On Wednesday, the team announced that they have signed
rookie defensive end Marques Murrell. Murrell is the younger brother
of former Jets running back Adrian Murrell, who had a solid Jets career spanning five years in the mid-90's.
Marques played his college ball at Appalachian State, and was signed
as a rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles during the
off-season. He eventually earned himself a spot on their practice
Ironically, a key component to Murrell's ability to make the Eagles practice squad
roster, was his performance against the Jets in the final game of the
pre-season. He was credited with two sacks, and two forced fumbles as
he wrecked havoc on the Jets second team offense.
With another family member now donning Green, Marques wasn't the only
Murrell thrilled with the news.
"He was pretty happy and excited," Marques said of his brother's
reaction to finding out the Jets had signed him. "He is going to be up
here for (my) first home game against Pittsburgh. He has been pretty
excited and so has the rest of the family."
Murrell was a two-time All-American at Appalachian State, helping his
team to consecutive 1-AA National Championships. He finished his
collegiate career with 36 sacks and 18 forced
Although Murrell has played the bulk of his career as a defensive end,
the Jets plan on utilizing his pass-rushing skills at linebacker. A
logical transition, given the Eric Mangini 3-4 scheme that relies so
heavily on the linebacker's ability to get to the quarterback.
If Murrell can successfully make the shift, he would not be the first
Mangini coached player to do so.
"In the linebacker types you always want the ability to play the run,
be a downhill player but also transition and have the pass rush
ability," Mangini said during his Wednesday press conference. "(Teddy)
Bruschi is a great example of that. He had a zillion sacks in college
and ended up transitioning into the inside linebacker role. Now when
he rushes from that spot, he's pretty difficult to block and you see
the same savvy that you saw in college."
Although Murrell's linebacking experience is limited to a few all-star
games and the Eagles practice squad, the Jets brain-trust felt
comfortable enough in his ability to grasp the system to sign him to
the active roster.