Positives: Pretty good size, good athleticism and great ball skills for the position. He reads run well but does not bite on play action, he plays center-field well and it seemed that he was rarely challenged as a junior in the games that I watched, probably because of his reputation of a dangerous ball-hawk. He reads run well and seems to have good instincts, and shows some ability as a downfield tackler and shows wrap-up ability. He reads the quarterback’s eyes well and he keeps plays in front of him, but shows an impressive burst to close and shows good acceleration in coverage and as a run defender. He shows that he can stay with slot receivers in man coverage, but he excels in zone coverage. Has some pop as a hitter at times and breaks on the ball and offensive players well. Shows good effort in pursuit.
Negatives: Moore’s production dipped as far as pass defense is concerned as a junior, but I think that had a lot to do with him playing centerfield and just not being challenged rather than him just not making plays anymore. He also has problems over-pursuing as a run defender and will take some bad angles when coming down to defend the run. He also slides off of bigger ball-carriers and I noticed that sometimes he will drop his eyes and attempt the tackle relatively blindly before making the tackle which I think has something to do with him missing tackles on bigger, stronger players. He will also struggle to get off of blocks from receivers or other blockers getting downfield, preferring to avoid them to get to the ball-carrier. Getting stronger and working on some block shedding would make him a much better run defender.
Overall: I really like Rahim Moore as a prospect. He isn’t the ideal run defender that you want in a safety but he is definitely a ball-hawk. I really think that he has pro-bowl potential at safety in the NFL and I think he will consistently produce interceptions and pass deflections as a NFL FS as long as teams will throw at him. He needs to improve as a run defender though because there were times when he over-pursued the play and it led to a big run for the opposing offense because as the last line of defense he needs to take better angles. He also could stand to improve as a tackler, and it would be great if he stopped dropping his head and lunging at tacklers because that explains a lot of his missed tackles (that and overpursuing/bad angles) but I also saw an instance when he did this and it led to him lunging his head right into a ball-carrier leading to what was probably a neck stinger. I’d hate to see his career shortened because of a neck injury but that is definitely possible when you drop your head like that. However, he is a perfect FS as far as pass defense because he has great ball skills, he times his leaps very well, he reads the QB’s eyes well and he doesn’t seem to bite on play action and rarely lets receivers get behind him. I think he will have a lot of success as a FS in the NFL.
Projection: Late 1st/Mid-2nd. I grade Moore as a first round prospect but because he didn’t time well in the 40 and because of his production drop as a junior I could see him lasting to the early-mid 2nd round. I would personally pick him in the 1st round though.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Ball Skills: 4.0