From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Oklahoma offensive lineman Chris Murray.
#56 Chris Murray (Senior) — 6016, 308 LBs.
East-West Shrine Bowl participant
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Chris Murray||6016, 308||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
-Experienced interior offensive lineman with nearly 50 career starts
-Plays with a real mean streak, finishes reps with force
-Has the bully mentality to fight on the interior snap to snap
-Fluid mover in space with good hit rate
-Comfortable pulling in either direction, takes good angles to land blocks
-Handles stunts and twists well, easily passes things off
-Strong initial punch in pass protection to stun initial rush
-Despite mean streak, struggles to displace defenders in the run game
-Slow to react to counters in pass protection and has heavy feet
-Tends to stop feet when reaching defender on the move, leading to stalemates
-Understands leverage well but is caught with high pad level far too often for his size
-Has to develop better hand usage in pass protection to combat counters
-Played in 54 career games in five seasons between UCLA (two seasons) and Oklahoma (three seasons) with 49 career starts
-Started three career games at center at UCLA, 46 career starts at right guard
-Transferred to Oklahoma for 2020 season
-Key piece of an offensive line unit in 2019 that helped UCLA assemble a streak of five-straight 200-yard rushing games for the first time since 1978
-In 2018, became the first UCLA true freshman to start a season opener at center since at least 1982
-Named second-team All-Big 12 by AP in 2021; honorable mention selection by league’s coaches in 2022
-Was named to the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list in the 2022 preseason for the most outstanding college football offensive or defensive lineman who also best exemplifies the character and discipline of Vince Lombardi
-Invited to the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl and saw action at center and guard in Las Vegas
-Former four-star recruit out of national powerhouse Mater Dei High School in California
-Rated the No. 9 overall guard in the country coming out of high school
In the past, a player entering the NFL Draft with more than 50 career games and nearly 50 starts was an anomaly and likely said more about that player in a negative fashion than a positive. That’s not the case anymore, especially with the extra COVID year and the transfer portal in college football, which is good news for Oklahoma interior offensive lineman Chris Murray.
Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, Murray has 54 career games and 49 career starts under his belt in five seasons split between UCLA (two seasons) and Oklahoma (three seasons).
A starter at center and then right guard as a true freshman, Murray started all but five games in his career in college. Those five non-starts came in the COVID season when he was still adjusting to Oklahoma’s scheme.
Murray was an integral part of the Sooners’ offense under multiple head coaches and coordinators and is entering the draft with position versatility and a lengthy resume.
Playing primarily right guard, Murray showed the ability to play center as well and has violent, nasty mean streak to his game. He is an old-school interior offensive lineman that likes to bully people.
He has a powerful punch, is always searching for work and really uncoils when he has the chance to blast a defender. Here against the Tennessee-Chattanooga defensive lineman to open the 2022 season, Murray0 does a great job of finishing the rep, burying the defender into the dirt.
He showed similar traits in 2021 as the starting right guard for the Sooners.
Look at the slab of ribs he eats here against Kansas State.
That is some serious power and nastiness to his game as he searches for work in pass protection. The great thing about the rep too is that even after Murray obliterates the Kansas State defender, he flips his eyes back outside and looks for additional work, which coaches and scouts love.
He is always active and searching for body blows to inflict on defenders, which will certainly add up throughout games.
In pass protection, Murray has good awareness and has a strong initial punch to stun the pass rush. He handles stunts and twists well, which came with building experience and trust with his right tackle.
Sound job here against Nebraska in 2021, passing the twist off and picking up the looper with ease to keep a clean pocket with good depth in pass protection.
He gets some inside help from the running back, but Murray shows good feet here and stays square to the line of scrimmage, mirroring the twist to shut it down before it even gets going.
As a run blocker, Murray struggles to marry that nasty, mean streak he shows in pass protection with his technique in the run game. Too often on tape, he struggles to move defenders off the spot, which is odd considering his overall strength.
There are times he flashes it on tape, so it’s just about becoming consistent with it.
You will never have to worry about Murray finishing reps.
He lives for putting defenders in the dirt. It’s truly an old-school mentality that seems too few and far between in today’s game. Having a guy with a clear edge in situations like this is key for teams that want to run the football and be the more physical team. That’s where Murray could help at the next level.
He is going to help set the tone. He wants to finish through the whistle, mix it up and really let defenders know he’s there.
Murray is at his best in the run game while on the move as a pulling or trapping guard, as well as working to the second level in duo. He takes good angles on the move and has a high hit rate. He needs to clean up his technique a bit at the point of attack though. He tends to stop his feet against bigger defenders. When he’s closing in on smaller boundary defenders he tends to duck his head and lunge, getting off balance a bit while looking for the big body blow.
Murray has some really strong experience in Power 5 football. He has position versatility, having played some center in college, as well as working quite a bit at the position at the East-West Shrine Bowl in January and early February. He has a nastiness in his game that is certainly tantalizing and has some good reps on film that should have the attention of teams.
His size is a real concern, and he looked bigger and slower at his Pro Day than he did on film throughout the last few years. The testing numbers were rather concerning too. With his experience, Murray will certainly get a shot in the NFL. But the concerns with the size, testing numbers and some of the warts on tape, like the ability to handle counters or consistently create movement in the run game, gives him the feel of a late Day 3/Priority Free Agent, one that could certainly latch on as a depth piece at the end of a roster or practice squad.
Projection: Late Day 3 (7th-UDFA)
Depot Draft Grade: 6.2 End of Roster/ Practice Squad
Games Watched: Kansas State (2021), Nebraska (2021), Chattanooga (2022), Iowa State (2022), TCU (2022)