB: Jimmy Smith/Ras-I Dowling
        Both are big Corners, I prefer Dowling though, I just love how he plays (Had good production too, 8 picks in career (Smith has 3 in career), but had a down senior year, due to injuries).

  2. jeremy P says:

    He’s fast, has great vision, is a good receiver, has a propensity to fumble, and is an able return man. Reminds me a hell of a lot like Tiki. I wouldn’t mind going all offense in this draft and making him our second round pick but he’d be a steal in the third. He’d look good in blue. Wouldn’t you agree?

    This might be dumb but what about Ingram in the first round and Murray in the second? And somehow trading Bradshaw and Jacobs for picks. We of course would need to sign a corner in FA. I like Champ Bailey

    • jeremy P says:

      PS: before you scream at me. Remember the Patriots drafted two different types of TE’s last year. Albeit later in the draft.

    • I would be ok with that if I thought the Giants could get fair value via a trade with Bradshaw of Jacobs, but I don’t think they can.

      Bradshaw is going to be a free agent so if the Giants want to keep him they have to pay him once they pay him it’s harder to trade him (plus I think if you trade someone you just sign it against your cap still, which makes it even less likely).

      But I agree the runing game has to be upgraded.

      • Steve B. says:

        And you could argue the way to fix the running game is to upgrade the OL. Its chicken-egg story. Just look at what the Patriots did with Green-Elis, Undrafted free agent RB, had a really good year, running behind a good OL.

        • Yes, sir. I think both need to be upgraded. The OL and the running backs. The Giants running backs are pretty good, but both Bradshaw and Jacobs still have injury concerns.

          And I cant get over the fact that Bradshaw didn’t average over 4.0 yards per carry in 7 of the last 9 games.

          I don’t know if he’ll ever be super productive for an entire season without some more help.

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