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Prospect Profile: QB Aaron Murray



Draft Draft Blog - Prospect Profile: QB Aaron Murray

Limping onto the field for a final drive after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, Aaron Murray demonstrated superhuman power of will by returning to aid his team in what would be his final regular season college performance against Kentucky. If this is starting to sound even remotely familiar for Cowboys fans, then this is a prospect you won’t want to miss.

MurrayAaron Murray, senior quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, sat in the locker room while the final snaps of his collegiate campaign took place on the field. Murray’s season was over, finishing with 24 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a passer rating of 154.5. If this were the end of his football career, it would be an unfitting and tragic end for a player that shows enormous potential given the right circumstances.

Fortunately for football fans, Murray will certainly be drafted by one of 32 teams during the 2014 NFL Draft in May. However, he may very well be hearing his name called before the final day of the draft.

Murray is a very sharp quarterback mentally. His reads are normally solid and he has a fantastic sixth-sense in the pocket for feeling pressure that results in some scrambles that should absolutely give Romo fans some gleeful flashbacks. His movement is smooth and he has a certain calm demeanor that is reassuring as he steps forward into pressure to make some of his more difficult throws. His patience has also improved dramatically during his career at Georgia.

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One of my favorite plays from Murray’s 2013 season can be seen against a #9 ranked South Carolina team on 3rd down and 13, with 13:13 left to play in the 4th quarter. Murray takes the snap, drops back, and has no time to plant his feet before the future top-five draft pick Jadeveon Clowney has already broken the pocket by absolutely manhandling the left-tackle, Mark Beard. Clowney is bringing enormous pressure up the middle which is instantaneously identified by Aaron Murray. In that same instant, Murray recognizes that his receiver to the left running a go route has his man beat.

In a single motion, Murray ducks left and takes off; using his legs to buy him some time before Clowney can get to him. He plants his feet and throws a beautiful deep ball to Justin Scott-Wesley, which is promptly taken to the end zone for an 85-yard touchdown (shown at approximately 0:41 in the above video).

College Career

  • Aaron Murray finished his college career as the all-time SEC leader in Pass Completions with 921.
  • Murray is also currently the all-time career leader in the SEC for Passing Yards and Total Yards.
  • In 2012, Murray finished first in both the NCAA and SEC for Passing Yards per Attempt.
  • Murray finished first for Passing Touchdowns in 2011 for the SEC, and 2012 in the NCAA.
  • 2013 Capital One Bowl MVP.
  • Murray was one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Manning Award (also a finalist in 2013).

Areas of Concern

Murray certainly has a play-making ability, but is also prone to making mistakes in short-yardage downs.

He finished first in the SEC in 2011 with 14 interceptions and finished 4th during his senior year with 9 interceptions, despite missing the final two games of the season. With many of his interceptions taking place on short-yard situations, his ability to make pre-snap reads of the defense comes into question. However, in my mind, this is a negative attribute that can certainly be corrected with the right amount of experience in the NFL and with the right coaching. His fluidity and ability to buy time with his legs makes him an intriguing enough prospect to outweigh some of the negatives.

All else aside, Murray is coming into the draft just off of an ACL injury that will certainly hurt his draft stock to some extent. For a team that is looking for a developmental prospect, however, this may not be a deal breaker.

Early Projection

Rounds 2-5

There are a huge number of teams this year with questions surrounding their QB position. It is unclear whether Murray could be ready to play early in the 2014 season, which makes projecting where he will be picked a fairly tough job.

Reports out of Georgia suggest that Murray will be participating in Georgia’s pro day and even performing select drills for team scouts.  Regardless, until he is seen in April his status in regards to draft placement will remain up in the air. For teams with desperate needs at quarterback, Murray is likely not the solution. He needs a little more coaching and time to develop into an NFL caliber starting quarterback, and his progression may be slowed by his recent ACL injury. That being said, he may be the ideal candidate for teams that are looking to develop a successor from the later rounds.

He shows extreme promise with his accuracy, arm strength, and mental makeup that could land him a year or two behind a franchise signal-caller before taking the reins somewhere.

NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.

Josh Norris on Twitter

It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today

With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.

Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.

If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.

Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.

Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.

Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.

The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.

That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.

First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.

DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.

An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.

With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions

"Tier two" of NFL Free Agency is here, meaning the Dallas Cowboys can set their sights on adding depth and filling the holes left by departed FAs Anthony Hitchens and Jonathan Cooper.

It may take another week for mock drafts to reflect the losses of both starters by the Cowboys, but the ongoing draft process does not slow down at any point. A few of the names the Cowboys will bring in for pre-draft 30 visits have already been released, and this week's roundup of national mock drafts continues to address the overall needs on this Dallas roster.

CBS Sports: Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama

CBS Sports' R.J. White:

"Ridley's stock is down after an unimpressive combine, but the Cowboys decided to use one of their predraft visits on the talented wideout, who might not fall any further than this pick. Considering wide receiver is one of the team's biggest needs, they could jump at the chance to draft Ridley, who could eventually take over the No. 1 role if the Cowboys move on from Dez Bryant next offseason, which would save them more than $12 million on the cap."


The Dallas Cowboys will be meeting with free agent WR Allen Hurns today, a tangible second receiver that could immediately upgrade Terrance Williams' position. Hurns, unlike the lesser-known pass catchers the Cowboys looked at previously in free agency, may have enough talent entering his fifth season to take Calvin Ridley out of consideration in the first round.

For now, Ridley should absolutely remain in the conversation as this draft's top receiver. Frequently finding his way to the Cowboys in many post-Combine mock drafts, the Alabama star is just getting started in reaching his football potential and becoming an option for Dak Prescott on the outside.

Draft Wire: Vita Vea, DT - Washington

USA Today Draft Wire's Jacob Infante:

"Vea could realistically go higher than No. 19, but there may not be a ton of teams willing to draft a nose tackle early on in the draft. Vea’s much different from the average nose tackle, though, which is something the Cowboys would see firsthand if they were to pick him."


The hype for Vita Vea as a prospective Dallas Cowboys target has died down ever since Stephen Jones mentioned the team's preference to find 1T DTs with the traits to also rush the passer as a 3T. Simply being "different from the average nose tackle," as Infante writes here, may not be enough for Vea to be selected at 19th overall by the Cowboys.

Should the Cowboys be surprisingly wiped out at both guard and linebacker on their board, considering a rare prospect like Vea and the impact he could make in Rod Marinelli's scheme could become much more realistic though.

An investment like Vea at nose tackle feels like the safest way for the Cowboys to protect their franchise tag investment on DE DeMarcus Lawrence - while also potentially boosting the play of Maliek Collins and David Irving inside at DT.

Drafttek: Isaiah Wynn, G - Georgia

Drafttek's Long Ball:

"... Isaiah Wynn played LOT for the SEC Champion and National Champion runner-up Georgia Bulldogs. Bill O'Brien's South coaching staff moved Wynn inside and he was easily the most impressive interior OL prospect during practice sessions..."


This would be one of the highest value picks the Dallas Cowboys could make at 19th overall. As it stands today, this team is in need of a starting left guard they can trust, which Isaiah Wynn can be from day one at the next level.

Despite their clear need up front, using another first round pick on an offensive lineman will surely generate some eyes rolls around Dallas on draft night. As if his mauling style of play and NFL-ready build aren't enough for the Cowboys to sell their fans on Wynn, his flexibility to provide needed depth at OT puts this Georgia product over the top.

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Recent trades by the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills to shake up the draft order may just be scratching the surface for the run of quarterbacks that takes place annually atop each draft. With as many as five QBs coming off the board prior to the Cowboys' first pick, their ability to add a quality starter at a position of need looks good.

Exactly what these positions of need will be by the end of free agency, and which prospects fill needs in Dallas, will update weekly as we continue to prepare you for the 2018 NFL Draft here at Inside The Star.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts Address Needs at 3 Different Positions" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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