You can watch tape on a player, you can read what draft experts think about a player, but when I've got questions about what kind of player a draft pick is - I like to talk to knowledgeable writers who watch the guy every week. So with DeMarco Murray, I turned to the fine folks at Crimson And Cream Machine, SB Nation's Oklahoma blog. They were kind enough to have me on a podcast last night (here) and they also supplied me with their own scouting report on new Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.
I wanted to know things like can Murray run between the tackles consistently and with power, how Oklahoma utilized him in the passing game, and his injury history.
Make the jump for their take...
I think that DeMarco Murray’s career at Oklahoma is best summed up with the word "versatility." He leaves OU as the all-purpose yards record holder with 6,498 yards. More than 3,600 of those yards came on the ground as the number six running back in Oklahoma football history. Another 1,571 yards came through the air as he hauled in 157 passes through his career for an average 10 yards per reception.
He runs with power that allows him to run through and over defenders. Just about any Sooner fan can tell you about the time he ran over a Baylor defender and dislodged the defender’s helmet from his body. He also runs with speed though. He’s a glider who has deceptive speed but he’s faster than many NFL defensive backs. Getting the ball to Murray in space has been the center point of Oklahoma’s offensive game plan for year’s now.
One of the "knocks" against Murray has been injury. He sat out a redshirt freshman year due to a toe injury and then also missed games over the next three years because of injury. Coming into his senior year Murray admitted to not being as committed to off season training and even pre-game stretching as much as he should have been. He took up yoga and even UFC style mixed martial arts training during the offseason prior to the 2011 season. The results were almost immediately noticeable as he carried the ball 282 times and caught 71 passes. Both of these were career highs for Murray for season marks but most notably it was all done without injury.