ARLINGTON- The 2018 draft features highly touted receivers that will likely be selected in the first two rounds. Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, Southern Methodist’s Courtland Sutton, and Texas A/M’s Christian Kirk are among the prominent receivers. However, one pass catcher that is quickly gaining attention is Maryland’s DJ Moore.
What is so special about Moore? The best thing Moore does is turn short receptions into touchdowns. If a quarterback passes the ball seven yards, he will gain 20 or more yards with his speed and ability to make defenders miss. Moore’s bread and better ability is gaining yards after the catch (YAC). Moore was a standout player in high school (Pennsylvania), was recruited as a four star receiver and made heads turn right away. He set the Terrapins record with 80 receptions last season. Moore tallied 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017. He averaged 12.9 yards per reception last season but his best average was 15.5 yards per reception in 2016. He did this despite the fact that Maryland started four quarterbacks last season.
Moore lacks a physical build that receivers like Dez Bryant have but he makes up for that with his lightning fast quickness and speed. He can juke and make defenders miss in open space. Don’t expect Moore to be featured in the deep passing attacks or throws to the sidelines. He will hurt defenses in the middle of the field and this way he can use more space to make his cuts before taking short passes to the end zone. He is a good route runner and is being compared to his former teammate Stephon Diggs. Scouts still expect him to fine tune his route running though.
Making catches in traffic will be an issue due to his size. Moore could struggle against taller defenders and against double coverage. Receivers with better size can challenge multiple defenders as well as bigger or taller ones. Throwing passes to Moore when he is one on one or wide open would be best. Moore is 6-0, 210 pounds. Some scouts also think that Moore benefited from easy passes so the team that drafts him should train him to make difficult catches in order to speed up his development.