It’s time for another installment of my “2013 Mock Draft Analysis!” On Monday, Josh Hill of Fansided.com unveiled his new and updated 2013 NFL Mock Draft. In his Mock, Hill projected the following player to be selected by the Steelers with their 1st Round pick:
Damontre Moore, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M
Moore has fallen casuality [sic] due to a terrible combine. He was atrocious in the drills he ran in comparison to how much he’d been talked up leading to the combine. But unlike Star Lotulelei who was a top 3 pick in some mocks, Moore’s bad combine is a fixable project and one that the Steelers would love to be in charge of. They’re agin [sic] up front and having Moore, a guy they could even slide to Outside Linebacker, on their team is not the worst idea in the world.
From a “talented player falling” standpoint, I would do cartwheels in my living room if Damontre Moore fell all the way down to the Steelers at #17 overall. I mean, what is there not to like about Moore if you are the G.M. of a team in need of a pass-rushing threat? The former Aggie has a terrific OLB/DE “Tweener” build at 6’4” 250 lbs., he possesses both speed and power pass-rushing moves which he put on display in college, and he proved time and again over his career at Texas A&M that he could rush the opposing Quarterback with success. I should also add that Moore found success as a pass-rusher in one of college football’s most “Pass Happy” Conferences in the Big XII back in 2011, and again this past year in college football’s most “Talented” Conference in the form of the S.E.C..
Over the last two years, Moore emerged as one of College Football’s best Pass-Rushers after he replaced Von Miller at the “Joker” position in the Aggies’ Defensive front. As a Sophomore in 2011, Moore racked up 72 Tackles, 8.5 Sacks, and a team-leading 17.5 Tackles for Loss (TFL’s) during his first year as a starter. Moore transitioned to a full-time Defensive End this past year, and he proved to be even more productive as a pass-rusher when he registered 85 Tackles, and led Texas A&M in Sacks (12.5) and TFL’s (21.5)!
Many, including myself, believe that Moore has Top 10 talent as a pass-rushing prospect. Unfortunately for Moore, his stock is plummeting right now due to a piss-poor showing at The Combine as Hill alluded to earlier. But how bad was Damontre’s performance in Indianapolis exactly? Well, let’s just say that his poor workout could very well drive him down to the middle of Round 1 come Draft Weekend.
Moore’s 40 Yard Dash was downright ridiculous for a player who was billed as possibly the #1 Pass-Rusher in this year’s Class. With a time of 4.95 seconds, Damontre looked more like the fictional Rudy Zoltek of “Little Giants” fame running the 40 than his predecessor at Texas A&M. Back in February of 2011, it was Miller who ran under a 4.5 when he went to Indianapolis and used that stage to solidify his place as a Top 3 pick. Moore also failed miserably in his Bench Press workout, and only lifted 225 lbs. a whopping 12 Times! To be fair, the former Aggie did complain about a hamstring injury being the key to his sub-par performances. Yet one has to question why Moore would do so miserably during those drills, but performed ridiculously well in his Broad Jump (122.0″) and Vertical Jump (35.5″) workouts?
But not only did Moore do poorly in some of The Combine’s most important drills for Pass-Rushers, he apparently interviewed poorly too. If the bad interview rumors hold any weight, questions will be abound about his character over the next two months also. The former Aggie Defensive End was arrested in 2011 for Marijuana possession, and one N.F.L. scout even said in Pro Football Weekly’s “2013 Draft Guide” that the Junior pass-rusher is “a mess off the field” (via Akron Beacon Journal).
With all of these recent negatives working against him, Moore will need to put on a show at his Pro Day this Friday, March 8th. As long as he proves that his Combine numbers are a fluke, and that he can be a good citizen off the field, I see no reason why his stock should not rise significantly over the next two months.
But G.M.’s and scouts must be vigilant and keen to assess if Moore is in fact an immature and lazy player whose productivity will plummet once his talent begins to fade in his mid-20’s and he has to actually put forth effort and work (cough*LaMarr Woodley*cough). If Moore is unable convince N.F.L. personnel people that he is not that type of player and person, I can totally understand him being a risk not work taking a chance on in the Top 20 of the Draft.
Pittsburgh’s Outside Linebackers only recorded a whopping 15.0 Sacks combined during the 2012 regular season. Thus, some changes need to be made, and some talent needs to be added at the positional unit. In the event that Moore, or another highly touted Pass-Rusher, falls to the Steelers in the middle of Round 1, it will definitely be interesting to see whether or not Pittsburgh’s brass decides to upgrade their anemic pass-rush with a talented player who has multiple questions surrounding them like the former Aggie.
Readers: Should the Steelers take a chance on Moore if he falls to them? Will they wait until later to select a Pass-Rusher?
Heights & Weights Courtesy of: NFL.com Scouting Combine Page