Rookie Rundown: WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

Rookie Rundown: WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

(Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports)

Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore posted a personal-best 1,033 yards and eight scores in 2017, finishing the year as the Big Ten Receiver of the Year and setting the all-time Terrapins record with 80 catches. Showing versatility, Moore added a rushing score and has experience in the return game as of last year.

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 210 pounds
40 time: 4.42 seconds

Moore was a four-star high school recruit and started 10 games as a true freshman, scoring three times along the way. He led the Terrapins in receiving (41-637-6) as a sophomore in 2016. The 2017 junior was targeted 39.5 percent of the offense’s share of looks. Boasting a rare combination of size and speed, Moore is a few coachable tweaks away from being a fine NFL wideout.

D.J. Moore stats (2015-17)

YEAR
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
25
357
14.3
52
3
2016
41
637
15.5
92
6
2017
80
1033
12.9
52
8

 Pros

  • Beats press coverage with relative ease
  • Dangerous after the catch and explosive in short-area situations — presents an intriguing weapon for creative game-planners.
  • Remained heavily involved and productive despite catching passes from four different quarterbacks in 2017
  • Plays with a feel for play development and breakdown — comes back to a quarterback in distress
  • Special teams experience as a kickoff return man in 2016 and punt returner in 2017
  • Unteachable body control to make off-balanced catches on errant throws

Cons

  • Limited route-running skills — doesn’t set the tone with his vertical game and tips off breaks. Separation problems without winning at the line.
  • Struggled to stand out in the second half of 2017 (one TD on 36 catches over final six games after scoring seven times on 44 catches in the first six contests). Also trailed off in 2016 (one TD in last five outings).
  • Just average hands
  • Struggles to win 50-50 balls despite quality size and leaping ability
  • Hardly contributes down the field (outside of one 92-yard reception, next longest in career was just 52 yards)

Fantasy outlook

Moore probably won’t develop into a No. 1 receiver for an NFL franchise, though he is quite capable of becoming a great complementary weapon. Coaching will dictate his career trajectory, especially in terms of route-running.

In the optimal situation, Moore matures into being the best receiver of this draft class. His floor is fairly high, meaning he most likely won’t be a total bust in the even he doesn’t meet expectations.

Landing spots will vary based on draft flow, but his likely suitors at a perceived second-round market value should include: Indianapolis, Chicago, Oakland, Denver, Washington, Arizona, Dallas, Baltimore, Kansas City, Carolina, Atlanta and Buffalo. Sneaky buys may be Green Bay, Jacksonville, New England and both New York teams. As you can see, he has broad appeal and could fit in well with half of the league.

As a rookie, regardless of his situation, Moore’s contributes are likely to be erratic. He may not even see the field enough to matter in Year 1, perhaps being tasked with learning and playing in the return game until he’s up to speed. Fantasy owners should draft him as merely a late-round flier.

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