Player Spotlight Edition: Season 2 Featuring Fabian Moreau
Welcome back to the B&G Report. Last season The B&G Report featured the Redskins 2017 newcomers in the Rookie Spotlight Edition. Last season former UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau was just one the rookies evaluated. Moreau’s opportunities in 2017 mainly came on Special Teams. The Redskins reportedly have high hopes for Moreau, going into the 2018 season. Many in the scouting community had Moreau as a potential 1st round talent, prior to his 2017 Pro Day pectoral injury. So landing the former UCLA corner in the 3rd round was a steal! Redskins fans need to also keep in mind, that Moreau was brought to UCLA as a running back. So the second year corner is still learning the nuances of the position. At UCLA Moreau relied on his speed and athleticism, on the next level he’ll have to perfect his technique though. What opportunities lie ahead, we can only speculate at this point. That in fact is all we can really do this time of year, but making it a productive discussion is key. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Although Moreau only finsihsed 2017 with 3 tackles, the 2017 3rd rounder’s play on Special Teams can’t be overlooked. The raw speed and athleticism the former Bruin displayed, showed his ceiling is much more than just a Special Teams demon m. Moreau really flashed in the second game of the 2017 preseason vs Green Bay. In that game Moreau forced a fumble on a punt return and recorded two special teams tackles. On both tackles, he was the first player down the field. The lack of opportunities after that game are a head scratcher though. I understand Moreau was less than four months removed from 2017 pectoral surgery, but I was surprised the 3rd round cornet wasn’t giving more opportunities. While the injury bug struck the Redskins hard in 2017, the cornerback group stayed intact for the most part. Norman’s absence due to a broken rib/cartilage injury early in 2017, really hurt the pass defense. Norman just wasn’t the same after he returned. One would have thought, that Norman’s injury and the up & down play from Bashaud Breeland would have equaled more opportunities for the former Bruin. Many factors could have led to the lack of playing time for Moreau, but opportunities will be available this season. This past December, Moreau was the focus of a B&G Report Rookie Spotlight. As previously written (Link Below), Moreau should focus on Special Teams in 2017 and should gain more snaps on defense in ’18. Also previously mentioned was the inevitable departure of Breeland, but I never thought Kendall Fuller would be gone as well. So in the end, my tempered expectations were appropriate. The expectations for Moreau should be heightened this offseason though, so could we see a major impact from the 2017 Rookie corner in ’18? The answer is yes, barring injury in my humble opinion.
(2017 Moreau Rookie Spotlight Below)
What To Expect
With the trade of Fuller to KC for Alex Smith and the departure of Breeland via Free Agency, opportunities will be plenty for Moreau! Per reports the current cornerback depth chart is as follows; Josh Norman, Orlando Scandrick Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Morea, Greg Stroman(R) and Joshua Holsey. At this point in the offseason, these kinds of depth charts are written in pencil. First, although reports state that Scandrick is currently the #2 corner, I don’t see that sticking. Word is Scandrick would slide over to the slot in Nickel Formations with Dunbar lining up opposite Norman. Although the former Cowboy corner brings experience to the Skins, he also brings an alarming injury history. The Redskins didn’t commit long term to Scandrick, infact they really didn’t commit to him short term either per ESPN Redskins Insider John Keim.
“Corner Orlando Scandrick received a $1 million signing bonus from Washington, but there’s no other guaranteed money in his two-year contract. He’ll count $2.6 million vs the salary cap in 2018 and $4.25 million in 2019.”
Personally I think Dunbar will have a really good year, his length could be very valuable in the slot as well though. I’m just not a big Scandrick fan as you can probably tell. Former NY Giant cornerback DRC seemed like the better option, after the Redskins reportedly made him a contract offer. Reports later surfaced, that the guaranteed money offered was an issue. If that’s the case, I applaud the Redskins restraint. I like the idea of having a cheap veteran alternative at cornerback, but I refuse to believe Coaches like him over Dunbar and Moreau. Again having a veteran presence other than Norman can’t be overlooked. Redskins second year Defensive Backs Coach Torrian Gray, will be a big reason for this youngsters success, as well as the success of the entire unit. What he did with Fuller in only his second season, as the slot corner was simply amazing! If Norman, Dunbar and Scandrick make it to the season opener healthy, that looks to be the depth chart at corner to start. The X-Factor will be injuries, as it always is. Look for Morea to grab Scandrick’s spot, early in the season and possibly challenge Dunbar for the #2 corner.
Moreau is this year’s B&G Report’s prediction for Washington Breakout Defensive Player of the Year. It’s an early prediction for sure, but his college game film is impressive! The former UCLA corner’s aggressiveness and athleticism give him the edge over Scandrick, but he just needs to be patient. The Week #6 lineup should feature Moreau as the #2 or #3 corner, but it’ll all depends on his fight and perseverance.
Stay tuned for more player analysis, season predictions and much much more!
*Credit to Gettyimages.com and The Washington Times for player photos *