I do not fully put this one on Kenneth Murray as he has not been utilized to the best of his abilities. However, he is another example of the young talent not stepping up on the LA Chargers and that ultimately has been the reason why the team has struggled this season.
Murray has taken a big role right away in the Chargers’ defense due to Drue Tranquill’s injury in Week 1 and I am sure that has some sort of impact on how Gus Bradley is using him. However, it still makes no sense that they took Murray to play him like he is Patrick Queen.
The knock against Murray heading into the league was that he was not great in pass coverage and that has translated into the NFL. He absolutely has the athleticism and football mind to make strides in that area but we all knew it would take time.
The Chargers seemingly didn’t. They drafted a rookie linebacker who struggles in pass coverage to use him primarily in pass coverage. Again, why not draft a linebacker who is proficient in pass coverage, like Queen?
I still like the selection of Murray and he has a lot of potential but it has been a shame to see him get so misused. Per Pro Football Focus, Murray has played 573 total snaps this season; 342 (just under 60%) have been in pass coverage.
Of course, part of the reason why that happens is due to the passing nature of the NFL but the team has only blitzed Murray 18 times. He averages 1.8 blitzes per game. That is it.
He has been absolutely exposed in pass-coverage, allowing 29 receptions in 35 targets thus far.