2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Iowa CB Riley Moss

From now until the 2023 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 Iowa CB Riley Moss.

#33 Riley Moss, CB, Iowa (R-Senior) – 6005, 193lb

Senior Bowl/Combine Invite


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Riley Moss 6’0 5/8”, 193lb 9 1/2 30 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.45 1.48 N/A N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
10’7” 39.0

The Good

— Has good size and length for the position
— Possesses the long speed and quickness you desire in a defensive back
— Has experience playing outside and in the slot
— Can mirror receivers down the field and across the middle with his speed
— Can click and close on the football once the ball is thrown when playing off-man/zone coverage
— Has the length and leaping ability to challenge jump balls
— Dangerous in off coverage, having his instincts take him to the football
— Has posted 11 INTs with three house calls in his college career
— Aggressive and willing tackler that will hawk tackle/cut down ballcarriers
— Possesses the quickness to change directions in the open field in coverage
— Smart, instinctive defender used to playing in a variety of zone coverages
— Does a good job covering ground to aid in contesting a pass in high/low coverage
— Makes effective drops in zone coverage, getting good depth on underneath assignments or playing overtop
— Special teams ace with the background to make an immediate impact in the pros

The Bad

— Could stand to get functionally stronger to fight through blocks and finish more as a tackler
— Will occasionally lose track of the ball in the air
— Doesn’t break on the ball as quickly as you’d like on underneath routes
— Needs to do a better job consistently getting his arms in passing lanes
— Eyes can deceive him as he will get locked onto the QB in the backfield
— Has moments where he will lose balance in coverage, leading to him grabbing a receiver of leading on him
— Misses too many tackles as he will dive and arm tackle the ballcarrier’s legs
— Can do a better job working through/around blocks on the outside
— Has dealt with several injuries in college including a hamstring strain and a torn PCL


— Redshirt Senior Prospect from Ankeny, IA
— Born March 3, 2000 (age 23)
— First-team Class 4A all-state and all-district honors as a senior in high school, playing WR, DB, and punt/kick returner
— Also, a track star as the Drake Relays and Iowa state champion in 110-meter high hurdles as a senior
— Set Iowa all-time record (13.85) while ranking in the top 10 nationally
— Saw action in all 13 games, with five starts in 2018 and recorded 24 tackles, two interceptions, and three PBUs
— Saw action in nine games with one start while missing four games due to injury in 2019 and recorded five solo tackles, two interceptions, and three PBUs
— Started at cornerback in all eight games and recorded 43 tackles (33 solo) two interceptions (one for a touchdown), and four PBUs
— Played and started in 11 games in 2021 and posted 39 total tackles (34 solo), three TFLs, four INTs (two TDs), five PBUs, and a fumble recovery
— Played and started in 13 games in 2022 and recorded 47 total tackles (31 solo), one TFL, one INT, 11 PBUs, and two forced fumbles
— Permanent Team Captain (2022), second-team All-Big Ten (2022), Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (2021), first-team All-Big Ten (2021), third-team All-American (2021), honorable mention All-Big Ten (2020)
— Sports and recreation management major

Tape Breakdown

Iowa CB Riley Moss is a player that I have had a fair amount of exposure to living in the Hawkeye State and having the Iowa Hawkeyes on the television screen since childhood. On top of that, I worked with the Hawkeye Football Strength and Conditioning Department back in 2019 and worked with Moss in the weight room for half a year while with the team.

When you plug in the tape on Moss, you see an aggressive, athletic defender that often gets misunderstood because of his skin color. Being a white cornerback, many often make the lazy assumption that Riley Moss isn’t a great athlete when that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. He broke the Iowa high school record in the 110-meter hurdles as a track star while starring at Ankeny Centennial as a DB, WR, and kick/punt returner. He ran 4.45 at the Combine, jumped 39 inches in the vert, and 10’7” in the broad, showing off his speed and explosiveness.

Riley Moss has the speed and quickness to match and run with receivers up the seam and over the middle of the field. Watch how he sticks to the receiver from Iowa State at the top of your screen like a glove on this rep, leading to a coverage sack for the defense.

Moss showed versatility during his time at Iowa, being able to line up outside or in the slot. On this rep, we see Moss’s physicality in the slot as he gets hands on the WR at the LOS backed up against his own goal line. He stays on the receiver as he attempts to make a one-handed leaping grab, being unable to reel in the catch for the score.

However, Moss excels when playing in zone coverage as he uses his instincts and eyes to take him to the football in DC Phil Parker’s defense. Moss has been quite the ball hawk for the Hawkeyes, posting 11 INTs in five seasons with three going back for scores. He had 4 INTs in zone coverage in 2021, the most in college football. Here is one against Indiana where Moss undercuts the route and picks off the pass for a house call walk-in TD.

What also sticks out about Riley Moss is his mindset as a tackler. He is a willing run defender that shoots himself at ballcarriers, often wrapping up their legs as he attempts to gator roll them to the ground like on this tackle where he brings down the Kentucky RB in the open field.

However, we see Moss sticks his nose into things with a straight-ahead tackle on Iowa State’s QB in this clip, shedding the block and driving his feet on contact as he wraps up the 230lb passer on the run and wrestles him to the ground.

Still, there are plenty of examples on tape where Moss goes way too low with his tackle attempts, diving to take out the runner’s legs with an arm tackle like on this attempt last year against Wan’Dale Robinson, leading to whiffed tackles and extra YAC.

While a quick athlete, Moss isn’t the fastest processor when it comes to subtle changes in direction by opposing WRs or double moves in the open field. This causes him to latch on and grab receivers like on this rep against Robinson, getting overly physical with the WR before the ball is even thrown.

Moss also needs to do a better job of getting his head turned around and locating the football in the red zone and on jump ball opportunities. Watch on this play as Moss’s feet stop and he has too much forward lean into Xavier Hutchinson, losing his balance as he tries to turn his head around to locate the football. Hutchinson does tug at Moss a bit here, but Moss doesn’t do himself any favors with his positioning on this play where he lets up a TD.



Overall, Riley Moss is an athletic, experienced CB with 2,606 snaps under his belt over the course of five seasons, per Pro Football Focus. He plays well in off-man and zone coverage, being able to move around and react to the ball being in front of him as well as undercut routes in an attempt to make plays. He also is an aggressive tackler in run support but needs to clean up his positioning on tacklers to get ballcarriers more consistently to the ground. While a capable man coverage defender, Moss needs to play with better body control and awareness in close quarters to hold up at the next level.

When watching Moss’s tape, I compared his game to former teammate at Iowa and current Chicago Bears CB Michael Ojemudia. Ojemudia has a similar athletic profile as Moss, having good height and length along with similar long speed and explosiveness. Ojemudia can play man coverage with receivers, but does some of his best work in off-coverage when he can play with the ball in front of him and react to passes around him, jumping routes much like Moss has done at a high level.

I foresee Moss being a team’s backup CB to start out his career while being a special teams ace for whatever team that selects him. He would do best to go to a zone-heavy system but can play some man coverage as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be interested in Moss in the middle rounds of the draft thanks to his character, ball skills, and willingness as a tackler. Still, he needs to clean up his technique in close quarters with receivers to become a starting CB that teams can rely on consistently.

Projection: Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 7.3 – Rotational Player (4th Round)
Games Watched: Vs Iowa State (2022), vs Kentucky (2021), vs Indiana (2021)

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