The decision by the Chargers to trade back into the first round of this year’s draft was the first time they had done any such deal since 2015 when they made the move to go up and grab Melvin Gordon. Understandably so, the aggressiveness exhibited to acquire Kenneth Murray at #23 will only put a magnifying glass on the young player’s career.
He’s already among the top rookies with the best odds to bring home the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award per William Hill Sports Book while constantly being noted as the rookie most-likely to lead the 2020 class in snaps this year by various media outlets. Well, add another notch in the belt for Murray’s preseason hype as Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox tabbed the former Sooner as the Chargers’ “most-dangerous new weapon” among all the team’s additions on either side of the ball.
“L.A. is loaded with talented defensive players such as Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Derwin James and Casey Hayward,” Knox stated. “Rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray should further help give the Chargers a championship-caliber defense.”
Matt Miller, Bleacher Reports head NFL draft analyst, also added, “An athletic, productive, high-character team captain, Murray is the most productive run-defending linebacker in the 2020 draft class.”
During his three years at Oklahoma, Murray accumulated 325 tackles with 36.5 for a loss and 9.5 sacks from his middle linebacker position. His inside linebackers coach, Brian Odom, told me in an interview after the draft that Murray’s main responsibilities was to spy the quarterback and handle the running back out of the backfield. Both of those things will greatly benefit the defense in a league where mobile quarterbacks have found plenty of success in and outside the pocket.