Latavius Murray makes strong first impression

Thearon W. Henderson

Raiders round six draft pick, Latavius Murray, looks good in Raiders rookie minicamp.

It was day two of Raiders rookie minicamp where we would get our first glimpse of the newest Raiders and Raider hopefuls looked like on the practice field. There were several standouts among them.

Probably the most impressive from the moment he stepped on the field was sixth round running back, Latavius Murray. At 6-3, 230 pounds, he is bigger than most running backs. He practically towers over every other running back on the field. He almost looks like a receiver out there but stronger than most receivers.

Coming through the line, his size and strength let you know he is certainly a running back. He made some decisive moves to break through line on several nice runs. Then later, the team had him running routes with the receivers where he flashed some impressive hands as well. This isn't news to Dennis Allen.

"That was one of the things we saw on tape that they did with him there at Central Florida is they were able to use him out of the backfield to catch the ball," said Dennis Allen. "He's done a real nice job at that. He runs nice routes, he's extremely intelligent so he's picked up the offense really well, and he's got really soft hands so he does a nice job not only catching the ball but when you look at it he's done a nice job of picking up in pass protection."

The big back continued to impress in team drills both as a runner and receiver. At one point, he turned around in the flat as a ball was on him, reached back and hauled in a pass behind him with one hand like it was nothing at all.

"I just know [receiving] is a bonus I bring to the table, a strength of mine so I just gotta make sure I go out there and make sure it's something I'm comfortable doing which it is and bring it to the field every day."

Murray also credits his familiarity with the Raiders offensive style to his early returns.

"I come from a Pro Style offense (at Central Florida)," said Murray. "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. I think that's important as long as you can play without thinking, you can play fast."

It is, of course, very early yet, but it is easy to see why the Raiders fell in love with Murray enough to draft him despite most people not knowing a whole lot about him. We'll see how he performs when he is going against actual NFL players next week. But, for now, he certainly has shown he has the tools.

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