Is DeMarco Murray the Best Running Back in the Nation?

Updated: September 29, 2010

This season has seen lots of different runners explode on to the national scene. Heisman winner Mark Ingram and his backup Trent Richardson both got a lot of press, as well as Ryan Williams of Virigina Tech, LaMichael James of Oregon, and West Virginia’s Noel Devine. But why is no one really talking about Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray?

He may be the best player that no one is talking about right now.

In just four games Murray already has 436 yards and seven touchdowns. Only four players in the FBS have scored more times on the ground than Murray. The 436 yards has him pegged at 16, but what is more noteworthy is the 105 carries he has taken already in just four games. No one has carried the rock more than Murray so far.

It is obvious that right now Murray is Oklahoma’s offense. He is averaging 26 carries a game and putting up the points along the way. This ability to carry the load should really put him on the radar for the 2011 NFL Draft, but you don’t hear his name called much. Why?

Players like Noel Devine and LaMichael James have highlight reels of jukes and hurdles. While Murray has done those things in the past, he has far less videogame-like highlight plays than those players. Playing for a Oklahoma team without Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham also isn’t helping him make Sportscenter.

If Demarco Murray continues to quietly carry the Sooners offense don’t be surprised to hear his name called in the top 15 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft. Too many teams could use a legit runner on their squad right now. If I had to predict the future I’d say don’t be surprised to see Murray in the AFC East in 2011. New England owns Oakland’s first rounder and could use a runner like Murray to fill the gaping hole in their backfield.