The Baltimore Ravens have always looked for diamonds in the rough; it’s in their DNA. However, they haven’t been able to find a receiving prospect in the mid-late rounds who has been able to make an impact, or rarely even a higher round prospect for that matter, outside of Torrey Smith.
Enter DJ Moore.
If one is from the Maryland area and has watched Terps football, they are familiar with the wide receiver’s name. He has been one of Maryland’s most prolific receivers in school history, racking up 146 catches, 2027 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns over the course of his three-year career.
Despite those numbers, he has been overlooked by many scouts. Some point out his lack of height (5’11) or how he is built like a running back (215 lbs). However, this doesn’t make Moore any less of a receiver.
There are a few things setting Moore apart from many wide receivers. He has the ability to make plays up top, is a strong route-runner, can create yards after the catch and has good hands. To top things off, he’s an extremely strong blocker on running plays.
First, Moore has the defensive back’s hips turned and attacks his outside to make the catch. He finishes this play with a strong body control in the end zone for six points.
DJ Moore— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
Out-And-Up. Jab step out route with his eyes upfield to get DB to flip his hips, hard inside lean into DB to step on his toes and create separation.
High points ball in the air and shows impressive body control and strong hands. pic.twitter.com/L9UvDbpmfe
In this next play, Moore shields the defender from the football on a vertical route and seals him off. Then, he makes a play on the football without allowing the corner to break up the pass.
Giving all vertical queues on stem. Slight outside shoulder turn at breakpoint and snaps eyes back to QB.— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
Stacks CB - Forces CB to play the ball through him - and attacks catchpoint away from his chestplate with extended high hands. pic.twitter.com/OGodD3ha8C
On this next play, Moore takes a screen for a big gain. What’s most important on this play is his speed and ability to follow his lead blockers.
Acceleration after catch to avoid defenders. Gets behind his blockers and keeps his balance for extra YAC.— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
Watch his eyes on the catch, nothing but focus all the way into his hands pic.twitter.com/Xv0zyaUyfL
In this play, Moore runs a sharp dig route and accelerates for the touchdown. The other impressive part of this play is Moore avoided contact in mid-air from the defender and still had the wherewithal to keep running up field.
Rocker step, toe drag In-Cut and stays flat to not allow an undercut from a defender.— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
Explosiveness to rise up and extend for the ball, keeps his balance to get RAC touchdown pic.twitter.com/vpN4mfK0c5
Another play shows Moore is adept at sealing off defenders and then fighting through even more contact. He even finishes the play with a stiff arm. Who does this remind you of?
Squares up DB to allow for two way go. Slight hesitation with sunken hips on the out route. Gets back towards QB to assure no DB can bear his angle to the catchpoint.— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
That stiff-arm though pic.twitter.com/51ocTojdqR
On the last play that Kelly covered, Moore is able to take a screen pass to the house. Despite seemingly getting tripped up after the first contact, Moore stays on his feet, follows his blockers and then cuts back for a massive gain and the touchdown.
Focus on ball all the way into his hands. Kareem Hunt-like balance to stay upright between two defenders.— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 3, 2018
Hesitation move to slow up pursuit, and cuts back for the TD.
After 7 games, I have Moore with a late first round grade - WR3 - pic.twitter.com/7GV1ORKphb
Looking at Moore’s tape is just one thing to take into consideration. It is the most important aspect in mocking which round he goes in, but it doesn’t show how many quarterbacks he’s played with. DJ’s made plays for about ten-plus quarterbacks in his three-year college career.
If he can put up the type of numbers he produced in college with many quarterbacks, who probably won’t sniff the next level of football, he could possibly be a big aid to Joe Flacco by next season. The biggest question that remains is where he will go in the 2018 NFL Draft. With receivers like Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton, Christian Kirk, Auden Tate and others projected ahead of him, there’s a chance Moore could fall into Baltimore’s laps in Day 2 of the draft.