Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Kyle Crabbs
Name: Skai Moore
Position: Outside Linebacker
College: University of South Carolina
High School: University (FL)
Games Played: 37
Games Started: 28
Production: 258 total tackles, 3.0 sacks, 12.0 tackles for loss. 11 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.
High School: Consensus top 50 recruit out of the state of Florida in 2013.
College: 2013 2nd team Freshman All-American. 2014 Independence Bowl MVP. 2015 2nd team All-SEC. Missed all of the 2016 season with a redshirt on account of a neck injury.
Games watched: North Carolina (2015), Georgia (2015), Clemson (2015)
Strengths: Has a surreal level of mobility throughout the hips and core. As a result is a rangy space defender working in the shallow portions of the field. Will present a drop and is capable of baiting Quarterbacks into throwing into a desired location. Has excellent hands to capitalize on chances to convert turnovers. Has a great deal of burst and range as well; capable of covering large areas of space or slipping past a would be blocker when scraping over the top. Habits as an open field tackler are fairly strong; does well to challenge with a wrap attempt.
Weaknesses: Will get erased from plays when conceding chest and challenged head up with blockers in tight areas. Block disengagement skills and ability to hold firm at the point of attack are limited to say the least. Would like to see some added size below the waist to assist in this area. Hitting power is also compromised; can deliver booming hits with leverage but pad strength and ability to bring down big backs with consistency is a question. Is going to be rusty in 2017 after sitting out the 2016 season with a herniated disk in neck. Ability to play long term is going to be a looming question and will likely be removed from some teams’ draft boards as a result.
Summary: South Carolina will be happy to welcome linebacker Skai Moore back into the fray this year. At the college level, he’s a devastating weapon thanks in part to his excellent athleticism and range as both a run and pass defender. His pure speed and short area change of direction skills on the second level pose a notable threat to teams who aim to run into the boundary or pass between the hashes.
Going forward, there are two prominent questions with Moore. Can he be more effective in tight spaces? And what does his long term health project to be? Moore, for all of his athletic gifts, is both undersized and out-gunned at the point of attack when having to go head to head with big ball carriers or blockers in the alley. Without improvement, that limitation will have a notable impact on his long term projection. Teams with strong line play and need for a chase tackler will be more apt to make the investment without progression.
Moore’s herniated disk complicates something of an already complex player. He’s not a universal scheme fit and the medical issues will likely scare some teams away. And though Moore was cleared of any charges, he was accused of assault at a bar this spring. The draft process will need to have many favorable answers for a team to take the leap of faith before Day 3. As of now, I think it’s a safe projection range for Moore, who is a gifted athlete and has special skills in space; but to date has yet to show the complete skill set needed to be a high selection.
Predicted Value Range: Early Day 3 range