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Dallas Cowboys Potential Draft Pick: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

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Jonathan Bales

This week has been one of draft preparation here at DC Times.  It’s always fun to assess potential contributors to the team, and I’ve tried to analyze players at positions I’ve already graded.

Today’s feature is the first safety I’ve studied in detail, and I’ve already completed my 2010 safety grades.  You can see there that I am very low on Alan Ball, giving him a ‘D+’ (66.7) overall grade.  He gave up seven touchdowns despite being targeted only 27 times and was horrendous in run support in 2010. 

It is my view that Dallas needs to make upgrading the free safety position a priority in 2011.  There are a lot of potential free agents (Michael Huff and Eric Weddle, to name a few), and the draft class is weak at the position.  Thus, free agency seems like the logical solution to fix the problem.

If the Cowboys do decide to look at rookie safeties, UCLA’s Rahim Moore is the top-rated guy on many people’s boards.

Scouting Report

Moore is lean–6’1”, 200 pounds–and at times it shows.  He can get caught up in traffic in run support and doesn’t really make big hits.  He often lets the ball-carrier drag him for a bit after contact.

The good news is Moore isn’t afraid to help out against the run.  He can struggle to get off of blocks, but in the open-field he’s a sure tackler with good technique.

Rahim Moore vs. UCLA (primarily run defense)

Moore has played primarily zone coverage at UCLA.  Although he can give up too great of a cushion at times, he generally does well in zone or when he can read the quarterback.  Take a look at the 2:51 mark below, where Moore takes off into his Cover 1 responsibility before the snap.  He doesn’t bite on the playaction fake and puts himself in position to make the interception.

Moore’s range is quite good, but not extraordinary.  He diagnoses plays very quickly, however, and uses his intelligence to put himself in proper position. He also has good speed which should help him become better in man-to-man coverage.  Sometimes he has trouble turning his hips and shadowing receivers. 

 Rahim Moore vs. Temple

Projection

Moore could go anywhere from the late first-round to the early third.  To me, he’s a second-round pick–good upside and the potential to be a really good, not great player.

If the ‘Boys like Moore, they’d probably need to scoop him up with their second-round pick.  Moore would be an immediate upgrade over Alan Ball, but the team may choose to secure a high-impact free agent at the position.

Other Potential Cowboys Draft Picks in 2011

Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

Cal DT/DE Cameron Jordan

UNC DE/OLB Robert Quinn

Ohio State DT/DE Cameron Heyward

Colorado OT Nate Solder

Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi

Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn

USC OT Tyron Smith

Miami CB Brandon Harris

LSU CB Patrick Peterson

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25 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Potential Draft Pick: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

  1. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    As I alluded to in a previous post, Moore should be no better than an early 3rd round pick. I’d have no problem trading up to get him in the late part of the 2nd if he’s still there.

    The real issue is – who’s gonna start at FS next year as it most certainly won’t be Ball? Whomever it is, this guy would definitely push them after a few years of development time and that’d be just great w/ me.

    Only way I see Moore as someone Dallas absolutely wouldn’t want is if they trade up for Peterson (which trading to #2 w/ Denver is doable I think if we package a CB w/ the #9 pick). Drafting Peterson means we don’t need to think about this guy unless he falls to the 4th round.

  2. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    BTW Jonathan, I like the continued look into potential prospects – keep up the good work.

    Might I add a view point for steering purposes – here’s what I think the Cowboys’ NEEDS are in order of priority:

    Right Tackle – no brainer here. Unfortunately, there are not elite RTs in the draft. NONE. Zippo. Zilch. Nada. Not a one. There are a few who have potential possibly – and that in my book means they are 3rd round picks (2nd is a reach for any of them).

    Free Safety – a strong second. Again, no real elite FS propsects but Moore is certainly one of the better. I still don’t see him as any better than late 2nd round for what he brings to the table right now.

    Inside Linebacker – Keep in mind that Olshansky and Bowen are both still under contract and played better than Brooking did at his position (but not much). And, I think Josh Brent is a better prospect at NT than Sean Lee is at ILB. Therefore, if I were to upgrade one of the two positions, I’d look at ILB 1st. Quan Sturdivant (NC) or Greg Jones (Mich St) look like solid 3rd rounders – only definitively better that Lee to justify another ILB pick in the 1st 3 rounds of successive drafts. I’d expect Jerry to give Lee another year to prove himself.

    Offensive Guard – Kosier is serviceable but Davis was benched mid season (he came back but only because he was a better option than Holland). Plus, he’ll be one year older next year and drawing a $6 million salary. Luckily, there are some fairly good G/C prospects in Pouncey, Wisniewski and Hudson. Best bang for the buck for Dallas would be to trade down to the late 20s in the 1st round and pick up one of these guys or use their 2nd round pick on them.

    Defensive End or Nose Tackle – depending on what you do w/ Ratliff (leave him at NT or move to DE), this is the 5th most needed position. This draft is unique in that there are quite a few DE/NT prospects that are potentially elite. However, there isn’t much depth or solidity of players to be avail in the later rounds. I like the Phil Taylor kid from Baylor but his stock has risen so much lately that he may be a 1st rounder as well.

    Fullback – a SOLID 6th need. There’s one potentially elite FB w/ the ability to both block, pass and run like Payton Hillis – that’s Stanley Havili of USC. Yeah, I’m USC homer but I really think this guy is can’t miss for a 4th round pick. Some analysts have him going as early as the 2nd.

    After these top 6, nothing else really matters by way of need.

    Just my opinion fellas – don’t crucify me…

  3. Rick says:

    I’m not much of a fan of Moore. I agree with you, he projects as a good player but nothing special. I don’t think he’s a better prospect than Nate Allen was last year, and there would be absolutely no talk of him being a 1st round pick if he were in last year’s draft class.

    Still, they could do worse at pick #40 (assuming he’s not gone).

  4. Thanks Tyrone. I too think Moore is a longshot because I don’t feel the ‘Boys will be comfortable going into the season with any rookie starting at FS. IMO, this is the position most likely to be upgraded in FA.

    Rick–Yeah, I see Allen as far superior to Moore. I think I had Allen in my top 30 last year.

  5. Rick says:

    Yeah, I’m using Allen as a comparison because I think he was a better prospect than Moore is, but he was rarely in the first round of mocks last year. The highest I saw him was #27 to Dallas, and that was considered a slight reach. Moore, meanwhile, I’ve seen as high as #16 to Jacksonville, which I find absurd.

    By the way, I think the Cowboys’ odds of starting a rookie at safety are better than their odds of starting a rookie O-Lineman. There were a lot of rookies that started at safety (Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Allen, TJ Ward, Morgan Burnett pre-injury), and most of them played well. The rookie OLs, from what I gather, were a more even split (some good, some acceptable, some liabilities). More than anything, I don’t think they’ll trust a rookie to start full time on the line after watching a rookie fullback put Romo on IR.

  6. john coleman says:

    TJ-I like the logic and the thought that you put in. No crucifixtion here. I do however just agree in part with some of your assessments.
    I agree totally that Moore is no sure thing. With that said, I agree with JB that FS could be the first position we need to upgrade in free agency. I simply can’t see a rookie starting as the QB of your defense.

    I agree in part that there are no elite RTs. I agree totally there are no elite LTs. As I pointed out the other day, analyst, have to value a player as the # whatever. There has to be a 1-32, then a 32-64, etc. Sherrod is the only OT worthy of 1st rd and he “could” be a risk. I do think Carimi can be a very good RT and is 2nd rd worthy. I still think guys like Lee Ziemba or Chris Hairston could be RTs. They both also possess the size to be monster OGs, if the OT gig doesn’t work. Ziemba also played in the SEC, which in general I consider to be the toughest conference in college. In other words, based on week in and week out competition Ziemba grades higher to me than some might have him. Hairston is a Clemson product and is 6-5/6-6, 325 lbs and can move a little. Our scouts were at Clemson games and he could have been the target. I suspect he, Bowers, Jarvis Jenkins and Marcus Gilchrist were all players of interest. Hairston certainly has thee size for a RT, as does Ziemba 6-5/6-5 320. Based on our drafting history and the talent in early rounds, players like these two in rds 3-5 seem more likely.
    I disagree with the OG/C comments, other than Pouncey, because non of the players you mentioned have size. Phil Costa is listed 6-3 316 and I heard comments all year he was too small. Wisniewski is about 300 and Hudson is really small 6-2 285. Pouncey could be a guy they like simply because he has played both C and G. I do agree with your assessment of our current players. Although I see Holland as being as good as Davis.
    I too like Phil Taylor, but definitely not in rd 1. He is a mid 2nd rd talent, maybe late 2nd. Again teams will reach. I would take him mid 2nd, if I saw him as the missing piece. I would also like to see us get Kenrick Ellis 6-5 340 in the 4th. Most of these big guys need a blow and must be in a rotation. If we secure true NTs, we already have DEs in Ratliff and Brent. Then you have 5 more guys in Lissemore, Spears, Bowen, Hatcher, and Olshansky to find 2 rotational players. The new kid Clifton Geathers is huge 6-6/6-7 300 but probably needs another year for sure.
    I’m onboard with the ILB need and the two players you mentioned wouldn’t make me mad. I think we are looking at Nate Irving from NC St. McCarthy and Matthews are some other to consider.

    Finally to the FB. I for one thought I saw some marked improvement from Gronkowski towards the end of the year. As far as drafting one, I say no. There’s this kid Keith Payne from UVA who is 6-3 250+ and scord 11 tds last season. I can’t see him not being able to play FB. He should be available 7th to UDFA. He is listed as a sleeper on the NE Patriots draft site. They have a pretty good record up there.

    A few names at the OG position are Orlando Franklin(college tackle), Ben Ijalana OG, and Zach Hurd. All of them have the reputation of being physical, especially in the running game.

    As a parting shot I would prefer physical guys with a mean streak at any position. My second want would be speed, especially in the defensive backfield. Next would be instincts especially in DBs and ILBs.

    Now, don’t crucify me. JB-Keep it coming.

  7. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    JC, no crucifixion whatsoever. In fact, quite the contrary.

    Goid poins wrt all the people you talk about (Carimi, Sherrod, Ziemba, etc.). I actually like Pouncey at G vs. C as he’s had some QB/C exchange issues. I understand about size w/ O line means a lot but I put more stock in actual strength, footwork and athletiscm. Case in point – Marcus Cannon (TCU) is 6’5″, 350 but wasn’t impressive at all at RT during his bowl game this year (had 2 false starts and a holding penalty and had his hands full w/ JJ Watt of Wisconsin). Matter of fact, he’s projected to move inside to G.

    But, all very good points. I like, I like a lot. You and Jonathan must be cousins…

  8. Rick–I haven’t seen Moore that high, but I don’t see any comparison between Allen and Moore. Allen is a true ball-hawk. . .Moore is sometimes tight in the hips and simply doesn’t have that kind of range.

    I would say the team’s odds of starting a rookie FS WOULD normally be better than a rookie OL, but this class doesn’t help. If Moore is the best FS of the bunch (which I don’t believe), I could definitely see a guy like Carimi starting well before a FS.

    JC–I like that you mentioned Ijalana. I have seen him play at ‘Nova quite a few times and he’s definitely got the size/versatility the Cowboys would like.

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