While he’s currently battling for a starting role among the Raiders’ rebuilt linebacker unit, Moore will have every opportunity to unseat one of three veterans – Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava, Nick Roach – during training camp. Although his status as a rookie puts him at a disadvantage, Moore can easily bridge the gap with pure ability and versatility. It’s going to be a war, but my money is on one of the veterans falling down the depth chart before the preseason is over.
Moore is such an exciting addition for the Raiders that even ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper is in love with the pick. According to Kiper, Oakland snagging Moore was his favorite selection of the 2013 NFL Draft. That’s a pretty big compliment coming from one of the best draft analysts in the business.
Even Moore himself has a good feeling about his future with the Raiders.
“Like I said from the beginning of this whole draft process, there’s going to be one team that’s going to fall in love and make the right pick and there’s going to be 31 other teams that are going to be pissed off,” Moore told the media in a conference call. “The Oakland Raiders got the best linebacker in the draft. I don’t care who went before.”
Some may be turned off by Moore’s blatant arrogance, but others will see it as the type of confidence the Raiders need moving forward into the post-Al Davis era. And if Moore pans out the way Kiper and him are expecting, the overflow of confidence will be well warranted.
Moore brings athleticism, versatility and the ability to get after the quarterback to a completely retooled Raiders defense. Likely to slot in at one of the outside linebacker spots, he’ll be used to rush the passer, cover tight ends and slot receivers as well as provide run support. Moore is the do-it-all linebacker that the Raiders were looking for, and they got him at a huge discount.
There’s still plenty of growing for Moore to do as he transitions to the NFL. However, if he can adjust to the speed and complexity of the NFL quickly, the Raiders will have no choice but to get him on the field early and often when the regular season rolls around.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about No. 55 once training camp arrives. Stay tuned.