Not every prospect is drafted with the plan of them coming in, starting immediately, and having some significant impact on their immediate success, but that’s what the plans seem to be when it comes to rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray.
In one of his recent articles detailing instant-impact rookies, ESPN’s Senior Draft Analyst Mel Kiper selected Murray as one of five first-round rookies that he believes will have the biggest impacts during the 2020 season for their respective teams.
Here’s what Kiper had to say about the team’s new linebacker:
“The Chargers traded their second- and third-round picks to move back into Round 1 to get Murray, who should slot in as the middle linebacker in Gus Bradley’s defense. We know about L.A.’s star edge rushers, but the defense was soft up the middle last season, and Murray and the return of safety Derwin James, who played in just five games last season, will help fill the gaps.”
“Murray is a run-and-hit linebacker with solid diagnostic ability who explodes into tackles. He also has some juice as a blitzer, as he had four sacks last season. I mentioned the Raiders as a potential wild-card team, but the Chargers have a chance to make some noise too.”
The addition of Murray on this list isn’t surprising. In fact, it’s likely a safe bet as the team wouldn’t have invested what they did to select Murray in the first if they didn’t expect him to get on the field early and often. If Murray fills in at WILL for the departed Thomas Davis, then you can certainly expect him to rack up tackles in the same manner. Davis led the team in total stops during his lone season in LA with 112 and it honestly wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see Murray push for a similar number if he finds a starting spot out of the gate in L.A.