In most years, a player with Dan Moore Jr.’s resume and physical attributes likely would not have been available where the Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the fourth round. More than a dozen tackles had already been drafted by that point earlier this offseason. In a weaker class for the position, he undoubtedly would have been taken earlier.
That is a point that NFL analyst Matt Williamson recently made writing about the prospect for the team’s website this week, but he also stressed that we ought to temper expectations for him right out of the gate, even if he saw it as time for the investment to be made.
“He isn’t a projection to tackle or a prospect that is better off kicking inside to guard”, he writes in the piece at Steelers.com. “Moore stands 6′ 5 ½” and weighs 311 pounds. He has the arm length, wingspan, hand size and overall build you are looking for at the position”.
He certainly looks like an NFL tackle, and he also played in the conference, the SEC, that would be the closest to an NFL equivalent, the conference that sends more players to the big league than any other, usually by a good margin.
Yet he wasn’t seen in the same light as Dillon Radunz and Samuel Cosmi, who were drafted a round earlier, let alone the likes of Penei Sewell and Christian Darrisaw. Why is that? According to Williamson, he got better year after year, but lacks what he calls “blow you away” play.
“He could stand to get stronger and work on better hand technique”, he wrote, “but overall, you don’t see glaring weaknesses with Moore’s prospect profile and he already has a strong understanding of blocking angles”.
That’s all well and good, and he notes, given the minimal amount of investment the team has made at tackle over the past several drafts, it was time to invest into the developmental pool, but he also wrote that we probably “shouldn’t expect much from Moore this year as he learns and develops”.
That’s not necessarily the Steelers’ plan. This isn’t meant to be a redshirt year, but it can be. After the draft, offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said that Moore would be in the mix to compete at one of the tackle positions this year.
He’s surely not going to be the favorite in either race, but the door is open, and sometimes for really talented players, that’s all they need to claim what is theirs. And right now, the Steelers’ current options aren’t really homeruns or proven commodities in Chukwuma Okorafor and Zach Banner.