D.J. Moore is projected to be a day two selection in this spring’s NFL Draft. As a talented wide receiver who can evade defenders and is effective in short passes and screens, many scouts compare him to another former Maryland Terrapin in Stefon Diggs. Diggs was drafted in the fifth round in 2015 by the Minnesota Vikings and has become a top wide receiver for a team known for HOF wideouts Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Posting at least 700 yds in his first three seasons, Diggs has improved each year and helped lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship game this past season.
The “Minneapolis Miracle” may have become Diggs’ most iconic play, but he was producing those types of plays in College Park in both the receiving and return game. Injuries affected his durability in college, however, he was always a dangerous player with the ball and could take it the distance on every play. Like Diggs, Moore had multiple productive seasons while adding a big play ability to an otherwise mediocre Maryland offence. Both receivers were known as evasive, quick playmakers who could make opponents miss and have the speed to outrun defenders to the end zone.
D.J. Moore, the next Stefon Diggs?
Who is D.J. Moore?
Until the NFL scouting combine, Moore was one of the under the radar receiving prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, this is not from a lack of a resume. Moore was a first-team all-Big Ten section and the receiver of the year in 2017. 1033 yards and 8 TD’s to lead a power five conference is impressive by itself, but what makes Moore special is the circumstances he played within. Maryland started four quarterbacks due to injuries, yet Moore still had a 1000 yard season and at 6’0″, 210lbs, has the size and skill to excel at the next level.
When most quarterback’s go down with injuries, the entire offence usually struggles. Receivers and QBs need chemistry, to know when to cut. It takes time to know when and where to throw, and gain the trust and confidence in each other. In his third year at Maryland, Moore stepped up as a leader and reliable target for his young signal callers. Of the four QBs who started, three were either freshmen or sophomores. As an experienced receiver, stepping up and contributing no matter who is calling the plays says a lot about your ability and leadership.
Where Did He Come From?
Maryland does not receive much national attention, as being in the same conference as Ohio State and Penn State take attention away. They are not a dominant team by any means; six to seven wins is average for the black and gold. They may not win much, but recruits don’t seem to mind. MD produces some very talented prospects, and the Terps have been very successful in keeping talent at home. Diggs was the 3rd ranked receiver by ESPN coming out of high school and had offers from USC, Penn St, Miami, and Ohio St among others.
Maryland rank near the top of the Big Ten, and are always ranked in the top 50 of the CFB National Rankings. Moore was ranked 16th in Pennsylvania originating from Philly. Michigan St, Temple, Nebraska, and Missouri among others extended offers to the wideout but he ultimately opted for MD. Maryland winning these players says a lot about their program, competing in the Big Ten at one of the most prestigious universities in the country intrigues athletes.
How Will He Help An NFL Team?
Moore’s early outlook is that he will go somewhere in the second round. Right out of college, he looks able to contribute on special teams as a returner and will continue to develop until he becomes a more polished receiver. His fastest path to Sunday starter is improving on catching 50/50 balls and using his size to his advantage. Multiple teams in need of a receiver could use his skill set to take their receiving corps’ to the next level. Maryland does not produce many NFL stars, however, in a few years, D.J. Moore could be a rare outlier much like Diggs before him.
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