The Oakland Raiders addressed their depth issues at running back in the sixth round with the 181st pick overall, selecting Latavius Murray out of Central Florida.
Murray ran for 2,424 yards over his four seasons with the Golden Knights, 1,106 of which came his senior year. He was also a scoring machine, accounting for 43 total touchdowns in his college career scoring over 10 touchdowns throughout a season twice. Furthermore, he is the first player in school history to score a touchdown in nine consecutive games.
His 19 scores in 2012 along with his yards total drew him an All-C-USA First Team selection and a position among the Doak Walker Award Watch list. He averaged 100.9 yards-per-game his senior year, which led his conference. His best performance in 2012 came against Southern Methodist, amassing 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Strengths: His ball carrying ability is top-notch. Murray hadn’t fumbled the ball since his freshman season, going 407 carries in total without sacrificing the ball. He also brings a lot of speed to the table, running an official 40-yard dash time of 4.39. He possesses great vision and is able to make cuts in the backfield in order to find the hole. Tape shows he can run up the middle while also being able to bounce it outside with his outstanding acceleration.
Weaknesses: Standing at 6’3″, his frame might be a little too tall for a RB, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a supreme weakness. He does have adequate power, but it could improve at the next level. It also seems that the Golden Knights ran a lot of zone-type runs, whereas Oakland will primarily run out of the power-scheme.
Analysis: Murray is a very intriguing prospect. He has great wheels, outstanding field-vision, can hold onto the ball, can catch the ball, score on the goal line, make cut moves/shakes and has shown the ability to break tackles, yet was rated to go undrafted by many draft boards. I suspect that has something to do with his tall frame and conference competition.
Regardless of Murray’s few knocks against him, he has the ability to become Darren McFadden‘s primary backup. I’m not sold with Rashad Jennings or Jeremy Stewart holding duties as the two-back. With McFadden being injury-prone and Murray owning a large amount of skill-sets, I can see him earning a lot of reps in 2013.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonCX525