Draft Prospect Can fill All Needs

The San Diego Chargers are looking for a wide receiver who can beat teams deep, and for a kick returner who can swing field position for them. When addressing these two needs during the draft, the team may be looking at one player to alleviate their problems.

Terrence Murphy comes into the NFL draft with an excellent size to speed ratio, an inspired work ethic, and four years of experience playing at Texas A&M, or "Wide Receiver U" as he calls it. With former A&M stars such as Dante Hall, Bethel Johnson and Robert Ferguson currently enjoying successful NFL careers, Murphy believes he is the next in line to make it on the pro level.

"I'm going to give you all I've got," promised Murphy. "I can catch; I can run. I can do it all. I can return kicks. I'm physical. I'll block. I'll do whatever I need to do. I think I'm all-around."

And apparently everyone in the NFL feels the same way. Murphy had private visits with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles, while also receiving interest from teams such as the San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks at the Senior Bowl.

So while coaches and scouts alike may be attracted to his sticky hands and his agility in the open field, Murphy feels it is his ability to do the little things, such as blocking, which sets him apart from the other receivers in this draft class.

"We block more than the tight ends do at practice," Murphy said, regarding how he and his fellow receivers were coached. "We catch the ball, but we're still down there hitting dummies and blocking and knocking each other on the ground. It's just something we do at A&M."

He certainly has the build for it. Murphy checks in at six feet tall and 202 lbs., which is even more impressive given the fact that he can run a 4.45 forty. That, combined with his rare athleticism, makes him a complete receiver. He has the speed to beat opposing cornerbacks deep, and the size to create mismatches against smaller corners, should he line up in the slot.

It comes as no surprise that he is such an all-around player, as the two NFL stars he most admires fit that description as well.

"I think Jerry Rice and Torry Holt," said Murphy, when asked about the receivers he looks up to. "It's not about their play. It's what they do off the field. They also work real hard. I think that's the big thing about me is that I work my butt off."

A player with this kind of desire and dedication fits right into the Marty Schottenheimer mold. The Chargers have rebuilt their team with hard working, high characters players, and Murphy surely fits the description.

Though his senior numbers were not spectacular, 56 receptions for 721 yards and three scores, he has proven to teams that he can impact a game in other ways as well. In addition to providing solid blocking and a contagious work ethic, Murphy can provide help on kick returns as well.

"Everybody just thinks we just run the option all of the time," said Murphy of the A&M offensive scheme, one of the causes for his limited receiving stats, "but we can also catch and return kicks too."

With such a comprehensive skill set, Terrence Murphy can help a lot of teams in a lot of ways. It would likely cost the Chargers the second of their first-round selections to land this rising prospect, but if he can come in and deliver as a kick returner while rounding out an already deep wide receiver corps, well then the 28th pick in the draft would be a small price to pay.

Michael Lombardo can be reached at Lombardo@sandiegosports.net

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