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Eyeing the Redskins' draft: Morgan Moses

4/25/2014

Taking a look at selected players leading up to the NFL draft, which begins May 8. The reports are based on watching their games on draftbreakdown.com, and reading various reports from ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and NFL.com. I'm not a fan of having to only watch them off a TV feed -- you don't always get the best angle, or all the players -- but it's the best I can do now and it helps provide a snapshot. The draft analysts help fill in the gap.

Player: Morgan Moses

School: Virginia

What he plays: Offensive tackle

College production: Made 43 career starts.

How he’d fit: As a right tackle. Though Moses played left tackle this past season, he would obviously not supplant Trent Williams. But he’d give the Redskins a future right tackle.

What I like: He has the measurables in terms of arm length (34 inches) and size (6-foot-6). Every so often you see flashes of excellent play, sometimes followed by a bad one – but those good plays show why scouts like him. He’ll drive a man out, showing good feet and some power. When he locks his arms on a defender, he’ll control them. I saw him do this on occasion against Jeremiah Attaochu and Clemson’s Vic Beasley. Against Attaochu, there were a couple times Moses was beat only to recover thanks to his long arms. Williams excelled at this as a rookie, but he was also much quicker with his feet. Saw Moses drive his man downfield on one fourth-and-1 against North Carolina in 2012. When his base is right, his feet are pretty good, though I would not consider him a terrific blocker in space. He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl.

What I don’t: He consistently struggled to bend properly, doing more so at the waist and getting himself into trouble. He could get himself out of trouble in college because of his long arms, but sometimes relied on that, too. But he did not show extraordinary skills to compensate should this be an issue in the NFL. Again, Williams’ quickness and strength made a big difference in this area. Too often defenders got into Moses’ pads because of this. When playing right tackle in 2012, in a game I watched against North Carolina, there were a couple times he did not hold his block while moving down the line to his left, something he’d have to do in the Redskins’ zone system. And he’d also have to work to the second level, yet that gave him problems in college. Moses was inconsistent blocking linebackers, sometimes hesitant on his angles. He moved OK, but not great, in space. I’d worry about speed rushers dipping their shoulder and getting by him in the NFL and I’m not sure his feet – or maybe better, his technique -- are great enough yet for him to react if they cut back inside. His base gets a little narrow at times, leading to a loss of strength and/or balance. I didn’t like that he’d sometimes stop blocking his man if the quarterback rolled away from him on a scramble, or even ran up the middle. But mostly it’s the inconsistency with his technique. If that doesn’t improve, you’ll simply get a talented but inconsistent player. He had some weight issues early in his career, but weighed 314 pounds at the combine.

Where he’s projected: Late first; early second. Todd McShay likes him as a top-15 pick and there were moments when his play looked like that was warranted; Mel Kiper considers him a top-32 guy. But for a guy projected this high he still needs a bit of work and would need good coaching to help him gain consistency with his technique and more.