Oklahoma’s Tackling Machine Linked to Falcons First-Round Pick

Kenneth Murray

Getty Kenneth Murray #9 of the Oklahoma Sooners.

There are numerous ways the Falcons could go in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft next week, but only a few ways actually make sense. If the Falcons decided to stay at No. 16 and not trade up then former Oklahoma defender, Kenneth Murray could make sense.

Murray started all 42 games as a Sooner. He finished his college career with 335 tackles, 37.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. As a Sooner, Murray made a name for himself. He was a named first-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press and also was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award in 2019.

Murray is not just a spectacular athlete on the field but he’s a good guy off of the field. Falcons reporter Kelsey Conway and Falcons color analyst and former NFL QB, Dave Archer dissected Murray’s natural talent.

On the Field

Archer really hyped up Murray’s speed and his ability to read plays that the Falcons could definitely use on the defensive side of the ball.

“This guy is a sideline to sideline baller. 6 foot 2, 240 pounds can run 4-5. The first tape I ever saw this kid was in the first game of the season. You’re seeing the plays that he’s making on the field whether it’s blitzing the passer, running people down. They’re playing Houston opening day they’ve got a double screen on—quick screen right, three count screen to the back left. Murray reads quick screen to his right, he runs that direction. He’s right along the edge of the numbers, he realizes they’re faking the quick screen, they’re throwing the three count screen outside the backside of the back. He makes the tackle for a loss outside of the numbers on the other side of the field.

This kid is a smaller version, in my opinion of Brian Urlacher. I think Urlacher was 6 foot 5, 250 pounds, so different guy from a physical standpoint, but from the ability to close and cover the ground.”

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Off the Field

Conway detailed what kind of guy Murray really is off of the field which is important to know when building a new roster.

“When you look at this guy not only what this guy does on the field but the type of person he is off the field, it’s really hard to not like the guy. The son of a preacher. He graduated Oklahoma in three years with a communications degree which we obviously know that’s difficult to do in addition to starting every game at Oklahoma in those three years. So he’s a full-time starter and still managed to take care of his business in the classroom.

But what I really liked about learning about Kenneth Murray was that when he was 10 years old his parents adopted three kids with special needs. Apparently, Kenneth from the day they got to the house said, “it’s my job to make sure these guys are taken care of.” So, he really took on the big brother role and apparently it’s really important to him that his siblings are taken care of.”

It’s clear that Murray is the kind of guy you bring home to your parents and the kind of guy the Falcons could use on the field and in the locker room.

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