Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray is drawing some comparisons to Adrian Peterson and I don’t think that is fair to either player. Really, the only thing these two have in common is their alma mater.
Murray checked-in at the combine measuring 5’11 5/8 and 213 pounds. He ran a 4.41 forty-yard dash and jumped a 34.5 inch vertical. Those numbers were surprising to me, because when you watch him on tape, he doesn’t seem to play that fast or that explosive. At the Senior Bowl, he wasn’t as elusive in space, and you only saw his speed once he got to the open field. He didn’t get the edge as well as I thought he would, and didn’t hit the hole as quickly as I would have liked to see. In pass protection drills, which is critical for the success of the running back at the next level, he often dropped his head and eyes and lost his guy just before contact. That is understandable, considering he had an impressive 71 receptions as a senior at Oklahoma, suggesting that he rarely, if ever, was asked to stay in and protect the passer. Those soft hands and ability to impact the passing game will be a huge asset, but he will need to firm up his technique in max protection situations.
One thing he did well at the Senior Bowl, he ran hard and physical almost as if to prove to NFL scouts he wasn’t as injury prone as his college career may suggest.
I think Murray has value in the NFL as a third down back with potential to share some first and second down carries later in his career, but to compare him to Adrian Peterson wouldn’t even be close. I have him as my eighth best running back prospect in 2011.