Murray: Pass catching is a bonus which I bring to the table
ALAMEDA -- He cut an impressive figure as he broke through the line of scrimmage during Saturday's non-contact practice, tall and sinewy running upright like some mixture of Darren McFadden, Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson.
Mind you, we're talking style here, not results. Not yet anyway.
But when Latavius Murray later came out of the backfield to effortlessly catch a pass in the flat and then seamlessly turn up field, that was somewhat of a revelation to the onlookers gathered at the Raiders rookie camp.
"And that was one of the things that we saw on tape that they did with him there at Central Florida," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "They were able to use him out of the backfield to catch the ball and he's done a real nice job at that. He runs a nice route. He's extremely intelligent so he's picked up the offense really well.
"And he's got really soft hands. So he's done a nice job not only in catching the ball, but also a nice job in picking up in pass protection."
Drafted in the sixth round, No. 181 overall, Murray is expected to be more than a camp body. Especially with the injury-prone McFadden entering the final season of his contract. That he resembles McFadden is a bonus.
“I think just with my size and speed we have some similarities," Murray said. "But me, I just try to run downhill, get the tough yards with my size, and get outside to use my speed if I can."
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Murray has run a 4.38-second 40 and is bigger than the 6-2, 210-pound McFadden, who ran an official 40 time of 4.33 seconds at the combine five years ago.
There are few backs in the NFL more explosive than McFadden…when he is healthy.
Murray, meanwhile, was not invited to the combine and is just trying to wrap his head around his first few professional practices…against fellow NFL rookies as he makes the transition from Central Florida to the NFL.
"Just the fact that I come from a Pro Style offense, it’s a lot easier for me than for other guys running that hurry-up offense so I’m able to take a little of what I learn in the meeting room and be able to come out here and perform well," he said. "I think that’s important -- as long as you can play without thinking, you can play fast.
"If I just go out there and do my job and do whatever they ask, I think (playing time) will come."