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The excitement around Latavius Murray couldn’t have been higher for a sixth-round pick.
Maybe it was the 4.38 40-yard dash, or the 6-foot-2, 223-pound frame. However, the promise of a hulking speedster unafraid of contact didn’t last long. An ankle injury ended his season early in last training camp, leaving rushing duties to the more experienced.
Hope remains that Murray can show health and production at the pro level, though that’s far from guaranteed.
The Raiders have veterans Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden to carry the load, assuming the can stay healthy. Anything they get from Murray is a bonus. At a bare minimum, he’s a contingency plan.
Jones-Drew and McFadden have suffered injuries of late, and aren’t getting any younger. While it isn’t a requirement, the Raiders could look for a future option later in this draft.
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Who's here: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Darren McFadden, RB Latavius Murray, RB Jeremy Stewart, RB Kory Sheets, FB Marcel Reece, FB Jamize Olawale
Draft needs: Murray is an unknown commodity, leaving the team’s running back of the future unidentified. They’d prefer a rushing committee anyway, and could consider another back for the future whether or not Murray steps up.
Good fits: Stanford rusher Tyler Gaffney (6-0, 220) could work out with the Raiders if he falls far enough to become a value option. He’s a physical rusher with burst and could prove a tough option in time. De’Anthony Thomas (5-9, 174) from Oregon might become a solid third-down back as a pass catcher and big-play threat when running outside the tackles. He, like Gaffney, is projected as a fifth- or sixth-round pick.