(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2020 NFL Draft isn't until April 23, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray.)
- Name: Kenneth Murray
- Position: LB
- Height/Weight: 6-2/240
- Honors: The Missouri City, Texas native was an AP third-team All-American for the Sooners as a junior last season. Murray was either All-Big-12 (2019, 2018) or honorable mention (2017) all three years on campus.
- Key Stat: Despite leaving for the draft early, Murray ranks 11th all-time in Oklahoma history with 335 tackles, including 155 as a sophomore in 2018 – the most by a Sooners player in over a decade.
Where He's Projected:
Some draft observers think Murray might go off the board sometime on Day 2, but it's quite possible he moves into the first round for a team needing linebacker help. Murray's NFL Combine audition was cut short by a hamstring injury suffered on his second 40-yard dash time, and he sat out of Oklahoma's Pro Day in early March. But that minor setback shouldn't affect his draft stock. He tested well before the injury, including a 4.52 40 time, and his game tape shows he's a dynamic inside linebacker prospect with outstanding range as a tackler and blitzer.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
The Cowboys have rebuilt their linebacker depth largely through the NFL Draft. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch were early-round picks who have developed into starters when healthy. The Cowboys are confident Vander Esch will make a full recovery from January neck surgery, but they could look to the draft for depth and special teams help. The club did re-sign three veterans, including Sean Lee, and Murray might require too much of an early-round investment. (Corner and edge rusher are arguably greater needs.) But, wherever he ends up, Murray has the quickness and range to play on running and passing downs at the next level. He's also a high-character prospect, evident in his pre-draft visit with the Cowboys.