During the 2018 NFL Draft, there were plenty of great value picks, from Ito Smith to the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round to Andrew Brown in the fifth round to the Cincinnati Bengals. Personally, one of my favorite picks in the entire 2018 NFL Draft was when the Green Bay Packers selected J’Mon Moore from Missouri.
Coming out of Missouri, Moore has been incredibly consistent over the last two seasons. During that time frame, he’s tallied over 120 receptions and 18 touchdowns. At 6’3″ and 207 pounds, Moore has the size you want and need to play as an outside receiver; he was primarily lined up as the ‘X’ receiver on the left side of the Tigers’ offense. From being a possession receiver along the sideline to a threat in the red-zone, he has the tools you’re looking for in an NFL receiver.
For the most part, cornerbacks will play man coverage on Moore. They’ll try to press him and prevent him from getting to the top of his routes and in and out of his breaks. Best of luck with that, because he’s one of the stronger receivers coming out of the draft, with 21 reps in the bench press. Meanwhile, he posted a time of 6.56 seconds in the 3-cone drill. He’s got the hip flexibility you want out of a receiver to be more precise in running his routes. It also allows him the chance to separate at the stems of his routes.
With an invite to the Senior Bowl, Moore made the most out of his opportunity. For many, the first day of practice is always rough. However, he had a strong rest of the week and put together some really solid reps. Above, you’ll notice a post route from Moore. He works on the press from the cornerback with his arms by swatting the opponents away, but also notice his footwork. He works himself inside and then gets back outside to create enough separation to get upfield. Once he gets to the break of his route, he displays solid body control and the ability to secure the catch to his chestplate. It’s plays like these that will make a difference for him in his rookie year and throughout his time in Green Bay.
Missouri WR J'Mon Moore, who finished 3rd in the SEC with 391 deep receiving yards, showing his speed and control through the catch on a 'go' route out here at the #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/hqnFdke9C8
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 24, 2018
While he doesn’t have the long speed you want out of a receiver, his 40 time of 4.60 seconds is more than manageable, and he still has the ability to run vertically up the field. Remember, his strength and body control give him a huge advantage in creating separation and, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was third in the SEC with 391 deep pass receiving yards.
Missouri product J'Mon Moore brings his head and shoulder with him on his release, gets vertical, then leans into DB before breaking out and making the grab away from his chestplate #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/LGYDKunYBX
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) January 25, 2018
Above is one of his reps in the red-zone at the Senior Bowl. You’ll notice his hip flexibility and lean out of his break on the route. He gets to where he needs to be in the end-zone and gives himself plenty of space to secure the pass and have both feet in bounds. Get ready for Aaron Rodgers to utilize the hell out of routes like this in the red-zone.
Jumping into the discussion of where J’Mon Moore is in the red-zone and how he might produce, we should look at who he’s replacing. One of the best duos, if not the best duo in football over the last several years, was Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson (data pulled from Pro Football Focus).
The numbers don’t lie when talking about production. With 43 touchdowns in the red-zone, there’s going to be plenty of room for opportunity. Moore can capitalize with his strength and body control in contested catch situations.
With how shifty he is at the line of scrimmage (LOS), Moore should be able to adjust fine in the red-zone. One of the biggest things is that he needs to learn how to play on the right side of the field. For whatever reason, Missouri played him primarily on the left side, but in year one, there shouldn’t be much worry. The Packers can throw it anywhere on the field, and a lot of that has to do with who’s throwing the football.
The Fit in Green Bay
Speaking of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ offense, where does Moore fit in? With Jordy Nelson released, you’d have to think that Moore steps in and plays right away. With how productive and consistent he’s been, I’d have to agree. He doesn’t possess the versatility you want out of a receiver, though. Rarely did I see him lined up in the slot, and he played primarily on the left side, but that doesn’t mean he can’t provide this offense with a role from that side of the field (data pulled from the PFF Draft Guide).
As you can tell, it’s clear that J’Mon Moore did plenty of work on the left side of the field. We’ve established that he needs to start doing work on the right side of the field to make himself more dynamic as a pro receiver. In year one he should be fine, but with time, this progression is important.
Above is a graph from Pro Football Focus. This shows the production of Jordy Nelson and where he was producing from. From playing in the slot to playing on the outside, he can go anywhere on the field and make an impact.
Going from the left side and motioning to the right side will be an area that Moore could be utilized in. It might not happen right away, but you’d have to think it’s something the Packers will work on with the rookie. As you can tell from above, Nelson goes in motion and finds an opening in zone coverage. It’s what helped make the Rodgers and Nelson duo so dynamic.
Even though Moore lines up on the left side of the field, more times than not, he can create after the catch. He does so with his natural catching ability and strong frame.
Two of the most common routes for receivers are hitches and comeback routes. These throws are all about timing; it gives the quarterback assurance that even with pressure and tight coverage, he can still get the ball out of his hand and to a spot for the receiver to catch the ball. In Green Bay, it’s a common route. Above, you’ll notice Jordy Nelson running a hitch, and even though he’s stuck in man coverage, he gets himself free out of his break and the ball is perfectly placed.
There shouldn’t be much of a difference for J’Mon Moore. It’s one of the most common routes that he ran at Missouri, and it should be an easy transition for him at the next level. The best thing for him is that he won’t have to rely on Drew Lock not being able to get him the ball right out of his break. Look how far back Moore has to come to the ball. Rodgers should be able to get him the football right between 7-10 yards of the route, rather than three yards.
Showing off his strength on a hitch route and going to the endzone for a touchdown. Planting with that inside foot, rather than the outside foot is something that Luke Getsy taught in Green Bay. This offseason, he left the Packers to become the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State, but they replaced him with a familiar face in David Raih, who has been with the Packers over the last four seasons. Even though Getsy won’t be there, you’d have to think that the receivers they have will help Moore acclimate to the tricks they’ve learned throughout their time in Green Bay. From Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb, there’s a good veteran presence in the wide receiver room. Plus, there’s Aaron Rodgers, so the rookie will be fine.
Once again, Jordy Nelson running a hitch route. As you can tell, it’s a common theme in this offense, and for Moore, his transition will be fine. For more context, here’s what the route tree looked like for Jordy Nelson and the quarterbacks’ passer rating by route:
Hitches and comeback routes aren’t the only thing the Packers run. The slant route is where the quarterback found his most success with Jordy Nelson, and it’s a route that J’Mon Moore can also run.
Don’t go into this year and expect 98 receptions from a rookie wide receiver. J’Mon Moore was a great value pick for the Packers, especially on day three of the NFL Draft. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him string together 50 or 60 receptions, though. He’ll compete with Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham for receptions, but with his skillset, he’ll do just fine. There won’t be a trail of fire left behind him when he runs, but he’s a big-bodied receiver who can compete in the red-zone and along the sidelines.
It’s not every day that you draft a player in the fourth round and expect immediate results. There’s a different feeling with this selection, though. Vertical routes, slants, out routes and hitch routes will be common in his repertoire in year one. But with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, it’ll be no surprise to see him running every route and going from sideline to sideline, especially by week 16 of the regular season. Even though I’m a fan of the Lions, I’m envious of the Packers for this selection. It makes perfect sense for who they’re trying to replace, and it’ll pay off in the long-run if it doesn’t pay off right away.
One of the better values in the 2018 NFL Draft was J'Mon Moore (Missouri – WR) to Green Bay in the 4th round. As a Lions fan, I'm fully preparing myself to see him grow into a solid WR. Let's start a thread and see where it goes: pic.twitter.com/vK08AzDFTm
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) May 3, 2018