Texas A&M pass-rusher Damontre Moore has an abundance of talent, most of which is good, not great. In a league that looks for greatness to shine every Sunday, that’s a problem for most of the scouts, coaches, and general managers who are evaluating the draft prospect.
Moore is 6’4″, 250 pounds and is versatile. He’s played several techniques across the defensive line and linebacker positions, ranging from one technique, at times, to ghost nine (stand up nine). From these alignments, he’s dropped into coverage as a primary flat defender in the Aggies’ Cover 3 concept, and he’s been a robber and/or spy of the quarterback underneath.
These are all things that evaluators enjoy marking on their checklist, but they’re not the most important. The most important is an ability to rush the passer, and there are many evaluators that say Moore likely can’t do that at a high level.
Admittedly, I’m unsure of it as well, because despite having an endless engine, Moore doesn’t always play with great explosiveness, proper hand usage, technique, and sometimes he just doesn’t appear to be playing at all. In the latter case, he is sometimes engulfed by offensive tackles and one could easily forget, if they weren’t only watching him, that he attempted to get to the quarterback.
But there’s a reason that Moore is being discussed as a potential Top 5 or 10 selection. That’s because he has the aforementioned versatility and athleticism, and because he has long arms. He also flashes proper technique at times and when that happens, it’s impressive.
Against Louisiana Tech, he was lined up at the five technique across the left tackle, and he administered a wonderful grab-and-pull technique. He first took three hard outside steps to sell a speed rush, but then stuck his inside foot into the ground and went directly after the blocker.
When Moore did that, he used his long arms to keep the blocker away from his chest by keeping them extended and then placing his hands inside of the blocker’s pads. What he also impressively did was square his hips to set up the move.
With his hips squared, Moore was able to place his right foot toward the pocket and then bring his left foot over while also keeping the blocker at arm’s length. What this did was keep him balanced and squared while also working across the face of the blocker.
Moore sometimes plays with strong hands, which is evident when he rips his hands down, resulting in the blocker hopelessly lunging forward. While disengaging from the left tackle, Moore also starts to dip his pad level to burst away from the block and toward the quarterback.
Next he puts the finishing touch on the technique: He swipes the left hand of the blocker away with his right arm as he continues to lower his pad level.
Finally, Moore sacked the quarterback by twisting him to the ground after wrapping his long arms around him.
Another move that is much simpler than the above but is very effective because of Moore’s length is a straight extension of one arm. This is something that some of the league’s best pass-rushers have done in the past, such as former Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, and it can be very effective, as Moore showed against LSU.
Moore was once again at the five technique lined up across the outside shoulder of the left tackle. At the snap, he quickly came downhill and took a very wide path. In doing so, he was able to create room to use his lengthy left arm to keep the blocker at a distance while also lowering his pad level to get the leverage advantage.
As he worked around the left tackle, he showed good flexibility in his knees that enabled him to stay low to the ground.
With his left arm still holding the tackle away from him, he sunk his hips and pads low and turned the corner.
At that point, the blocker was unable to stay with Moore because of the distantance and speed that he picked up. He beat the block around the corner and knocked down the quarterback, forcing an incomplete pass.
These two flashes (keyword) are very impressive and difficult to do for many pass-rushers because they don’t possess the length, strength, and athleticism that Moore does.
But despite this talent, many are split on the Aggies rusher because he doesn’t show it consistently. As stated earlier, he sometimes disappears on a rush because he can’t disengage from the blocker. However, he has potential to be a very good player at the next level and that’s what NFL scouts are looking for.