After the Raiders selected their second receiver in the 2009 NFL Draft on Sunday, Louis Murphy phoned in to answer questions with the local media.
Murphy became the fifth wide receiver that the Raiders have drafted in the last three years. He’ll join fellow rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey in Oakland May 8th for their first mini-camp as NFL pro’s.
Many, including Mel Kiper, have already called Murphy the best pick that the Oakland Raiders made in this draft.
Below is the transcript of the conference call from earlier today.
Q: When the Raiders drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first round, in your mind did that rule them out at as somebody that would be looking at you later on?
Yeah, I mean you pick a receiver really high and I figured Oakland was off the list. I was looking towards other teams. I never thought I would be going to Oakland.
Q: What did you think when you got the phone call?
I don’t know who called me. I just picked up the phone, they said their name, I can’t remember it was going so fast, and said “it’s the Oakland Raiders, we’re about to pick you in a minute or so. Do you want to be a part of the Oakland Raiders organization?” I said ‘of course. Of course.’
Q: Coach Cable talked about one of the reasons they liked Heyward-Bey was that he didn’t play in the spread. Thought he was more ready because he played in a pro style offense. How difficult is it going to be to go from the offense you ran at Florida to an NFL offense?
I don’t think it will be very difficult. Our offense, some of the plays and routes we run, the coaches took pride in my football knowledge of a pro offense. A lot of the stuff we do is pro, it’s mainly the spread but we run a lot of pro stuff. A lot of deep balls you see me catching and a lot of go routes and post corners is pretty much modeling right after the pro offense. Certain plays and certain routes but we aren’t a spread offense. I think it won’t be a real big learning curve.
Q: Did you come visit the Raiders’ here in Alameda?
I met with the Raiders and I met with the receivers’ coach [Sanjay Lal]. I had a good meeting with the receivers’ coach. We hit it off. We talked and he really wanted to coach me and I didn’t think I’d get a chance to work with him.
Q: You’re coming from a national championship team to a team that’s been struggling for a lot of years, how do you come into that situation mentally?
I’m just going to come in and help where I can. Whatever coach needs me to do to. They got a lot of hard-working players that are going to come in and give it their best. Being on a national championship team, I think Oakland has drafted some players that are championship players that have experienced that. I know all the veterans’ goals are to win and I just want to come in and win games.
Q: What do you know about JaMarcus Russell?
The only thing I know about JaMarcus Russell is when we played them in “The Swamp” my sophomore year I saw him throw the ball and, without even thinking about it, I wouldn’t mind playing with JaMarcus Russell. I never thought about it past that day, but that was my only touchdown of that year when we played against LSU. If I ever went to the NFL, the way he threw the football, it was crazy. Watching him get drafted high and watching him play I wouldn’t mind being a receiver catching deep balls from him.
Q: Percy Harvin got a lot of attention at Florida, now you’re going to be coming in the same draft class as a really high pick, Heyward-Bey, he’ll get most of the attention coming in. Are you okay with that? Being out of the limelight a little bit.
That’s my whole life. That’s my life story. Nothing wrong with that, I’m cool with it. That’s the type of person I am. The Oakland fans will get to know me, I’m laid back, I go hard on the field and I’m proud of Heyward-Bey and his family and I’m ready to go play ball. Not going to be any animosity. I played with Percy and P. Moore, and we were best friends. I’m not a selfish guy and whenever coach throws me the ball I’m going to try and make a big play.
Q: Did it help or hurt to be on a team with Harvin?
Yeah, it helped me win a championship. In what way do you mean?
Q: As far as the recognition? If he wasn’t around, would you have been taken in the first or second round?
Possibly. I don’t really think about it that way. I still thought I’d go first or second round and the cards didn’t fall that way. They fell the way they fell. From the teams I was hearing a lot of first or early second, but the draft is the draft.
Q: You sound kind of upbeat. Was last night kind of a rough night for you?
It was pretty rough. I really thought I was going to go first day, but I was set on whatever God has for me is for me and God wants me in Oakland. I can’t complain.
Q: Did you play QB in high school?
I played some QB freshman and sophomore year. Junior and senior year I played rotating, a little bit of quarterback. But mainly receiver. I played receiver junior and senior year and all four years at Florida. QB a little bit but not too much.
Q: I think you played at the same high school as Cornell Green who’s on this team. He’s a little older than you, but do you know him at all?
I didn’t even know Cornell Green went to our school until yesterday. The newspaper wrote an article about me and had a list of players from our school that plays in the NFL. Cornell was on there. I still haven’t met him.
Q: A lot of people talk about the spread and Florida receivers in a negative way. Does that allow you to work on running shorter routes and work on that aspect of your game?
Yeah. Like 3rd and short, the deep pass isn’t the best option. Sometimes you got to go with a shorter route and it really worked on my agility and quickness. Being able to stop going in one direction and go in another. It really helped my overall game. I’m just trying to learn from the best and give my best out there. Being in the spread offense helped me, but I’ve also learned a lot of pro stuff these past couple of months.