WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
DJ Moore left Maryland as one of the most productive receivers in its school’s recent memory, setting the record for receptions in a season with 80 in 2017. Though he cracked 1,000 yards only once in his career, much of that can be attributed to the forever changing rotation of the quarterbacks. After consistently playing at a high level and proving he was not quarterback-dependent, Moore’s value began to climb during the 2017 season and eventually peaked at the NFL combine where jumped 39.5 inches and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash. In addition, he jumped 11 feet in the broad jump and ran a 6.95 second three-cone drill. Moore flashed his quickness and all-around athleticism, thus putting his name in the first-round conversation.
The Scout’s Notes
Moore has a respectable 6’0” 210-pound frame which he uses well from both the outside and the slot. He works well on underneath routes and is comfortable playing across the middle. He finds the soft spots in zone coverages and shows a wide catch radius while maintaining his route. Moore has quick and clean releases off the line of scrimmage, centered around his precise footwork. He runs very sharp routes when staying below 20-25 yards from the line of scrimmage. Though he played outside during his days with the Terrapins, Moore is likely to be a strictly slot player in the NFL. He does not attack the ball well deep down the field and does not gather a ton of vertical separation. He relies on his strong hands to make tough contested catches instead of burning the corner. He is also not an aggressive blocker, which will kill any hopes of playing on the outside.
Fantasy Outlook and NFL Comparison
Moore was the first wide receiver taken in the 2018 NFL draft with the Panthers selecting him at number 24 overall. Needing a complementary receiver to Devin Funchess, Carolina must intend to involve Moore in the offense from day one. Despite them selecting him in the first round, Moore will not at all be the focal point of the offense as Christian McCaffrey will garner many of the overall touches. Expect Moore to produce similarly and play a nearly identical role to that of Golden Tate. Both have similar play styles and work well underneath but neither are great deep threats. Moore will never be anything more than a high-end WR3 or fantasy purposes, but he will be a solid, consistent player to have as a third or fourth receiver. Because of his relatively capped ceiling, Moore is best suited at the end of the first round or top of the second round in dynasty rookie drafts.
In the first play of the video, Moore (top of the screen) runs a route where he releases as if he is running a crosser or a slant, then heads vertically towards the end zone. Because the Ohio State defense is playing a deep zone, Moore is able to stop on a dime and allow the quarterback to make an easy throw for nearly a first down.
The next play of the video, beginning at 0:42, is an example of why Moore is likely to be just an underneath slot receiver in the NFL. He simply tries to outrun the cornerback and gain separation, but he is unable to shake him and box him out, allowing the defender to get a hand on the ball and make the play.
The third and final play, beginning at 0:50, shows Moore’s lack of interest in run blocking. With the Panthers love of running the football, this will not bode well for Moore’s chances of playing on the outside and seeing the field on every single down.