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2017 NFL Draft Player Profile: Najee Murray, corner back, Kent State Golden Flashes

He helped himself on his pro day

Kent State v Toledo Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images

Najee Murray started his career with the Ohio State Buckeyes, before injury and trouble slowed him down. He ended up playing for the Kent State Golden Flashes, and had a fantastic senior season. According to his bio on the Kent State website, he was 9th in the nation in passes defended. He was also named first team All-MAC.


Strengths

Mr. Murray really helped himself out with a 4.44 forty time at his pro day.

He is a great cover guy, and plays the ball extremely well for a guy his size. That 40 time lets NFL teams know he should be able to continue that at the next level. It’s not surprising, considering he was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school.

Sometimes, a negative can become a plus, and he has also shown that injury and off the field stuff didn’t slow down his love and determination for the game.


Weaknesses

While some scouts can probably nit-pick his technique, that’s not really an issue with me. At the next level, he’ll have plenty of opportunity to work those kinks out. The one thing you can’t teach him, though, is how to grow. At only 5’9, NFL teams will worry about matching him up against taller receivers, which are becoming more of a trend.

The good news if you are Murray fan, though, is that the league is shifting into a specialists league. As teams are putting more and more receivers on the field, defenses have to counter. More often than not, that requires an additional defensive back. These nickle backs are becoming the “12th starter”, seeing more time on the field than the third linebacker. NFL teams are ok with them being shorter, since they are roaming the middle of the field, where a ball thrown up to be high pointed usually ends up with a player being carted off the field in a stretcher.

Also working in his favor, these guys are good for kickoff coverage, too.


Overview

I see a lot of fan sites that have this guy in the 7th round in their mock draft. That’s because he is on a lot of team’s radar, and that 40 time will only further help his cause. I am fairly confident he will be drafted, and probably in the 6th round.