2018 NFL Draft Sleeper Spotlight: DB Tavarius Moore

Moore is a bit of an enigma when it comes to what his value holds in this draft. Most draftniks don’t even have him ranked in their top 200. Only Pro Football Focus who gave him their first team all American award at Safety, and CBS has him ranked as their 95th best player and 4th best FS in the draft give him any significant love. Everyone else not as high on him.

He was not invited to participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Senior Bowl or the combine. For Moore, this type of oversight is par for the course. In spite of starring at Quitman High, and qualifying academically and having no character concerns he went without any offers from a Division 1 school said for one. Alcorn State. Well, that quickly changed. Moore decided to play at Pearl River Community College and suddenly he began getting offers from schools such as Kansas, Houston and Louisville. He chose Southern Miss and now he’s going to get a shot at the pros as either a late round pick or priority Free Agent.

The Bears have been sniffing around this young man and used one of their allocated visits on him. It makes perfect sense as he has that size and length Vic Fangio likes in his Defensive Backs (6’2″ 199 lbs), and the athleticism Ryan Pace loves (4.32 40, 38 1/2″ Vertical, 11’2″ Broad Jump). His position was Free Safety in College but most people seem to feel he’ll be a Cornerback Convert in the pros because of his speed and arm length. He is very rangy with ball skills but word is that he needs some work on his tackling.

He did have 87 of them however, 59 of them solo tackles so he can’t be that bad at it. He didn’t play a whole bunch of snaps his Junoir year at So. Miss after transferring from JUCO football but he had a great Senior season with 3 Ints and 10 passes defended with 1 FF and 1 FR to go along with those tackles. Career-wise he had 104 tackles, 5 INT, and 12 PD in two seasons.

As you can see below he is an aggressive tackler. In the first video, he is a very sure tackler against lower level competition. However, in the second video against Florida State, he is just as aggressive but he whiffed on one, bounced off a couple, and was rudely blocked to the ground by a Wide receiver on another play. You see he will likely need a year to add weight and core strength to take on bigger stronger faster men than he generally played against.

You also see a coverage mistake where he gets over too late and allows a TD. He also had a PI which I thought was suspect at best. The one thing you do see is his competitiveness and speed. He closes very quickly. In the Florida State game, you saw it worked against him at times as he was prone to over-running plays. Also, he seemed to have issues breaking down and getting in proper position to execute the tackle. He wasn’t horrible. He did have a couple of very nice plays too. So there are flaws in his game, but you do see the moldable talent with which to work with. By all accounts, he’s also very coachable.

There’s also another video of him versus Tennessee that shows the same types of strengths and weaknesses in his game you can check out here. From what I see he’s a player who is not ready to compete at the next level at a high level just yet. He may provide some value as a special teamer or an emergency reserve, but I see him as a redshirt type of player. The tools are there. He does need to build up more strength. That is a must in order for his game to evolve to where it needs to be.

He has only two years of Division 1 coaching so there is a learning curve here. I like what I see but there is no way he deserves that ridiculous first team All American designation PFF gave him. Another case where just going off pure metrics as an evaluation tool is a flawed process. There are other factors like level of competition, for example, like in this case. My final verdict is Priority Free Agent and practice squad prospect who could very well find himself as a starting Cornerback in the NFL but more likely as a career reserve and core special teamer.


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