Every week from here on out during the NFL season, I am going to spotlight one player – typically one who is in a big match-up that week – who could be targeted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft. This week we take a peek at one of the country’s elite pass rushers.
Damontre Moore, DE/LB Texas A&M
What I love – Moore is probably the most underrated elite pass rusher in the nation. For some, he’s not even the best pass rusher on his own team, with Sean Porter getting more pub. But I happen to love Moore and what he could bring to a 3-4 defense like the Steelers. He’s got great size, better than Porter with good wingspan. But you can’t just talk triangle numbers with Moore. Yes he’s quick, and yes he’s explosive, but when you watch him you see what makes him special. He’s relentless. He spends so much time on the other side of the line of scrimmage, they should give him a jersey. He fires off hard, can beat any one on one, and closes with explosion whether it’s in run support or as a pass rusher. He’s a smart player and typically makes the right call, and has shown he can play hand on the ground, standing up as a LB, and is as comfortable dropping into coverage as he is rushing the passer.
What I don’t love so much - Moore’s pass rush technique is raw. He gets the bulk of his big plays by just sticking with it, and often times waiting it out. He’s going to need to learn some secondary pass rush moves, and use them. Also, while he’s not shy about engaging a blocker, he does struggle to disengage from offensive linemen. He’s going to have to get stronger at the point of attack, and when compared to some of the other top hybrid DE/LB’s in this draft, Moore won’t have the elite measurables they will.
How would he look as a Steeler? - In a word, perfect. James Harrison is getting older and as we’ve seen there is little depth behind him that can actually play. LaMarr Woodley on the other side is fabulous, but he could really use a partner like Moore opposite him. He’s certainly a notch below former Aggie Von Miller, but in terms of a 3-4 rush OLB, he’s got the skill set to keep him on the field 3 downs, and works well as a rush specialist.
Right now I have Moore pegged as a late first round pick. The 2013 NFL draft could be literally flooded with rush OLB prospects, so even thought Moore’s film is going to be better, no, MUCH better than a guy like Barkevious Mingo from LSU, he will likely be drafted after him. If he fell to the Steelers, I’d be ecstatic. He’s got a motor that won’t stop, and plays with that sort of reckless abandon that you want out of an edge rusher. The Steelers loaded up on offense early in the 2012 draft, I am optimistic that they load up early in defense in 2013.
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