NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Florida LB Jeremiah Moon

From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling a linebacker prospect that has been on the brunt end of several season-ending injuries during his college career but has the measurables and athletic ceiling to be en enticing pro prospect if healthy.

#7 Jeremiah Moon, LB, Florida (R-Sr.) – 6046, 249 lbs.

Senior Bowl/Combine Invite

Measurements

Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Jeremiah Moon 6046/249 10 1/8″ 35” 83 5/8″
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.76 N/A 4.55 N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
11’1” 40.5

 

The Good

— Freaky length and size for the linebacker position
— High-character individual that is receptive to coaching and doing whatever is asked of him
— Explosive player that has moments where he shows off his burst in pursuit and power when making tackles or taking on blocks
— Long strider that covers ground quickly in pursuit of the football
— Position-versatile having played both on the edge and off-the-ball for the Gators
— Does a good job going through his reads and isn’t easily faked out in the backfield
— Does a good job finishing the ballcarrier to the ground as a tackler
— Long arms aid I his ability to keep blockers off his frame, expand tackle radius, and impact the passing game when dropping into coverage as well as getting hands up at the LOS
— Will square up to make the tackle attempt instead of running in undisciplined
— Has some short area burst to make plays in space
— Has shown the ability to convert speed to power on occasion as a rusher and can pull off a nasty inside spin move
— Has extensive experience playing on special teams units
— Still a raw player that has yet to unlock all the tools in the toolbox

The Bad

— Play speed and long speed in pursuit isn’t high caliber compared to other LB prospects
— Isn’t a very smooth mover in open space
— Long frame can lead to him standing upright thus being easily knocked off balance without a proper base
— Still raw at reading and diagnosing the play while simultaneously moving to the ball
— Can leave his eyes in the backfield for an extended period, being slow to diagnose and trigger at times
— Poor use of hands as a pass rusher, lacking a go-to pass rush move or the ability to consistently stack and shed blocks
— Movement in coverage can be clunky at times when having to run with backs and TEs in man— Isn’t a natural bender as a pass rusher and will often contact the blocker without an actual plan
— Suffered three separate season-ending injuries during his college career and is coming off a shoulder injury that kept him from playing in the Senior Bowl

Bio

— Redshirt Senior prospect (6th year) from Hoover, AL
— Alabama Class 7A First Team All-State and Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game Invitee as a HS senior
— Played in Florida’s first two games of the season before suffering a season-ending injury where he earned a medical redshirt after recording three total tackles
— Played in 10 games and made five starts at linebacker in 2017 where he recorded 23 total tackles (nine solo), one TFL, and half a sack
— Played in all 13 games and started four in 2018 and notched 31 total stops (eight solo), 1.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, a PBU, and a fumble recovery
— Made appearances in nine games, notching eight starts as an edge rusher prior to sustaining a season-ending injury against Georgia, but recorded 31 tackles (19 solo), 6.5 TFLs, three sacks, two PBUs, and a fumble recovery in his limited action
—  A season ending foot injury during the 2020 season that limited him to see the field in only four games after the Georgia game where he managed 14 stops (four solo), 1.5 TFLs, and a sack in limited action
— Used final year of eligibility and started at linebacker in nine games as he made the transition to off-ball LB in 2021 after LB Ventrell Miller tore his biceps, and finished the season with 49 total stops (20 solo) 3.5 TFLs, two sacks a PBU, and a forced fumble
— Invited to participate at the 2022 Reece’s Senior Bowl, but didn’t participate due to an ailing shoulder injury coming off the season
— 2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2019 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, 2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

Tape Breakdown

Jeremiah Moon is yet another former Florida Gator that I had the privilege of coaching back in the summer of 2018 in the strength and conditioning department down in Gainesville. Moon was in my primary lifting group, so I got to work with him every single day. Moon came off as a freak of nature athlete, boasting a long, gangly frame with impressive muscle definition along with the strength and power to move impressive amounts of weight effectively while also possessing the explosiveness and long limbs to cover ground well in our field drills. When I got the chance to catch up with him at the Combine, it became a surreal moment for me that I write about in the following post.

Combine Confessional: Interviews Coming Full-Circle

 

Now, when it comes to evaluating Jeremiah Moon the football player, I will be the first one to point out that he is far from a finished product on the field. There are a lot of intricacies that he still needs to learn to excel at either off-ball linebacker or as an edge rusher where he started his career. He noticeably fails to rush the passer with a plan in place, lacking the hand usage and natural bend around the corner to put consistent pressure on the QB in the pocket. Here is an example where #70 Darrian Kinnard stalls Moon’s rush right away as he is late to dip and rip throw the block attempt, failing to crash the pocket on the handoff.

 

His instincts are not to the level you would like to see from an NFL-ready prospect in terms of quickly reading and diagnosing the play, leading to him occasionally guessing and getting caught out of position. Here is one clear example against Kentucky where Moon lines up on the edge and appears to be running a stunt, but he stands upright on the snap rather than crashing in hard to affect the tackle and guard, getting down blocked by Kinnard as the back gets around the corner and scores the easy walk-in TD.

 

Here is another example of Moon dropping into coverage and does a good job of covering up the receiver in the middle of the field but fails to work off the block the receiver puts on him as QB #7 Will Levis scrambles out of the pocket, leaping over one defender and nearly picks up the first down. Moon comes off as a little tight and slow to change direction in the open field and honestly should be able to run through the WR’s shoulder to make a play on the scramble given the size/strength mismatch.

 

However, as I mentioned earlier about Moon being a freak athlete in the weight room, there are flashes on tape where you see that same raw athleticism come into play. As an edge rusher, Moon displays good burst off the ball evidenced by his impressive jumps at the Combine paired with the long strides to get in the backfield in a hurry. Watch this rep where Moon comes off the edge at the top of your screen, running right past the puller coming to get him and wraps up the ballcarrier in the backfield behind the LOS for a loss on the play.

 

Moon was asked to transition to an off-the-ball role this past season due to an injury to fellow starting LB Ventrell Miller, and honestly fared well there in limited action. His length, size, and ability to cover ground makes him a great run stopper up the middle, effectively filling gaps when he triggers downhill in a hurry. Here is another example of Moon shooting the gap on the snap of the ball against the Crimson Tide, getting into the backfield almost immediately to take down the back behind the LOS.

 

While his hand usage isn’t the greatest as a pass rusher and he needs to improve his ability to stack and shed, the immense physical tools Moon has given his athletic profile and frame suggest that those tools are the to be taped into. Here on this run stop, we see Moon line up on the edge at the bottom of the screen and shock the TE back with his punch, extending his arms and ripping off the block to make a play on the runner who manages to just get past the LOS for a short gain.

 

Here is an example of Moon rushing off the edge against South Carolina where we see his lack of hand usage as he attempts to get the corner, being unable to chop the LT’s arm down at the top of the arc. However, Moon manages to make the effort play by countering back as the QB steps up in the pocket, dropping him from behind for the sack. Should Moon be able to develop a go-to move, his productivity as a pass rusher would vastly improve.

 

While Moon may struggle to make reads consistently, he does normally play assignment-sound football. His length and athleticism allow him to keep offensive linemen off his frame when he lands a good punch and has the range to make plays to the sideline like on this good example of keeping outside contain against Miami in 2020. Moon lands a good punch on the TE trying to seal him off from the screen pass to the tailback, but Moon sniffs it out and tracks the back to the sideline, keeping his shoulder square to the LOS and outside leg and arm free and brings down the back for no gain on the play.

 

Some of Moon’s best work came this season when he was able to play off the ball and flow to the football once the ball is snapped having the height to see what was happening in the backfield and the closing burst to chase down ballcarriers from behind. Watch this play against Tennessee where Moon shows blitz at the LOS but drops back as the spy defender, reading the pass and takes off into the pocket when he sees the QB start to tuck and run, closing ground and wrapping up his legs for the takedown.

 

Moon also showed this season that he isn’t a complete zero when it comes to pass coverage as an off-ball linebacker. While his man coverage can look labored at times due to his size and lack of elite open-field speed, he holds his own well in zone coverage drops, occupying large amounts of space in the middle of the field given his wingspan and can turn and run with receivers coming past his area like we see here against Alabama as he stays in-stride with #81 Cameron Latu running across the field.

 

Conclusion

Overall, Jeremiah Moon is a raw, yet gifted defender that brings some scheme versatility to the table, having played a fair amount on the edge, but showed this past season that he can make plays off-ball as a linebacker as well. He needs to continue to develop on the football side of things in terms of technique and execution, but the physical tools are there to mold Moon into a contributing player in the league with the chance he makes a bigger impact as a pro than he did in college. The big concern with Moon will come down to his lengthy injury history and whether teams will sign off on his medical or if these injuries may continue to follow him to the pros.

When coming up of a pro comparison for Moon, New York Giants LB Cam Brown that came out of Penn State in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft made sense for a lot of reasons. The two share that long, lengthy frame as well as the experience playing in the box as well as on the edge. They tested fairly similar with Moon doing better in the explosive drills and Brown holding up just a tad better with long speed. Still, Moon boasts a more filled-out frame than Brown coming out, but with his medicals, I could see Moon going in a similar range that Brown did as a later Day Three guy that needs time to develop.

The Steelers could use depth at both inside and outside linebacker this offseason and given how they may prioritize other positions earlier in the draft, Moon could be a sensible late-round option that can come in, contribute immediately on special teams, and develop at a spot that best suits him in the league. Defensive Assistant Brian Flores has excelled with longer, larger off-ball LBs in the past given the system he was a part of in New England and working with Moon may be the key to unlocking some of that athletic potential. Moon told me he met informally with the Steelers at the Combine, and should he have his injuries behind him, he could be a possible option at the end of the draft.

Projection: Late Day Three

Depot Draft Grade: 6.4 – End of Roster/ Practice Squad (6th Round)

Games Watched: vs Alabama (2021), at Kentucky (2021), vs Miami (2020)

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