The Los Angeles Chargers traded up and found themselves with one of the most explosive defensive athletes in the 2020 NFL Draft in former Alabama linebacker Kenneth Murray.
In a deal with the New England Patriots, the Chargers gave up a second-round (No. 37) and a third-round (No. 71) pick to the Pats to get into position to select Murray.
Here is what you need to know about Murray.
Combine Measurements and Times
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 241
- Arms: 32 3/4
- Hands: 9 ½
- 40-Time: 4.52
Kenneth Murray Highlights
What the Experts are Saying About Kenneth Murray
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said this about Murray.
Sleek, playmaking linebacker with chiseled frame and long arms. Murray’s game is predicated on speed with an ability to fly around from sideline to sideline rolling up tackles.
While his twitchy burst allows him to make more plays than the average linebacker, he will overflow to ball-carriers at times. Recognition of play development and ability to take on blocks are both underdeveloped currently, but a move to weak-side linebacker would put him in position to minimize those concerns and maximize his playmaking talent. Murray has hit-or-miss qualities and is more splashy than consistent, but he’s immensely talented with the ability to imprint on games on all three downs.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had similar things to say about Murray. He wrote:
Nicknamed “K9,” he reached triple-digit tackles each of the last two seasons and rarely left the field, playing 90.5% of defensive snaps the last three years (made all the defensive calls each of his three seasons in Norman). Although he doesn’t consistently anticipate the action and must tweak his tackling approach, Murray’s instant speed is the equalizer, flowing fast and attacking alleys. He is overflowing with adrenaline and displays the competitive spirit that will win over a coaching staff. Overall, Murray can be late to sort and zero in on the ball carrier, but his outstanding play speed and relentless energy are difference-making traits, projecting as a three-down, run-and-hit outside linebacker in the NFL.
Murray’s Player Comparison
While Murray may seem to be a bit smallish for the position in the NFL, his athleticism, strength, and instincts give him several linebackers in the league by which he can be compared.
The Detroit Lions’ Jarrad Davis is probably his floor, but his ceiling could be a player like the Chicago Bears’ Roquan Smith. To be honest, the Chargers would likely be happy if Murray turned into either of those players.
What the Chargers Gave Up
With the trade, the Chargers’ remaining draft picks are as followed:
- Round 4, (pick 112):
- Round 5, (pick 151):
- Round 6 (pick 186):
- Round 7 (pick 220):
For a team that missed the playoffs last season and who drafted a young QB to take over in 2020, removing high picks might not have been the best approach. Now, the Chargers will not be picking again until the fourth round.
The Chargers will miss opportunities to select a young receiver who could do some damage out of the slot or even an interior offensive lineman who could have helped their inside run game.
In the worst-case scenario, Murray turns out to be a bust, and the Patriots wind up finding productive players or All-Pros at either the No. 37 or No. 71 picks. It’s also possible there could be solid players taken anywhere in the second, third, or fourth rounds ahead of the 112th pick that turn out better than Murray.
That too would be a bit of a disaster for the Bolts. This is the reason trading up is such a gamble.