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Raiders' Latavius Murray 'has a chance at a huge year'

Barring an unforeseen disaster in Oakland, Latavius Murray will roll into the season as the No. 1 running back for the Raiders.

He "has a chance at a huge year" in new coordinator Bill Musgrave's offense, one team source told ESPN's Adam Caplan, "because he is smart, physically a freak."

Murray came to life down the stretch during his second NFL season, pumping out all but 11 of his 424 yards over the final six games of 2014. His 5.17 yards per tote trailed only four other backs across the entire league. As for Musgrave, the play-caller brings a history of coaching up runners after guiding Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner to massive campaigns.

"Getting a chance to start three games (last season), it's something that I definitely want to continue to build off of," Murray said in May, per the team's official website. "I had that mentality in the offseason just to prepare to be the No. 1 guy and play that way and train that way."

Oakland must believe in Murray considering the dearth of competition they acquired this offseason. Beyond Roy Helu vying for third-down duties, only little-used George Atkinson, undrafted Michael Dyer and the hyper-underwhelming Trent Richardson stand in Murray's way.

What jumps off the screen on Game Rewind is Murray's ability to fly. His 4.38 wheels help bolster a total Speed Score of 121, which ranks above Peterson, DeMarco Murray, Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch and Le'Veon Bell. The typical NFL back owns a Speed Score of roughly 100.

With's Bill Williamson noting that Richardson "has shown no explosion," Murray is on tap to see high-volume work in Oakland. While the Raiders have a long way to go, they can point to Latavius as one young player with plenty of potential.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the best available free agents and the guys play another edition of What's More Likely. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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