Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Larrell Murchison could prove to have been a great value pick for the team, his college position coach said.
“I told him 100 times, ‘I don’t know where you’ll get drafted.’ I think [the Titans] got a steal,” said Kevin Patrick, Murchison’s DL coach at NC State.
The fifth-round pick has the versatility and an attitude that could make him the perfect complement to the Titans’ starting tailback, Derrick Henry. Riley explained why in an interview with A to Z Sports.
“You’re a Defensive Lineman”
Robinson: Larrell Murchison was the last player I looked at last night before I closed up my computer and went to bed.
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) April 26, 2020
Early in his Titans career, Murchison’s role figures to be that of a rotational player along the defensive front.
His ability to play anywhere along the line, including as an edge rusher, should help him immensely in getting consistent playing time.
“I don’t tell them ‘you’re a defensive end’ or ‘you’re a defensive tackle.’ You’re a defensive lineman,” Patrick said.
“That’s what Murchison believes that he is. You want him to stand up? He’s going to stand up and work his ass off at it. He’s a very unselfish player.
“Remember How Bad Your Stance Was?”
Murchison’s career at NC State was epitomized by constant improvement.
When the 6-foot-3, 291-pounder arrived in Raleigh after transferring to junior college, it was clear that he had some work to do.
“You could tell right away that he was raw,” Patrick said.
“He was in a bad stance—his knee was almost on the ground. It was very unorthodox looking.”
But, because of Murchison’s athleticism and drive to refine his game, Patrick and the NC State coaching staff knew they had something to work with.
“More than anything, you could tell, right off the bat, his desire, his passion. His willingness to learn the game and not just play at a high level but learn at a high level was ingrained in him,” Patrick said.
That willingness to learn began to pay dividends for Murchison in a 2018 game against Virginia. He recorded three sacks and never looked back.
“It’s just like it clicked, and he just exploded,” Patrick said. “I mean, like a man child.”
Hanging On Every Word
Larrell Murchison on this guitar playing sack dance:
Saw it on instagram one day. Thought it would be fun to add my own little twist to it. Says he doesn’t know how to play the guitar. #Nashville
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) April 25, 2020
Not only is Murchison a hard worker, but he’s a good listener, as well.
Patrick found that out while speaking to Murchison following his junior season in 2018.
“We were talking in our exit meeting and I said, ‘Murch, tell me this, do you remember how bad your stance was when you came in? You were just kind of lost, trying to get acclimated. What was the biggest difference between year one and year two?’
“He goes, ‘I learned in that year to hang on every word that was being said and being taught … every drill that we do, I’m going to do it down to the precise words and description and coaching of how to do that drill. I’m going to do it with everything I’ve got.'”
Patrick, who coached multiple talented defensive linemen at NC State including Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos, said that Murchison’s attitude was something special.
“He just bought into it. He just bought into the work. We can coach our tails off all we want, but at some point, these guys have to just buy into the lifestyle, as I call it.
“Every year he was there as a player, he would sprint onto the field for every practice. He brought enthusiasm. He said, ‘I’m ready to go, I’m ready to be a leader, I’m ready to go to work.'”
The Titans entered the 2020 NFL Draft needing to improve their depth and versatility along the defensive line. Murchison may end up giving them exactly what they were looking for.
Cover image: Rob Kinnan/USA Today