Scouting Report: Eric Murray, CB

As I continue to look at possible corners for the Patriots, does Murray make the cut?

As I continue to look at possible corners for the Patriots, does Murray make the cut?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

As I get back into the groove of watching tape and breaking down players, I continue my look at some of the Cornerbacks in this class.  Today my search took me north to Minnesota where I sat down and watched the Gophers Eric Murray.  Here is what I came away with.

Not a lot has changed over the past several weeks. It still sucks that the Patriots do not have a first round pick, injuries continue to hurt the Patriots from a performance standpoint, and the future needs of this team are still CB, RB, WR, OL, and TE.  To me, it looks like some of the secondary players who were playing well earlier in the season have regressed a bit and reinforcements are needed before next season starts.  I live right in the middle of Big 10 and Big 12 country (funny side note: neither conference has the amount of teams in it that their name would lead you to believe) so I have had the opportunity to catch many of these games. Eric Murray first caught my eye early in the season when Minnesota played TCU and Murray did a nice job against the highly thought of Josh Doctson. Here are the rest of my thoughts on Murray.

Name: Eric Murray (#31)

School: Minnesota (Sr.)

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 197 Lbs.

Positives:

Week in and week out, Murray was asked to man up against the other teams best receiver, and for the most part, he held his own. He is a very physical player and shows the ability to force receivers to adjust their routes.  He is strong and aggressive at the line of scrimmage and shows good hand use to jam his opponent. Murray shows the ability to understand and play well in both man and zone concepts.  He has 18 pass defenses in his 26 starts, so he has a knack for locating and playing the ball.

Negatives:

Murray has decent size and speed, but neither will wow you. His overall athleticism will also leave you wanting more.  He can play too aggressive at times and has had his fair share of pass interference calls.  Murray is grabby and will be susceptible to holding penalties beyond five yards.  He has had a ton of pass breakups but only 2 interceptions in his career so his play making and ball skills are question marks.  It seems like a running theme, and maybe I am asking too much from Corners, but once again, I see a guy who is inconsistent in run support.  He struggles to get off blocks and I question his effort.  There are times he comes up to make the play, but it does not show up on tape enough for me.

Overall:

Murray plays with confidence and physicality, but he is limited athletically and I think he will struggle to cover NFL receivers. Because of his limited athleticism, he may have already maxed out his potential.  His aggressive play could lead to a lot of flags at the next level if he doesn’t clean up that aspect of his game.  Murray is a competitor, but I don’t see the traits needed to be a sustained starter in the NFL.  He looks like a Day 3 corner to me.

 

 

 

14 Responses to “Scouting Report: Eric Murray, CB”

  1. Ryan says:

    He seems like he could be a steal in the sixth, if he lasts that long. Good player with understandable NFL question marks.

    Please tell me that William Jackson III is on the CB scouting list.

  2. Russell says:

    If on the Draft board when the Patriots pick 2nd round; would you take LB Jaylon Smith after his MCL,ACL injury?????

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Medical on him is going to be huge. There are reports of nerve damage as well, so that is going to be scary as well. To be honest, this team is not good enough to take a flyer like that. With no first round pick, and then your second round pick out for at least his rookie year, that leaves no room for error with the teams remaining picks/FA. I would have to pass despite his obvious talent.

  3. Russell says:

    Going over my Patriots Mock;

    2nd- LB Joshua Perry, (second choice if gone, TE Hunter Henry?)
    3d- Coach Belichick trades for, mid-round 4th and 5th
    3d- (Revis)- OL Landon Turner, (or OL Max Tuerk)
    4th- (trade)- S/CB Sean Davis
    4th- OL Parker Ehinger
    5th- (trade)- DE/DT Dean Lowery
    6th-(Texans)- RB Keith Marshall
    6th-(Vereen)- RB Travis Greene
    7th- (Texans)- WR Alex Erickson
    7th–WR Tevaun Smith
    7th- (Casillias& Ayers) – CB Vernon Harris

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Love the Sean Davis pick in your mock. I have not gotten into him fully yet, but my initial thoughts were very positive. Love his size and his tackling. Need to focus on his movement skills and awareness the next go around, but a fan for sure.

  4. ton says:

    hi guys, just one question here for the NEPD staff- why are you heavily scouting cornerbacks? i think the position is in good hands. butler and ryan are entrenched as starters, we got the coleman kid on nickel, that athletic kid from marshall will come back from IR next year, it’s not out of the question that leonard johnson will improve after a full offseason in the pats’ system, so i think we’re good for CBs. how about you start scouting some mid-round WRs and OLs? the way i see it that’s by far our greatest weakness on the team.

    • Todti says:

      I see where you’re coming from but you could say the same about the (interior) OL. With
      – Stork or Andrews entrenched as the starting C,
      – Wendell and Solder coming back,
      – Vollmer getting back to 100%,
      – Fleming, Mason, and Jackson making progress, and
      – Kline playing more or less solid football throughout the season
      the OL is quite deep and the only position which needs the investment of a higher pick is LT.
      If Fleming takes a step forward and they draft a LT prospect they could get rid of Cannon (cap savings of ~$3.5m). So it could look like this:
      Solder (Draft) – Mason (Kline) – Andrews (Wendell) – Stork (Jackson) – Vollmer (Fleming).

      Assuming the amount of injuries trends back to the mean and the young players improve, I see a nice OL in quality and depth and a more trustworthy unit than the CBs. However, the combination of Butler, Ryan, and the version of Darryl Roberts which was indicated in spring on the outside, Coleman and Johnson in the slot, and the addition of a lower pick would also be fine with me.
      I hope they draft a shiftier WR early because they need the depth (especially considering Amendola’s contract situation) and they seem to be better at developing this type.
      If this teams stays healthy (healthier) next season and keeps the depth of the Front 7, they will be my Super Bowl bet.

      • Russell says:

        I think Wendel retires, and Vollmers contact is done at end of 2016. Fleming was on the P-Squad until injuries, so hard to know if he makes the roster next year.

      • ton says:

        well, i said OL because i hardly think that kline et co. are championship-caliber linemen. sure, they can hold down the fort for two or three games, but to have them go against top-tier defensive lines, sheesh, that’s enough to get me reciting prayers for brady’s knees.

        i mean, let’s just take them one by one. solder is too unpredictable – one week he dominates, one week it seems like he’s on skates every third play. i feel for the guy, it’s gotta be hard to be 6 8 and go against speed-rushing right defensive ends, but hey, we’ve got a shrinking championship window to think about, no time for empathy. vollmer is pretty good as long as he is, you know, actually on the field, and even then only on the right side of the line. afterwards, a bit of lumping together – cannon,fleming and jackson are immobile and i wouldn’t trust them to handle an above average 3-technique, let one man the edge. mason is someone i actually like, but he’s at least another year away from being able to pass protect consistently. stork might be the one i trust the most, as he’s experienced enough to overcome his limited athleticism. and andrews is an undersized underpowered center, where have i heard that one before?

        all in all..yikes! i sure hope another offseason’s worth of tutelage will help season the rookies, as they’re our only hope of having a decent o-line while tommy b is still our qb. so, something like a 3rd rounder used on an athletic o-tackle seems like a good idea to me. one can dream, right?

        • Todti says:

          OT in the 3rd would be totally fine with me. Sure, the OL is far from perfect but if Mason improves in pass protection the OL is not worse than the one which won against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. The current OL is also affected by the injuries. Edelman, Lewis, and Amendola are like the DNA of the Brady Offense (together with Gronk, of course). If those 3 were healthy the current OL would not look that bad.
          I’m not saying the OL should not be changed at all, just that it’s not a higher priority than other positions:
          shifty WR, RB, OT, CB, LB – 5 positions for the 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th round picks.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Ton,
      I plan on scouting as many players at as many positions as I can. I started this process back in the summer when I felt the CB was on paper the teams biggest question mark. I still feel that corner is a position that needs to be addressed. There will be plenty more reports on other positions as the weeks roll on.

  5. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots Mock Draft.

    2 DeRunnya Wilson WR Mississippi St.
    3 Comp.(Revis) Evan Boehm C Missouri
    3 Halapoutis Vaitai OT TCU
    4 Bryce Williams TE East Carolina
    6 Comp.(Vereen) Keenan Reynolds RB Navy
    6 Mallett Deal Tylor Harris DT Wake Forest
    7 Comp. Jordan Williams WR Ball State
    7Comp. ( Ayers) Fabian Moreau CB UCLA
    7Comp (Casillas) Jared Norris ILB Utah

    Patriots need to pick up their intensity BB show them a video
    of the Raiders vs Chiefs OR Hagler vs Hearns fight. Don’t get to cute Pats.
    Throw the ball to Stephen Jackson pretend he is Woodhead as he is a great receiver.

    GO PATS!

  6. Russell says:

    Thanks for the info on Murray. I don’t know much about him.
    the Patriots may be looking at a LB as it is unlikely Mayo will be back. His contract has a 11.4 mil. cap hit……NO way that happens!! He could restructure but its unlikely he would take a cut to say, 3.5 mil?
    I really like Joshua Perry and he maybe available late 2nd round.

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