Sep 28, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers offensive tackle Morgan Moses (78) during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh defeated Virginia 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report – Morgan Moses, OT Virginia


The Virginia Cavaliers have another talented left tackle prospect in this year’s draft.  Much like linebackers at Penn State or Miami(FL) or defensive backs from Ohio State and offensive linemen from Michigan, Virginia has had a great run of tackles that have been drafted with several doing extremely well in the NFL including D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe.  Moses has experience at both tackle spots and has played in all but one game since he has been in Charlottesville.

Moses is imposing size wise but his body is underwhelming when it comes to appearance.  His feet are better than some might expect and his power is impressive and he seems to take a lot of pride in the running game and plays with a mean streak.  There are some concerns with just how quick his feet are, how high he plays, and his balance as a result.  Moses looks like he could play left tackle but might be better suited on the right side possibly as a swing tackle to start his career.  Nevertheless, his strength and power with his mentality as a run blocker are intriguing if they can play lower, which makes him an intriguing third day pick with the possibility of starting right away.
Vitals & Build

Moses is listed at 6’6” 325lbs and looks big but rather ordinary as a player.  He carries some extra weight around his midsection he can lose.  His weight overall is pretty good but the composition could improve.  Moses may not look great but he is a better athlete than some might expect.  His feet are pretty good and he demonstrates impressive power and functional strength considering how high he plays.  There are some questions in regards to his base and balance that can prop up at times with how high he plays.  His physical potential is with how he can improve his body composition and what would happen if he does lose weight.  Moses can still get stronger but much of his improvement would be maximizing the strength he already possesses and getting better with his feet.

Athleticism

Moses has better feet than one might expect.  His lateral ability is pretty good, but he is better going forward and can accelerate well.  Despite his size, Moses has shown he can get to the second level and make blocks.  At times, Moses can be heavy footed when it comes to his pass sets, but he seems to be as quick as he needs to be to protect the edge.

Run Blocking

Moses is an effective run blocker in spite of how high he tends to play.  He shows remarkable power and strength to not only move people off of the ball, but goes beyond that with a great mean streak and will look to dominate an opponent.  There are times when he is just a wrecking ball and is able to create a gaping hole in the running game.

There are definitely times when playing so high gets him in trouble.  When he plays against opponents with the strength to compete with him and play from a lower pad level, he can either get stoned or flat out overpowered.  At times, he can get knocked off balance and then be finished off by his opponent.

Moses is effectively when he has the size and strength advantage, which is often and is able to really make a difference, because he can generate momentum quickly and can just engulf his opponent, but the concern with Moses is when he faces some of the defensive ends in the NFL that can match him with power and strength and control him at the point of attack.

Pass Blocking

Moses moves well enough and his power makes it so he can get rid of opponents rather easily.  He can usually handle power but because he is tall, he leaves himself vulnerable to get beaten head on.  Moses is actually better equipped to take on players who convert speed to power because his footwork and slide has him lower than he is when he is standing in one spot.

Moses can get out and block on the edge, but he is vulnerable to pure speed rushers who know how to bend and get low.  His foot quickness is solid but not spectacular and combining that with playing high, he could be put at a significant disadvantage against situational pass rushers and opponents who can dip or go up and under as well as being able to be driven outside and then giving up a counter move.  To Moses’s credit, this has not happened to him in college to this point and he does have long arms and power to push opponents outside of the play for the most part.

Technique

Moses demonstrates a strong punch and can jolt opponents with heavy hands.  He does a pretty good job of using his hands to win blocks, but will occasionally let opponents slip out of them.

The biggest area that Moses needs to improve upon is his ability to bend at the ankle, sink lower, and not put himself in the position of always being so tall.  If he can improve in that area, everything for Moses gets easier.

Footwork

Moses has good footwork going forward and is usually able to stay in control when he goes to the second level.  Because of his strength and power, he is not inclined to overextend or lunge to make blocks, but occasionally will have trouble making quick adjustments due to his height.

The area that is of concern is just how quickly he can move his feet and how consistently he can keep it up.  The question is whether or not losing some of the extra weight he has would help him in this area.  On the surface, it appears as though Moses could play left tackle in the NFL even if it might not be an ideal situation.

System Fit

Moses stands out as a power player.  He really relishes run blocking and loves to dominate the opponent and send a message with a great mean streak.  And with his ability to create space in the running game, he might be better served to be a right tackle in the NFL.  It would alleviate a small amount of concerns with his ability to protect the blind side, but he seems like a more natural strong side tackle.  If he can improve his feet, get better at bending and playing low, he could be a real weapon at the tackle spot on either side of the line.

It is possible that Moses could come in and start right away, but he seems more suited to play a season as the swing tackle while they work to improve his body composition and his technical abilities and then let him loose the following season.

NFL Comparison

Moses could end up similar to Doug Free of the Dallas Cowboys.  The former Northern Illinois Huskie was brought in initially to be a developmental swing tackle and then ended up at left tackle before finding what seems to be a good home for him on the right side of the Cowboys line.  Free and Moses have virtually identical measurements and both are able to play left tackle but may not be the best option there.

Draft Projection

There is a lot to like about Morgan Moses in terms of his demeanor.  Moses is an extremely powerful blocker even though his pad level is not great and he just seems to be able to find the mean streak to create space in the running game without going too far.  Moses is a better pass blocker than some might expect, even though he needs to work on playing lower to help his strength and improve his balance.  He projects as a better fit at right tackle but might be able to play both sides and likely ends up as a day three pick with a chance to sneak into the second day.

Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Morgan Moses Offensive Tackles Virginia Cavaliers Football