Reader Request Draft Prospect Spotlight
Welcome back to the B&G Report! I recently took the two most requested Reader Request Draft Prospects and put it to a vote on social media. Maryland receiver DJ Moore was the overwhelming winner, over Va Tech DT Tim Settle. Before I evaluated Moore, I wanted to first see his NFL Combine performance and DJ sure impressed! The Redskins will use Free Agency and the Draft, in order to find a coveted “#1 receiver”, which they desperately need. Now it’s time the Terrapin receiver goes under the Spotlight!
DJ Moore’s official measurements were taken during the NFL Combine and he checked in at 6’0 210 lbs. The Maryland receiver was noticeably leaner and muscular. Reports were he was an inch taller and five pounds heavier than his listed bio. Moore finished his college career earning 2017 Big Ten Receiver of The Year honors, with 80 receptions for 1,033receiving yards and 8 TD’s. While those are decent statistics, the fact that he accomplished those numbers with 4 different QB’s at Maryland is more Impressive! The Maryland receiver is also an impressive Kick/Punt Returner. His short area quickness, helps him excel in the return game. Although Moore only returned 15 kicks in 2016 for a 22.3 average and 15 punt returns in 2017 for a 10.2 yard per return average, his snap count was held in check by coaches per per reports. Moore was used heavily in the Terrapin pass offense as their number one option, which forced them to limit Moore’s time on the return team. Moore had the opportunity to become a dangerous returner at Maryland, but he was simply too important to their offense to risk losing to injury. Moore excels at Wide Receiver Slip Screens and Bubble screens. Luckily NFL teams love to utilize those formations. Going by the tape, Moore is shifter than fast. Then he showed up to the Combine and put up 4.42 seconds inthe Forty Yard Dash, showing he had very good timed speed as well. He then proceeded to register 132 inches in the broad jump and an eye opening 39.5 inches in the vertical jump assessment. Based on his season statistics and Combine numbers, Moore seems to have leaped into the discussion as a Late Round 1 prospect. Before the combine started, most Draft experts had a Late 2nd-3rd Round Grade on the Maryland playmaker. Things changed quickly in Indianapolis though, Moore is now a must have prospects for most NFL Teams now!
“People don’t think I’m really that fast, but at the end of the day I’m going to go out there and show them”-DJ Moore
Fit in Washington
DJ Moore truly helped his cause, putting up the previously mentioned Combine numbers. He actually might have took himself out of consideration for Washington, based on his excellent performance over the weekend. DJ saw his stock soar and teams at the back end of the Round 1, now could decide to select the playmaking Maryland WR. Moore brings playmaking qualities to the field and many experts compare him to fellow former Maryland Alum and Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. Personally I don’t see the connection, other than the school they played for. Based on his Return and receiving ability, I don’t really see a comp in the league today. A possible comparison could be a bigger version of Ted Ginn Jr, but that’s a reach based on Moore’s Pre-Snap physicality. After watching film of the Maryland receivers 2017 season, I came away wanting more! The frustration stems from the QB carousel, that took place in College Park in 2017. Moore had the potential to be one of the leading receivers in the country, but Maryland was a bad team with a vanilla offense and not much leadership at the QB position. Moore was used frequently in the screen game in Maryland’s offense, in which he excelled. Unfortunately he never gained a comfort zone, with so many different QB’s throwing him the deep ball on go routes. Moore was out of sync at times, with his MD Quarterbacks, based on the games I watched. Jay Gruden loves to utilize the short/intermediate quick game. My reaction after watching DJ’s film was, he isn’t aggressive enough with the ball in the air. Furthermore he could struggle early on in the NFL, getting off press man coverage. Sure he can catch the short and intermediate passes and take it the distance, but on many occasions the ball would simply sail over his head without him ever extending his arms. I guess what I’m saying is, I like my receivers to show some violence when tracking down the ball. He can be coached up though, that’s why scheme fit will be imperative for the Maryland pass catcher. Although former Redskin WR and current TB Buc Desean Jackson wasn’t the toughest receiver, he was an expert at positioning his body when shielding the ball from DB’s. He has a knack at snatching the ball out of the air, instead of waiting for it to get to his body. On too many occasions, I witnessed Moore body catch the ball, that simply won’t work on a consistent basis in the NFL. Moore might never be the type of player Djax was, but he’s got a chance to be a big time playmaker early on. Some experts believe Moore will only produce as a slot receiver, but I firmly disagree. His short area quickness, allows him to create plays in crowded areas on the field. He was one of the best in College this year at turning short plays, into high percentage YAC. As I previously mentioned Moore helped his stock and now looks to be a Late Round 1 selection. Let’s just say for the sake of argument, Moore is available when the Skins pick in the 2nd Round. The first thought would have to be, can he lineup across the field from Josh Doctson with Jamison Crowder in the slot and produce? The simple answer is yes. If he wants to consistently beat press corners on the next level, the young man will have to continue to refine his hand usage. His deficiencies are all coachable in my opinion though, but his vision with the ball in his hands is second to none. Former teammates and coaches of Moore, rave about Moore’s; football IQ, willingness to learn and most importantly he loves football!
The best case scenario in this situation would be; Washington trades down in Round 2, acquires an extra 3rd round pick to select their Franchise Running Back in Round 3. They would then proceed to use their second round pick to Draft DJ Moore. The Terrapin receiver would step in as the Day 1 Kick/Punt Returner, by mid season Moore takes the #2 WR spot in Washington. In the end I see Moore possibly being selected within the Top 3 at his position, if not the first overall WR Drafted. It’s all pipe dreams at this point in the Draft process, but hey we can still day dream until Draft Night arrives right!
Thank for checking out The B&G Report and I enjoyed putting the prospect evaluations to a vote! You’ll will see more of these Face Book & Twitter polls leading up to theNFL Draft. Stay tuned though, lots more to come with the NFL Combine now concluded and Free Agency quickly approaching!