Latavius Murray: Big shoes to fill


2016

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2015

After missing his rookie season with an ankle injury, Murray entered 2014 buried on the Raiders’ depth chart behind veterans Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. As the the old-timers got hurt or simply underperformed, Murray finally got a look in Week 12 and exploded for 112 rushing yards on just four carries before bowing out with a concussion. Once he returned in Week 14, Oakland happily made him the lead back. Built more like a wide receiver at 6-3, 225, and with the speed to match, Murray uses plus burst and vision to blow through holes into the second level, and he’s a major asset on passing downs, showing both excellent receiving skills (averaging four targets per game over the final four weeks last year) as well as strong pass blocking. He isn’t particularly elusive, however, and his frame doesn’t allow him to run with a lot of power, a combination that could leave him susceptible to injury. It also made him fairly easy to bring down, and Murray’s seven missed or broken tackles in 99 touches was among the worst rates in the league. The Raiders brought in Trent Richardson and Roy Helu to help keep his workload manageable, but Murray should get every chance to prove he can be a productive starter this season.


2014

Murray spent his entire rookie season on IR due to an ankle injury, but even with that all healed up, he faces an uphill battle for carries in the early going behind the two-headed monster of Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. Of course, McFadden’s an injury waiting to happen and MJD’s no spring chicken, so Murray could end up producing sneaky value as the year goes on. With elite speed, good hands and receiver-like size at 6-3, 230, he has the tools to be a three-down back, but will need to show some durability before the Raiders start looking at him like one.


2013

Murray will start the season on injured reserve. The Raiders’ sixth-round pick, Murray will eventually compete with Rashad Jennings to be Darren McFadden’s primary backup. The backup to the fragile McFadden, who has never played more than 13 games in a single season, could have a good opportunity to see significant work. Jennings has also been less than durable, which leaves Murray in a good spot for action. At 6-3, 223, Murray is built more like a big receiver than a tailback, but he’s a speedy runner (4.4 40) who possesses surprising lateral quickness and good acceleration. He averaged at least 5.6 YPC in each of his final three seasons at Central Florida while totaling 40 touchdowns in that span.


Latavius Murray: Big shoes to fill

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