Chargers trade for Patriots' 1st-rounder, select Kenneth Murray

Ron Jenkins / Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers selected linebacker Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 23rd overall.

L.A. traded back into the first round, sending its second- and third-round picks (Nos. 37 and 71) to the New England Patriots for No. 23.

The linebacker is Los Angeles' second first-round selection after the club took Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert at No. 6.

Murray joins an ascending Chargers defense that already boasts a strong pass rush and a dominant secondary.

But the AFC West club needed to improve its linebacker group aside from Denzel Perryman.

As a junior in 2019, Murray racked up 69 total tackles (17 for loss), four sacks, and four passes defensed. He was also named to the All-Big 12 first team.

Prospect Profile

School: Oklahoma
Height: 6-2
Weight: 241 lbs

Positives

  • Explosive athlete with great speed
  • Incredible sideline-to-sideline range in pursuit
  • Diagnoses quickly and gets downhill to fill gaps
  • Can slip through blocks with short-area quickness
  • Powerful finisher who explodes into ball carriers
  • Good instincts on quick passes at line of scrimmage
  • Athleticism shines when utilized as blitzer
  • Known as an outstanding leader

Negatives

  • Can be a little too aggressive with pursuit angles
  • Not adept at controlling and getting off blocks
  • Poor instincts while dropping into zone
  • Has traits for man coverage but lacks experience in that area

Bottom Line

Murray could develop into a stud playmaker at the next level. With the speed to patrol the entire field and the burst to finish in a big way when he gets to the ball carrier, the Oklahoma standout can be a tone-setter. There are some questions about his play in coverage, but he's shown the raw movement skills to stick with backs and tight ends, and his comfort in zone could be improved in the NFL. The run-game dominance gives him a high floor, and he could make the most out of a high ceiling while using his athleticism and instincts to get better in coverage.

Comments
Chargers trade for Patriots' 1st-rounder, select Kenneth Murray
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox