PHOENIX -- Adjusting to man coverage in the NFL might be the easiest part of Eric Murray's transition to the next level of football.
He played on an island for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and is projected as a third- or fourth-round pick in the NFL draft.
"When we’d rotate the coverage to the field, I was a boundary corner so I played one-on-one with a lot of people by myself," Murray told ESPN. "That’s how I made a name for myself and I want to continue putting a stake on that and that’s who I am."
If Jerraud Powers ends up a free agent, Murray could be an option as his replacement for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s experienced at cornerback, having started the past three years. ESPN.com rated his durability and intangibles as exceptional, while his production and height-weight-speed are rated above average.
But Murray has the self-awareness to understand where he needs to improve.
"I’m an aggressive guy," Murray said. "I like to use my hands a lot. I know that’s something I’d have to work on at the next level, because it’s less of a hands game. It’s more of a feet game, so that’ll be a little bit of a transition for me.
"I love helping in run support. That’s not a problem for me. I love tackling and just being a physical football player out there."
Murray models his game after former Cardinals cornerback and current New York Jet Antonio Cromartie. Murray concedes that Cromartie is more "physically gifted" but "I feel like his aggressiveness and his style of play is more of what I do."
Murray has the quickness to complement 4.4 speed, which will be necessary if he were to play opposite Cardinals Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson.
"I'm not like the fastest guy, but I feel like I got some giddy-up to me," Murray said. "And then me being quick, that’ll just only help me. I feel I’m more quick than fast."