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Crabbs | Terps WR DJ Moore a breakout candidate

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Scouting Notes

Crabbs | Terps WR DJ Moore a breakout candidate

The Maryland Terrapins were a competitive program last season thanks in part to a group of young skill players capable of shouldering the load and generating chunk yardage. That group includes RBs Lorenzo Harrison (Sophomore) and Ty Johnson (Junior), but the most intriguing of the skill group is Junior WR DJ Moore.

Moore is listed at 5’11, 215 lbs and it’s pretty apparent when you turn on the film that he has a great athletic profile. Moore will pick his way through tunnel screens with effectiveness, a skill that is a testament to his lateral quickness and twitch in the open field. The passing structure at Maryland featured a high frequency of shallow crosses last season, it was a route where Moore was showcased often. One would assume this is in part thanks to how well he can generate yardage on his own as a receiver.

But Moore shouldn’t be regarded as a gimmick receiver. Yes, he’s got a lot of screens and shallow crosses in terms of his targets. But looking to his work down the field, Moore is a player who gets separation and stacks press coverage with consistency. So why wasn’t he a highly productive player in 2016 (637 yards)? The Maryland passers had trouble pushing the ball down the field with consistency.

If the deep placement can improve for the Terps offense, Moore could legitimately double his receiving output.

Take the play above as an example. Moore is given a free release at the line of scrimmage and carries that speed quickly up the field. The route stems force a miscommunication on the back end and Moore is offered a wide open target. Unfortunately, this throw is left a good 8-10 yards short and Moore is forced to stop completely to challenge the ball. There were seven of these types of plays present in the final 5 games I watched of the Terps in 2016.

So say the ball placement deep doesn’t improve. Where can Moore still win in a traditional sense?

Yes, the pass falls incomplete. But Moore’s route running here really sells a drag/dig pattern into the middle of the field. That change of direction skills can be lethal against man to man coverage; I’m hoping the Terps give him more chances to showcase it in 2017. But Moore can win with ball skills as well, even helping to bail out his QB on some more errant throws.

This was a beautiful job to work back to the ball and find space to get a foot in. Moore plucks the ball clean and shows off some of his lower body power to elevate and challenge the ball.

Moore has a fun athletic skill set and he’s a threat to break loose on any touch, as evidenced against Nebraska below. He’s certainly a name to tab in the Big Ten and watch closely. If Maryland pushes for success this year as a team, odds are a lot of that will ride on DJ Moore.

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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