Southern Miss S Tarvarius Moore
Tarvarius Moore wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. I didn’t know much about Moore until Bleacher Report’s and Bolts From the Blue’s Kyle Posey pointed him out after an incredible pro day performance. Then I saw more draft experts raving about the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder (size listed via his draft profile on NFL.com but some have him closer to 200 pounds)
I can't believe I just got to USM safety Tarvarius Moore. His testing numbers were insane at 4.32, with 38.5 VJ and 11'1" BJ, but the tape matched the testing. Excellent cover skills too. Easy second day selection and one of the most under-the-radar safeties in the class.
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 4, 2018
Moore is also one of PFF’s Steve Palazzolo’s hidden gems. Here’s what Palazzolo had to say:
“A 2017 PFF College First-Team All-American, Moore has created even more buzz with a 4.32 40-time at his pro day. He had an outstanding 2017, finishing with an 86.8 grade against the run and an 84.2 mark in coverage. Moore’s movement skills show up on the field as he hangs with receivers in one-on-one situations as well as any safety in the class and he closes in a hurry on underneath passes when playing zone coverage. He can get caught with his eyes in the backfield on play-action, so there are a few ugly plays on film, but Moore has the skills to develop into a solid all-around safety with versatility on the back end due to his size and speed.”
Crazy, right? That’s how the draft process works. Nobodies can become stars.
And Moore definitely shined in his final year at Southern Miss. Starting all 13 games, Moore finished with 87 total tackles, including three for loss, 10 pass deflections, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He only had 17 total tackles, two picks and two pass deflections the year prior.
While Moore definitely impressed in the Golden Eagles’ game vs. Florida State, it did show some of his weaknesses. He looked flat-footed and slow to react on certain plays, including early on when he gave up a touchdown. And almost every scout will say he took some poor angles and missed some tackles.
But he’s raw. He only spent two seasons at USM and one year as a starter. I think teams will crave the athletic traits he possesses, which is a big reason why he’ll get snatched up quicker than most safeties.
Round Prediction: Round 3-4
San Diego State DB Kameron Kelly
Kameron Kelly is one of the more versatile and experienced defensive backs entering the draft.
Kelly played multiple positions in high school. According to his profile on NFL.com, he was a dual-threat quarterback, receiver and defensive back at Wylie High School in Texas. As an Aztec, Kelly played six games as a true freshman and started the following two years at safety before taking over for Damontae Kazee at corner in his final season at San Diego State.
Kelly was also very productive and durable. He racked up 164 total tackles, including eight for loss, batted down 17 passes, picked off 10 balls, sacked the quarterback twice and forced two fumbles from 2015-17. He played in every game but one during that span. It’s also worth noting that he had experience returning kicks his freshman year (five kick returns for 131 yards).
PFF noted that he was sticky in coverage this past season. Check out the thread below. It does a good job displaying Kelly’s closing speed, the ability to high point the ball and his capability as a blitzer.
Kameron Kelly Film/ThreadCB- San Diego State 6’2” 204 (4.66). Kameron Kelly is a three and a half year starter for the Aztecs and has nine career interceptions. Kelly plays very long and loves to have his eyes in the backfield and shuffle. @49ersHive @FPC_NFL pic.twitter.com/lWjrc5FZXJ
— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) April 1, 2018
Kelly’s stock likely took a hit after a subpar combine performance. The the 6-foot-2, 204-pounder underwhelmed with a 4.66 40-yard dash and managed just nine reps on the bench press. However, he reportedly clocked in between a 4.55 and 4.61 40 at his pro day.
Kelly is underrated. He needs to be coached up a bit, but after seeing what he can do on the football field, I believe he can come in and compete at free safety right away. The team could also play him at corner in case of emergency, which is definitely a plus. He has average speed, but he has ideal size, good range and great ball skills you want in a defensive back. Ultimately, he shows good effort and will help create turnovers on defense.
Round Prediction: Round 4-6