The 2014 NFL Draft is very deep at the offensive tackle position, and according to some draft evaluators Virginia tackle Morgan Moses is one of the top players in the group. A look at his film makes it clear that Moses is not yet developed in terms of technique, but nevertheless he has great intangibles which will make him desirable to many teams as a project player.
Moses has played both left and right tackle with the Cavaliers, and he is more likely to play the right side at the NFL level. Under traditional right tackle standards, Moses would be ready to start immediately as he is already very physical and can make an impact in the running game. With that said, more teams now prefer to have a player on the right side who is athletic and is equally effective in both the pass and run games.
There are several weaknesses that Moses has as a pass blocker. While he gets good knee bend out of his stance, he tends to come up too high after the snap. His kick slide technique needs improvement, and he doesn’t use his lower body strength enough when engaging pass rushers. Once he gets a hold on the rusher he does not extend his arms enough. This often leads to him having to handle the defender right in front of the quarterback which affects the quarterback’s ability to make the throw.
In addition, Moses has several other concerns less related to his technique that he needs to address. He tends to get undisciplined on the field at times, most notably when he fought Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle after a play in the Cavaliers’ season finale. Also, Moses needs to improve his physical build and cut some of the baby fat off his body. It should be interesting to see if Moses can make a DJ Fluker-like physical progression during his rookie season.
At the moment I have Moses ranked tenth among offensive tackles, which would likely slot him into the late third or early fourth round in a draft that is filled with talented linemen. However, while he needs a lot of coaching, there may be a team that is intrigued enough by his size and strength to gamble on him realizing his potential and pull the trigger on him earlier.
- Ideal height and certainly carries enough bulk
- Extremely aggressive
- A huge amount of strength which he can tap into even more when coached up
- Effective run blocker
- Gets to his man quickly and makes solid contact on second level blocks
- Gets very good knee bend out of a two-point stance
- Good change of direction ability
- Has experience playing both left and right tackle
- Nearly four full years of starting experience
- Tends to struggle with pass rushers off the edge
- Does not get arms fully extended when engaging defenders
- Doesn’t know how to fully use his leverage, relies too much on upper body strength when trying to overpower people
- Comes up too high after the snap on some pass plays
- Inconsistent when handling rushers to the inside
- Speed not great, slow off the ball at times
- Kickslide looks choppy and unathletic
- Doesn’t always play to the whistle
- Has had some on-field discipline issues
- Concerns about his physical makeup; reportedly looked flabby and undeveloped at Senior Bowl weigh-in
Moses had one of the better seasons on a Virginia squad that finished with a 2-10 record and 95th in the nation in total offense. He gave up only two sacks all season and was able to quiet high-profile pass rushers such as Kyle Van Noy, Vic Beasley and Jeremiah Attaochu. While his technique looked somewhat sloppy at times, Moses had a grade of at least 90 percent from the Virginia coaching staff for every game that he played.
2014 Draft Projection: Late Third/Early Fourth Round