When the Oakland Raiders drafted Louis Murphy in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft, I bet they never thought he would be tied for the most receptions and leading the team in receiving yards with 138 yards.
Now that's not an amazing number by any means. But he definitely has shown signs of being a polished receiver.
You can't forget about the great catch he made in the MNF home opener that gave the Raiders a 14-7 lead, but was then reviewed and overturned because the officials like to find any way to keep the Raiders down. That's a story for another day.
Aside from being robbed of his first NFL TD, how did Murphy respond to this? He shook his head, looked disappointed, and then went on later to burn past three San Diego defenders to score on a 57-yard bomb by JaMarcus Russell.
He hasn't had a huge breakout game yet, but I believe it is coming soon. Well, that is once JaMarcus realizes how to be an NFL quarterback.
Regardless, Murphy has what it takes to be a great NFL receiver. He knows how to run routes. He can catch the ball. When he makes a great play, he doesn't get up shouting and yelling so that everyone knows he just did something great. Instead he goes back into the huddle, gets the play, and goes out and tries to do it again.
Now, how is it that a fourth round pick can be better than your first round pick? It's because Al Davis is blinded by a player's speed and ignores any other flaw he might have, such as bad route running and dropped balls—that and Murphy's passion to be a better player.
Now I'm not trying to pick on Darrius Heyward-Bey, but he is definitely not worth the $23.5 million the Raiders paid him. Maybe with some proper coaching and conditioning, he will prove me wrong.
I think once the Raiders get the JaMarcus bust on track, figure out how to call plays, fix Darren McFadden's fumbling problem, and once Chaz Schilens returns from a fractured foot, they can have one of the most feared offenses in the league.
With Schilens, Murphy, and Zach Miller being your targets, I see nothing but great opportunities to make big plays.
But like I said, it all hinges on Russell learning how to focus on his job and not his money. He needs to not go for the big play all the time and make smarter decisions. Pound the run, throw the dink and dunk passes, and then when it opens up, throw it deep to Murphy and let him do the rest.
No matter what, I see great things from Louis Murphy. He has the potential to be one of the greats.