The parade of free agents experienced in 3-4 alignments continues in Denver as former New York Jets linebacker Marques Murrell is scheduled to visit with the Broncos today. I have taken the liberty of getting to know Marques through his several bios strewn about the Internet and am happy to introduce him to you all now.
The 24-year-old, 6'2", 250 pound native of Fayetteville, North Carolina served primarily as a special teams player - on both coverage and return units - over the last three seasons for the Jets. Off the field, Murrell was active in his community, speaking to school children about the importance of eating right, exercising properly and other such topics.
Murrell went undrafted out of Appalachian State in 2007 and did not catch on with the Philadelphia Eagles - the first NFL team to sign him as an undrafted free agent - but don't let humble beginning to his professional career overshadow his impressive amateur resume. Living up to his billing as a two-time All-Region defensive end in high school, Marques was a driving force behind the Mountaineers back to back Division I-AA National Championships in 2005 and 2006. As an individual, he was twice named a first team All-American, compiling 36 sacks and a school-record 18 forced fumbles throughout his college career. He graduated from the university with a degree in finance and banking.
Despite playing mostly on special teams, Murrell has flashed his playmaking potential by forcing two fumbles in that limited role. His most prominent moment in the NFL, however, came last season when he (and teammate James Ihedigbo) threw punches during a scuffle with Derek Fine of the Buffalo Bills last season; for that, he was fined $50,000 by the league and supended for one game by his team. It was the only such instance of his young career.
If he signs on to join the Denver Broncos, Murrell would likely step into a prominent role in every special teams unit and be part of the mix at outside linebacker as a pass rush specialist. Marques is the sort of player who has a way of not only getting to the QB, but also of causing turnovers while he's at it. This would be another low-key and yet invaluable addition to the team as they continue to develop roster depth and strengthen the special teams.