Wednesday, April 1, 2009

D.J. Moore goes from highly rated to underrated

With the NFL draft less than a month away, the conventional wisdom seems to be that D.J. Moore will be drafted in the second or third round because of his disappointing 40 times in the combines, but that he'll still be an impact player on Sundays.

Mel Kiper calls him underrated. That's pretty funny. You project a guy to go in the first round and then a couple of weeks later you project him to go in the third round and then you call him underrated.

The knock on D.J. used to be his height, which is a shade under 5-foot-9, but now it's his speed. He's clocked in lately at about 4.55 in the 40-yard dash. Of course, that's also the time of Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins, the top cornerback in the draft and a sure-fire first-rounder, but Jenkins is over 6 feet tall. So you can be slow as long as you're tall?

Kiper has accurately pointed out that D.J. is a football player and when you put the pads on him and put him on the field, he's going to hold his own. For now, he lacks the measurables that are going to land a guy in the first round. He thinks the Patriots, which have six picks in the first three rounds, will jump on Moore if he's available.

"In the defensive backfield, not any first-round, guaranteed stars at the cornerback spot," Kiper said. "I like a D.J. Moore out of Vanderbilt as a third-round pick. He'll be a heck of a third-round pick. He's a very underrated kid, and there are several others that fall in that category. You're going to get good players that fall for the reason that they don't have the great measurables, but they're good football players. Some of these guys with good measurables are busts. You're going to do extremely well with those picks if you're the Patriots."

Right now, D.J.'s considered to be the fifth best cornerback in the draft according to ESPN's Todd McShay, who's got him ranked behind Jenkins, Illinois' Vontae Davis, UConn's Darius Butler and Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith.

Here's some links to other D.J. news:

• He's working out for the Titans today.

• His stock's been dropping because he lacks certain measurables.

• The Patriots like D.J. and thinks his versatility would suit their system.

Speaking of Vanderbilt cornerbacks, Cory McCartney of Sports Illustrated has picked Myron Lewis (pictured above with Moore) to be one of 10 breakout college players in 2009. I thought he broke out pretty well last season.

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