The leap from the college game to the NFL can be too much for rookies, and often overwhelms them, but that definitely won’t be the case with Kenneth Murray. He’s already faced his fair share of adversity.

When Murray was just 10 years old, his mother and father adopted three young children with special needs. Murray stepped up and not only welcomed them unquestionably as members of the family, but helped raise them when he was just an adolescent.

A terrific combine now has him rocketing up draft boards and potentially into the lap of the Denver Broncos, but would he be a good fit?


As you could probably guess, Murray’s character is off the charts. According to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager via the Around the NFL Podcast, all the coaches he talked with said Murray was their favorite player they’d interviewed with.

These coaches also told Schrager that Murray was very personable and charismatic and that he was such a natural leader that, “If we had a top-10 pick we would have to consider him. He was that much of a leader.”

This is evidenced by the fact that he was voted a defensive captain for Oklahoma as an underclassmen.

Murray isn’t just an incredible leader with sky-high football IQ and character though, he’s also a supremely talented and productive linebacker. He recorded 257 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

He also has high-end instincts and is able to do anything you’d ask of him. He’s not elite in coverage, but he’s plenty adequate, and he’s also good at spying the quarterback or blitzing.


Murray constantly made big plays for the Sooners all throughout his college career, but sometimes you can tell that he’s so eager to make a big play, he accidentally makes the wrong play.

Because he’s such an aggressive player with good speed, when he makes that wrong decision, he runs himself out of the play quickly.

Also, while he makes up for it in the mental side of the game, he doesn’t have the jaw-dropping traits you would expect a linebacker drafted in the top 20 to have, ala Devin White in the 2019 class.


The Broncos made two colossal first-round missteps by drafting Paxton Lynch and Garett Bolles in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Since then, John Elway and Co. changed their draft plan to focus on high character guys who love football, which has led to stellar drafts the past two seasons.

Murray fits that mold like a glove and would give the Broncos a great player and even better leader to be the centerpiece of their defense for the next decade.

The value at 15 is poor, but if the Broncos could figure out a way to trade back to the late teens or early 20s, Murray would be the perfect first-round selection

Draft Projection: Mid-late first round.

Pro comparison: C.J. Mosley