For the second time in three seasons the Cleveland Browns are changing defensive schemes under new head coach Rob Chudzinski, and according to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon-Journal one of the players the Browns may be targeting as they make the change to the 3-4 is Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore.
The 6’4″, 250-pound All-American had 85 tackles, 12.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2012. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com calls Moore a “disruptive edge player with exceptional first-step quickness and burst,”, while ESPN’s Mel Kiper calls Moore a “consistent performer who excels as a pass rusher.”
The Ball Says: Kiper and Brooks are far from alone in their praise of Moore, with the Beacon-Journal stating that “The word on Moore is that he’s as natural a pass rusher as you’re about to find. He bends the edge nicely from either spot and plays the run well.”
If there’s a knock on Moore, it’s his 250-pound frame. As Andrew Parsons of Draft Breakdown points out, “When taking on blocks directly, Damontre struggles a little bit more. Larger offensive tackles have seemingly been able to engulf him, and he doesn’t quite hold the point as well you’d like when up against these opponents.”
However, Moore has displayed remarkable versatility, racking up over 70 tackles and eight-plus sacks as both a 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE, and Parsons calls Moore a superior prospect who both “displays discipline that many pass rushers lack” when playing the run and is “absolutely lethal” when getting after the quarterback.
So far as Moore’s IDP prospects go there will be two factors that go a long way towards determining his fantasy value in 2013. The first, as it often is with rookie IDPs, is Moore’s landing spot. If he’s drafted by a 3-4 team like the Browns and slotted as a linebacker (both in the NFL and by fantasy providers) then that would be a serious blow to his IDP stock.
Should Moore be drafted by a 4-3 team such as the Jacksonville Jaguars then the second factor will come into play, that being whether Moore can bulk up a bit without losing speed and how much confidence his new coaches have in his ability to hold up against the run.
In a best-case scenario Moore would land in the 4-3 and see significant playing time as a rookie, in which case Moore could function as a serviceable IDP DL2 in 2013 with an outside shot at breaking into the top 20. It’s more likely though, given Moore’s lack of size and the fact that rookie defensive linemen rarely make a big impact in IDP leagues, that Moore’s redraft value will mainly lie as an upside reserve pick for the upcoming season.
Where dynasty leagues are concerned unless Moore is drafted to play outside linebacker he should at the very least be worth consideration as a high-end backup. Forward thinking fantasy owners looking long-term may want to grab Moore as their DL2 if the chips fall in his favor in regards to his destination, and unless something unforeseen happens Moore’s big tackle numbers in college leave him as the top defensive lineman among newcomers in IDP rookie drafts this summer.
UPDATE (2/25/13): Moore’s stock has taken a hit with a poor showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, which included a slow 40 time and interviews that led one scout to call Moore a “mess” off the field according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.
There’s still hope for Moore’s IDP value, especially in dynasties, but the odds of him being a top 10 pick and Moore making a significant impact in redraft IDP leagues appear to have diminished unless Moore shines at Texas A&M’s Pro Day.