The New York Giants may want running back Ahmad Bradshaw back, and Brandon Jacobs may want to be back, but that doesn't mean the G-Men won't be looking closely at new prospects.
With that said, let's take a look at DeMarco Murray for today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile. A 6-foot, 213-pound back out of Oklahoma, Murray rushed for 1,006 yards (4.1 per carry) and 13 touchdowns. He also proved himself as a receiving threat out of the backfield with 71 receptions for 594 yards and five touchdowns.
Murray may have improved his draft stock with an impressive combine, where he ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 34.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump.
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot, 213 pounds
Projection: Rounds 2-3
From National Football Post:
Looks to have put on some weight this season and looks a bit thicker throughout his body. Possesses a good first step when asked to press daylight and gets up to speed quickly. Showcases impressive balance when accelerating around the corner, and when healthy, the guy really does have that kind of initial burst to consistently outrun angles in space and create yards by the chunk.
Plus, he does have the ability to consistently catch the football out of the backfield and can also create mismatches when split out in the slot. Exhibits some shiftiness to his game once he gets up to full speed and knows how to give a slight shoulder fake to a defender and explode into space. Displays a willingness to block in the pass game and although he isn't real physical and struggles with leverage, he does possess the body control to stick his head in and chop down defenders on contact.
Exhibits improved instincts in tight areas as a senior and does a better job picking his way through traffic, using his lateral agility to make a man miss and create after his initial move. Now, he still runs too high through the line, but does a better job lowering his pad level into contact to protect himself. But still seems to get tripped up and tackled by the fingertip of a defender too easily inside when trying to accelerate through a hole. Does have some injury concerns, as he has been banged up at times which can be a direct result of running high and exposing his frame to some bigger hits.
Impression: A violent slashing type running back who has improved his bulk and overall feel inside. I still don't think you want this guy starting for you at the next level. But as an X-factor type who can line up all over an offense and create, I think he can certainly add an element to an NFL offense.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Unbelievable athlete, great speed, jumping ability, overall athleticism is off the charts... Extremely quick in the open field, very good footwork and balance... Good short area burst, allows him to beat defenders to the corner... Good vision... Always knows where to go and sees things develop quickly... Exceptional receiving ability, will sometimes line up at wide receiver... Soft hands out of the backfield, versatile threat... Very good route runner... Oklahoma has put out some good runners in the past few years, and prior to his string of injuries, some thought Murray could be as good as Adrian Peterson... Puts up big numbers when healthy, had over 1,800 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns this year... Has the ability to return kicks and punts in the NFL... Has a ton of potential if he keeps himself healthy.
Negatives: Shows too much of the ball when he's running, NFL defenders will rip the ball away from him too often... Has an upright running style that allows him to be knocked off center and has a hard time breaking tackles... Has a hard time getting out of arm tackles, needs to be stronger through the hole... Below-average leg drive, doesn't push the pile, gets driven backwards by larger defenders... Not a good pass blocker, usually goes out for passes on third downs... Tons of injury concerns, his upright running style leaves him vulnerable to a ton of hits, and missed games during each of his first three years at Oklahoma... Likes to break too many runs to the outside, needs to work more between the tackles.