Once the draft was over, Utah tight end Jake Murphy instantly became one of the top undrafted free agents out there. He was rated as high as a fifth round talent. If the Raiders had taken Murphy with one of their three seventh round picks, few would have questioned the selection. So, signing him as a free agent is a very solid move.
The 6-4, 250-pound tight end is more of a pass catcher than a blocker, though he improved his blocking quite a bit last season. He put up good numbers over the past two seasons for the Utes, catching 58 passes for 766 yards and 9 touchdowns. He had 25 catches for 417 yards last season despite missing the five games with a broken wrist.
Murphy isn't a burner but has decent speed. His 4.79 40-yard dash was top ten among tight ends at the scouting combine. Overall he performed well in workouts. He was second among tight ends in the 20-yard shuttle (4.27), fourth in the 3-cone (7.18), and tied for sixth in the 225-pound bench press with 24 reps.
And though he entered the draft as an underclassman, he is about to turn 25 years old. His age plus missing the games last season with his injury were likely part of why he fell out of the draft.
He has all the physical tools to develop into an NFL tight end and should give Nick Kasa a run for his money to make the Raiders' roster. Kasa himself was a bit of a project as a sixth round pick last year and it remains to be seen if he will develop into a quality tight end at the NFL level.
Jake Murphy is son of former six-time Major League Baseball All Star, Dale Murphy. Jake's brother Shawn was an offensive lineman who played at Utah State. He was a fourth round pick by the Dolphins in 2008, spending four seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, Buccaneers, Panthers, and Broncos.
The Raiders are loving them some Utah players lately. Murphy is one of two priority UDFA signings the Raiders following the draft out of Utah. Fullback Karl Williams was the other UDFA signing. This after drafting Utah cornerback Keith McGill in the fourth round.
The Raiders also signed another tight end in Scott Simonson out of Assumption College.