2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Rahim Moore
The 2011 NFL Draft class may be teeming with solid cornerback prospects, but the group of safeties isn’t overwhelming as a whole.
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Moore finished his three-year collegiate career with 180 tackles and 14 interceptions, including 10 as a sophomore in 2009.
Player Name: Rahim Moore
Despite declaring following his junior season, Moore has tons of experience, as he started every game in his three collegiate seasons. He’s developed a reputation as a ball-hawking safety, and excels specifically in zone coverage. He had just one interception in 2010, but a career-best 77 tackles as well, which showcases how he’s improved in run coverage. He has well above average speed for a safety, which helps him to close in on a play even if he didn’t get the best break to start. However, this doesn’t happen often, as one of Moore’s best skills is his ability to read a play and diagnose it very quickly, which helps him get into position to make so many plays. He has very good hands, and is able to track the ball very well in flight. Despite a smaller stature, he isn’t afraid to mix it up and make tackles, as is the case with some defensive backs. His dip in productivity on paper this season should be taken with a grain of salt, as the Bruins’ defense was greatly weakened by graduation heading into 2010. If needed, he could also project as a corner at the next level.
Until Moore is able to gain some weight and add some strength, he may struggle as a tackler in the NFL. He can make plays on the ball, but his impact in the physical aspect of coverage may suffer a bit. Safeties are often depended upon to jar the ball loose, and he’ll have problems doing so against bigger receivers and tight ends in the NFL. He also lacks experience in man coverage, as he was typically playing a zone at UCLA. As he appeared in every game in college, durability obviously wasn’t an issue for him. However, his aforementioned size problem may make him more injury-prone against stronger pros.
Moore’s playmaking ability and skill for forcing turnovers is very valuable in the NFL, which is something that makes him an extremely attractive prospect. We saw several examples of the difference a playmaking safety can make in the NFL, as strong play from rookies like Eric Berry and Earl Thomas helped propel their teams into the playoffs. The aforementioned size problem will certainly be of some concern to some teams, but turnovers and playmaking are things that cannot be ignored. Assuming he doesn’t go through abysmal pre-draft workouts or suffer an injury, Moore should be a first-round choice.
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