The "Seahawks Sleepers" series is a flurry of quick scouting reports on some players that I've identified as potential targets for Seattle. My goal with this series is to highlight a few players that John Schneider, Pete Carroll and their scouting team might be interested in, and to give a brief synopsis as to why. For the most part, I'm high on the guys that I'll be pointing out - and I'll be monitoring them during the Draft and in Rookie Free Agency. Also, for the most part, these are mid- to later-round prospects, because let's be honest, you're probably sick of reading about first- and second-round type guys.
HB/RB Latavius Murray, UCF - 6'3, 225
Murray is a small school running back that's generating a lot of buzz lately and I can see the Seahawks falling in love with this guy for a couple of reasons - first off, he displays great ball security for a feature back - as Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post tells us:
"Murray went 407 carries at Central Florida without losing a fumble, including this past season when he led Conference USA in rushing. His last lost fumble came in 2008, against Memphis, when Mike Shanahan was still the Broncos' coach. It was Murray's only lost fumble in his career - which had 453 carries."
Says Murray: "I guess I just have always understood the ball is important; playing another down is important. You always want the extra yard, to give your team a little something extra, to get everything you can out of a run. But you have to finish with the ball in your hands, and I think ball security on every play. You don't want to be that guy who puts the ball on the ground. You're probably coming out if you do, and I wanted to stay in. I always want to stay in."
This has got to appeal to Pete Carroll, who preaches taking care of the football over almost everything else. Also appealing about Murray is his freakish athleticism. At UCF's Pro Day, Murray weighed in at 6-foot-2 5/8 and 223 pounds, ran a 4.4 and 4.38 40-yard dash, registered a 10-foot-4 broad jump and a 36-inch vertical jump, ran 4.36 seconds in the short shuttle and an absurd 6.81 seconds in the 3-cone. This guy can move.
Murray ran for 1,106 yards at a 5.6 ypc clip for 15 touchdowns in 2012, and tacked on four more TDs on receptions (27 catches for 231 yards).
When you watch the tape though, it's hard to tell if running back is his natural position at the next level. When I watch it, I see a probable H-Back type - a guy that you can line up all over the formation and use him as an outlet receiver, a blocker on the move, and even hand it off to him from time to time. The versatile ways you could use Murray intrigue me.
At nearly 6'3, I don't think that Murray runs with the pad level or power that teams might desire so it should be interesting to see how he's used in an NFL offense. I do know though that he has the athleticism to play at the next level, and wouldn't be surprised one bit if the Seahawks show some interest. Michael Robinson isn't getting any older or cheaper, and while Murray lacks the lead-blocking chops that Robinson has developed, he possesses the size and speed to develop in that area.