Marcus Murphy: Tough road ahead for Saints rookie running back
There’s no question to it — the New Orleans Saints‘ backfield is crowded. Locking up Mark Ingram and signing C.J. Spiller were both crucial offseason moves. Khiry Robinson is looking sharp, and veteran Tim Hightower seeks to make his comeback in the NFL as a Saint.
Edwin Baker, an undrafted free agent in 2014, looks to make his claim at training camp, while seventh-round pick Marcus Murphy will also be fighting for his chance in the big leagues, but it’s a tough road ahead for the rookie from Missouri.
Not only will Marcus Murphy be involved in an uphill battle out of the backfield, but the return game is strong, and roster spots are limited. Jalen Saunders, Brandin Cooks (lock) and C.J. Spiller (lock) are all candidates, so it’s A-game or bust for Marcus Murphy, who muffed a kick Friday morning at practice. Josh Morgan was even in there shagging kicks.
Nevertheless, Murphy’s talents could without question be installed into the Saints’ plans. He’s undersized at 5-foot-8, but his performance usually overshadowed his stature. He was an all-purpose back at Missouri, displaying his talents in the run, pass and return game, and honored as a first-team All-SEC selection (all-purpose).
ESPN compared Marcus Murphy to Darren Sproles after New Orleans made the pick in the seventh round. However, with a 4.61 40-yard dash, he’s not as fast the former Saint. NFL.com compares him to Dexter McCluster.
Murphy has been described as one of college football’s most dynamic all-purpose backs, so again, New Orleans could certainly make use of his athleticism both out of the backfield and in the return game. Like everybody else out there, Marcus Murphy controls his own destiny.
It’s a tough road ahead for the youngster — just because he’s a draft pick doesn’t mean he’s a lock to make the 53-man roster. But with training camp just getting underway, he’ll have plenty of time to prove his worth.
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