Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (34) intercepts a pass by New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (not shown) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Keep Watch on Latavius Murray


If playing defense will be the focus of the 2014 Oakland Raiders, they will need a solid ground game.  Could Latavius Murray emerge as their go-to guy?

Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have big red flags

Running the ball is a great way to control the flow of an NFL game, especially for a team that is trying to work in a new quarterback and play with a defensive mentality.  It controls the clock, wears defenses down and sets up the possibility of big plays off play action.  This is the idea the Oakland Raiders have in mind, which is why they carefully spent their money in free agency to bring back Darren McFadden and add veteran Maurice Jones-Drew.

Both have had success in the past and hopes are high the two of them sharing carries can do great things for Oakland.  At the same time there is risk involved.  McFadden has never completed a full season as a pro, dealing with a multitude of injuries.  Jones-Drew lost a step following his own season-ending injury and contemplated retirement before the Raiders came calling.  Neither has any recent game tape to suggest they have the capacity to carry an offense on their back.

Murray has talent and surprise on his side this NFL season

Such situations offer prime opportunity for younger players to seize the moment, especially at a position that demands fresh bodies.  One name that has flown deep under the radar for over a year now is Latavius Murray.  The Oakland Raiders acquired the Central Florida product in the 6th round of the NFL draft last year.  Nobody really got to see what he could do as he landed on injured reserved before he could even reach the regular season.  It overshadows the impressive repertoire the young man has.

Not only is Murray a rangy 6’3″, which is very tall for a running back, he displayed a remarkable blend of speed and strength at the scouting combine.  That too reflected in his play as he ran for 1,106 yards and received for 237 more his final year for the Knights, scoring 19 touchdowns.  If not for a freak ankle injury he had a chance to outpace Rashad Jennings as the backup to McFadden last year.  Jennings is gone now, and Murray is healthy.

If anybody can emerge to elevate the Raiders offense, watch out for this 24-year old.

Tags: Darren McFadden Featured Latavius Murray Maurice Jones-Drew NFL Oakland Raiders Popular

  • Don

    He changed his number from 34 to 28 I believe. Wearing that number old number was allot of pressure as a Raider.

    • Erik Lambert

      Wearing that number as a running back is tough period.

  • Raider Grant

    It would be AWESOME if Latavius blows it up this season, and good possibily he could be starting due to the two injury prone backs ahead of them. I can’t wait to see him in action & hope to be wrong about the Raiders draft Kenjon Barner from Oregon instead. Go Raiders!!!

  • Mike

    Well, the player in the picture above the article “intercepting a pass by Geno Smith” is not Murray. It’s actually Linebacker Kevin Burnett, number #94. How could Murray, a running back, intercept a pass from an opposing QB, when he’s an offensive player not a defensive player?

    • Erik Lambert

      Ask the guy from USA Today who insisted the picture was Murray in the description.

    • raidernation

      Well the first sentence is about the defense, how the Raiders have focus on it.. so thats y they have Burnett int a pass….

    • KloverJane

      Im surprised a picture uploaded…

  • VT

    Holy Shit!!! Raiders running back LTM intercepting passes now, even though he was out the entire season lmao

  • Bryant Lyles

    the kid has to step up.he will be called upon this season that’s a guarantee

  • General Patten

    They gotta start winnin’ at some point… this is best team “on paper” since Gannon’s team. Defense better on current piece of paper too.