Chargers: 3 numbers for rookie LB Kenneth Murray to target in 2020

Kenneth Murray, Chargers
NFL Analysis Network

Over the last few years, the Los Angeles Chargers have been putting together a defense that is filled to the brim with elite individual talent. We obviously have yet to see the group realize its full potential, but that can be traced back to injuries and the required time it’s taken to acquire them through both the NFL Draft and free agency–highlighted by Kenneth Murray.

However, we are led to believe that 2020 might finally be that year. On the defensive line, Los Angeles has two of the most exciting pass rushers in the league in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, who combined to post 18.5 sacks and 33 QB hits last season. Furthermore, the addition of veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph will only make the life of 2019 first-round pick Jerry Tillery easier. 

In the secondary, the Chargers will be hoping that safety Derwin James, who was named an All-Pro as a rookie in 2018, returns to that form after a stress fracture in his foot ended his sophomore campaign after just five games. They also added four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris Jr. this offseason to complement the likes of Casey Hayward and Desmond King. 

While there’s no denying that Los Angeles’ defensive line and secondary carry the most star power, the one area that could take the unit to new heights this upcoming season is the linebacker position. In our eyes, the production of rookie Kenneth Murray, who’s projected to play heavy snaps, will be crucial in determining the ceiling of that group. 

It’s largely expected that second-year pro Drue Tranquill will handle the majority of coverage responsibilities, and that could see Murray tasked with wreaking havoc at the line of scrimmage. That might lead to the Oklahoma product absolutely padding the stat sheet. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three goals he should set for himself in Year 1.