Positional value varies quite a bit from team to team in the NFL, especially when it comes to acquiring players that complement those already on a given roster. As the burgeoning analytics movement cascades into the league, the raucous and widespread devaluing of certain positions – in conjunction with teams’ priorities – makes for deflated draft stock in prospects that should likely be selected higher than they actually are. As more and more sabermetric shitheads attack these young men trying to build a career and set themselves up for financial security, it is important to remain tethered to a logical reality when evaluating and reviewing players’ strengths.
I’ll say it folks. I’m sick of the “wide receivers don’t matter” brigade.
These buffoons (who will surely catch these hands) are the reason that a player like David Moore slid all the way into the seventh round of the NFL Draft when he is obviously a zeroth round talent.
In all seriousness, Moore’s development over the past year has been astronomical and the Seattle Seahawks have to feel like they’ve found a legitimately good player in the draft’s most diluted round. The second-year wideout presents a different skill set than the established one-two punch of Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, boding well for the franchise as it builds for postseason campaigns.
In what we should legally be able to deem manslaughter of the Oakland Raiders, Moore flashed a lot of what makes him such an intriguing weapon for Seattle as they look to diversify and maximize the already-extravagant Brian Schottenheimer offense.
Let’s start with the teeder, since we all implore Moore to score more for we adore his and Russell’s rapport:
Trait-wise, there’s not a ton to see here other than on-field understanding and the inherent sexiness of a nice toe-tap. Wilson initally drops the snap, does a 360 because DVOA surely accounts for style points, pump-fakes, and then runs forward in the pocket looking for (Simba voice) somebody – anybody – to make a play. Moore, running a slant, turns his head towards his quarterback and sees the pump-fake before breaking his route upfield. As Russell perfectly places the ball in the back of the endzone, Moore corrals the moist projectile before daintily tapping his phalanges and doing a barrel roll.
Showcasing an aptitude to mesh with Wilson in a not-so-obvious improvisational situation is promising from Moore, as the need will certainly arise frequently in the future.
Both Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have demonstrated an ability to make contested catches but, with both slotting in at 5’10, a certain amount of separation is required.
Our father David Moore is a cool six foot flat and, in any game of inches, a couple extra make all the difference. The slight yet significant height advantage allows Moore to go up and over receivers more than a Baldwin or Lockett, who rely on a somewhat different type of body control to haul in these balls.
Okay, enough words, let me show you what I mean. Roll the tape!
On an outside release, Moore sprints vertically, riding the sideline like a sixth grader on a skateboard because it’s not a phase mom I swear. On a three-step drop, Wilson lobs the ball downfield, giving his receiver a chance at a spectacular reception. Moore proceeds to do this:
We saw Moore’s ability to go up and get it during the preseason, so seeing the trait extend into meaningful games is
What encourages me most is Moore’s ability to, when running vertical routes, consistently get on top of his defender, putting him in excellent (see above gif) position to elevate above the defensive back to make the grab. We saw this multiple times throughout Sunday’s game, including this play on the game’s first drive:
Moore runs the same route as the previous play we reviewed. With Oakland in man coverage and a single-high safety, the corner should be focusing on preventing the deep ball and shouldn’t allow Moore to pass him so effortlessly. While the ball that arrives is catchable, David gets tangled up with his defender, preventing the reception. A better throw potentially gives Moore a better chance at hauling in a touchdown, but his ability to favorably position himself above DB’s has proven not to be an isolated incident.
On this play, Oakland is in Cover 2 and the cornerback understands he has safety help if/when the receiver pulls away. Even though the corner has no reason to be too worried about his man getting on top, the Seahawks have clearly recognized this sort of play to be a strength of Moore’s. The exciting thing about this play is that the Seahawks are putting their newest phenom in favorable positions to utilize his most prized and (dare I say) polished skills! That’s right, Schotty. Spam the shit out of it.
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Seeing Moore provide Seattle with a vertical component of the route tree that Brandon Marshall just can’t offer anymore is a legitimate game-changer from both play-calling and team-building perspectives.
There exists another facet of Moore’s game that can open up a world of possibilities for this Seahawks offense: fly sweeps. Similarly to how the Los Angeles Rams use Robert Woods, Moore can be worked in as both a decoy and a dangerous lateral weapon. With the threat of a (DARE I SAY) effective inside run game, these types of plays work hand-in-hand to stretch a defense horizontally:
It doesn’t hurt that Moore shows a Golden Tate-esque ability to bounce off of tacklers and YAC his way to sizable gains.
Like generic play action, the mere threat of a fly sweep opens up so much for offenses – it can be different though in a sort of Moses parting the Red Sea sense.
Oh baby. Look at the center of the field open up like the Oakland Raiders’ trading block whenever Jon Gruden identifies a talented player on his roster. Wilson running a play action bootleg manipulates one linebacker while Moore, on the sweep action, pulls two defenders towards the left side of the field, including the dunce who is clearly supposed to be in man coverage on the man running free through the secondary, Darrell Daniels.
Offenses incorporating fly sweep action slap. You know it, I know it, and Sean McVay knows it. Hell, even Brian Schottenheimer knows it.
Ultimately, the most impressive play of the day from Moore was a simple yet elegant hitch:
Yep. That’s right folks. On third down, David Moore ran his route…
…past the sticks.
This kid gets it.