Being big and tall, having highlight plays, and being the son of a Hall of Famer are usually enough to give you a fairly successful college football career, as it did former LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss, the son of Randy Moss, one of the very greatest wide receivers in the history of the sport.
It won’t guarantee that you will be a success on the next level, however, as the children of many great players have previously discovered. After playing basically one season of college football, Moss went undrafted last year. He signed with the Washington Football Team as a college free agent, and spent his rookie season on injured reserve after Washington waived him injured in training camp.
Earlier this month, they released him. But Moss was claimed off waivers — by the Cincinnati Bengals, who just so happened to have drafted his quarterback, LSU standout Joe Burrow, with the first overall pick in the previous draft.
In the same year in 2019 that Moss caught 47 passes for 570 yards with four touchdowns for the Tigers, Burrow had one of the great seasons in college football history, putting up astronomical stats. He completed 402 of 527 pass attempts for 5,671 yards, while throwing 60 touchdowns to just six interceptions, for a quarterback rating of over 200.
He was the consensus top prospect in last year’s draft class. Though, after one year in the league, one can certainly argue that Justin Herbert has a legitimate chance of ultimately emerging as the best quarterback to come out of the class of 2020.
I have no doubt that Burrow will be very good, too. I do doubt whether or not he can help Moss become an NFL player. While many scouts — amateur and otherwise — were immediately high on him following LSU’s championship performance, the paid evaluators who work for the teams obviously didn’t see enough to justify using a draft pick on him.
It’s worth remembering that Moss was a junior and opted to declare for the draft as an underclassman. I think you can safely argue that that was a mistake. Even given the fact that his quarterback had just departed for the NFL himself. He personally was clearly not ready.
Presumably, it showed. But the reality is that nobody really got to see it. Only Washington got a couple weeks’ worth of in-person work with him. The Bengals haven’t even gotten a look at Moss yet, and still may not until training camp.