Darkhorses of the Draft: A Case for Florida Wide Receiver Louis Murphy

Ben SpicerCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2009

Each and every draft hosted by the National Football League has it's share of fine athletes and blossoming talent, but one would agree that there's a particular aspect within the base of the draft that defines it all: late-round draft selections.

Within these late-round picks emerges legends, legends that weren't highly sought after due to a specific weakness or their statistics at the collegiate level. There's been more than a few players which have come unto the scene and made a lasting impact as a pick in the closing rounds.

One notable selection would be New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

With the draft steadily approaching, it's time to look ahead to those types of role players, ones that aren't getting the attention they deserve. In a day and age when you're just as likely to select a winner as you are a loser, you must manage the final rounds effectively in order to produce a talent with a Super Bowl mindset.

A legend looms over the University of Florida, one that dismantles all hopes of success at the position of receiver in the National Football League. During the Steve Spurrier era, the Fun 'N Gun offensive system posed an aerial attack which statistically had receivers looking poised for success at the next level.

Unfortunately, many victims of the Fun 'N Gun system left their skill demonstrated in college back on campus, struggling to make the transition from Saturday to Sunday.

Whilst at Florida, names such as Jacquez Green, Reche Caldwell, Jabar Gaffney, and Chad Jackson were all second nature. Each had a specific role in their respective career at Florida, each pertaining to a type of productivity that almost guaranteed success in the National Football League.

However, those four receivers never answered the call. The quad has a career average of 29 receptions per season, 369 receiving yards per season, and two total touchdowns per season.

With atrocities like those mentioned above, one would ponder why scouts would even examine the possibility of drafting a receiver of this caliber.

This year, the draft will likely see two Florida receivers be drafted. The obvious one is run-catch threat in Percy Harvin, but the second might be a diamond in the rough for the team who decides to draft him.

That diamond in the rough is senior wide receiver Louis Murphy.

I like to consider Murphy a pro-style wide receiver trapped in his worst nightmare, the spread offense. Primarily drawn up to get playmakers into the open field, the spread offense for Murphy has mostly been deep passes, and he's been amazingly consistent as far as that goes.

Underrated in the speed department behind the likes of Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey and Percy Harvin himself, Murphy boasts sure 4.4 speed with excellent field vision and cutting ability.

Problem is, Chad Jackson boasted the same characteristics. Jackson, who was mentioned above as one of the infamous Florida receiver busts, has caught only 13 career passes for 152 career receiving yards and three career receiving touchdowns.

Pending a call and a chance to reverse the fate that has recently been evident amongst the Florida receiver alumnus these past few draft days. Louis Murphy quite possibly could be one of the offensive dark horses in the 2009 NFL Draft.