2017 NFL Draft

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Arthur Moats

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 246 | College: James Madison
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The 2009 Buck Buchanan Award winner (best defender in the FCS) and Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year is another undersized defensive end looking to transition to linebacker at the next level. His athleticism and quickness during the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge and good marks in agility testing at the Scouting Combine showed scouts he could hold his own against prospects from larger schools.

Moats' production improved in each of his four years at JMU. He made 18 stops (two for loss) in playing every game as a true freshman. In 2007, he earned five starts as part of a rotation, recording 6.5 sacks. He earned third-team All-CAA honors as a junior, starting every game and making 15.5 tackles for loss including 11.5 sacks. Last fall, he made 90 tackles, led the FCS with 23.5 tackles for loss and corralled quarterbacks 11 times to win the Buchanan Award by the biggest margin in the event's 15 years.

Moats looked comfortable at linebacker in El Paso for the all-star game, and lined up there on occasion while playing for the Dukes. NFL teams feel he can continue to improve at the second level, becoming a similar player to Colts starting outside linebacker and former fourth-round pick Clint Session.


Read & React: Smart, instinctual player, but is still learning the linebacker position. Does not bite hard on play-action or misdirection, but takes a second too long to read run so linemen can reach him. Accelerates to the ball quickly once he recognizes the play.

Run defense: Inexperienced playing the run from the stack, but flows through trash fairly well to attack the ball. Will overrun the play when scraping and take aggressive angles. Lacks size and length to get off pro linemen blocks when reached at the second level. Can avoid those blocks with violent hands, however, and can shed tight end blocks on the edge to stop the run. Plays low, using his low center of gravity to maintain leverage. Good effort to makes plays to the sideline and downfield.

Pass defense: Flips open his hips fluidly when dropping into a zone, able to get good depth. Good awareness of players in his zone but needs to improve his route recognition, but that could come with time. Gives up height to tight ends when man-up but is strong enough to knock them off their route from the nine-technique. Stays low in pedal, able to change directions quickly to chase the play.

Tackling: Explosive tackler who brings his hips and plants ballcarriers into the ground. Stays low into the man and rarely gets eluded once in the play, even if getting only an arm on the ballcarrier. Will chase plays downfield and be the second or third man into the pile, keeping his legs moving until the whistle is blown. Takes the correct angle when trying to prevent big plays. Has a chance to be a good inside special teams player because of his speed, hands and aggressive tackling.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Explosive rusher on the edge with spin, outside-in, bull rush and swim moves. Spends a lot of time in the opponent's backfield with quickness off the snap. Gets under taller tackles' pads to push lesser tackles back and can go under their armpit to turn the corner quickly. Strong tackler who does not let go of quarterbacks once they are in his grasp and typically plants him in the ground.

Intangibles: Team captain. Put in extra time in the weight room before his senior year to become stronger, as well as more time in the film room to be a smarter player. Coaches love his work ethic and leadership.

Career Notes

Fourth-year Duke and returning starter who the JMU staff expects to be among the nation's leading players at defensive end … versatile performer who has developed from a pass rusher to an overall standout player, said defensive line coach J.C. Price … starts the 2009 season eighth on JMU's career quarterback sacks list with 18.

2009 Season

One of JMU's five team captains … the Colonial Athletic Association's defensive player of the year and first-team All-CAA … finished the season with 90 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown … set JMU's season record for tackles for loss … the national FCS leader in tackles for loss and overall tackles among defensive linemen … finalist for the Dudley Award that is presented annualy to the top football player at one of Virginia's 10 FBS and FCS programs … preseason first-team honors as defensive end in Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Pre-season Guide … pre-season CAA all-conference team as defensive end … pre-season All-America third-team honors as defensive end by College Sporting News … recorded seven tackles in the season-opener at Maryland … vs. Virginia Military had six tackles, three solos, and one sack … vs. Liberty recorded nine tackles, one forced fumble, and a sack, earning him CAA defensive player of the week honors … vs. Hofstra recorded 10 tackles, six solos, and two sacks … vs. Richmond recorded nine tackles, six solos, four tackles for loss, and a sack … vs. Villanova had nine tackles, including two for loss, and a sack … vs. William & Mary recorded nine tackles, four solos, and one sack … vs. Delaware recorded seven tackles, five solos and two and half sacks … vs. Maine recorded six tackles, three solos, and one tackle for loss … vs. Massachusetts recorded 11 tackles, including four solo, and two sacks … vs. Towson recorded seven tackles, two solos, and a 68-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

2008 Season

Starter throughout the season … third-team All-CAA and second-team all-state by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association … team's defensive lineman of the year … No. 3 overall on the team and first among defensive linemen in tackles with 65 … had 25 solo stops and team highs of 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 quarterback sacks … broke up a pass and forced three fumbles … his sacks total tied for JMU's No. 2 season mark, just off the record of 12 by Chris Morant in 1999 … tied for the CAA lead in sacks and tied for third in the league in tackles for loss … tied for second in the CAA in forced fumbles … fifth among CAA defensive linemen in tackles per game and ninth nationally in sacks per game (0.82) … had a career-high 11 tackles, including five solo stops and 3.5 sacks, in JMU's NCAA playoff win over Villanova … took part in 24 tackles overall, including six sacks, in JMU's three playoff games … involved in seven tackles, including a shared sack, vs. Hofstra … took part in six tackles vs. Delaware and five vs. Appalachian State, Maine, Wofford and Montana … had a solo and a shared sack vs. Appalachian State, sacks vs. Massachusetts, Delaware, William & Mary, and at Villanova and took part in shared sacks vs. Maine, Towson, Wofford and Montana … forced fumbles vs. Duke, Appalachian State and Delaware.

2007 Season

In the DE rotation throughout the year and made five starts -- vs. Coastal Carolina, Villanova, Northeastern, Towson and Appalachian State … had 45 tackles, (26 solo, 7.5 for loss, 6.5 sacks) … tied for the team lead and tied for eighth in the CAA in sacks … had a career-high eight stops (4 solo, a full and assisted sack) vs. Towson … had six stops vs. Coastal Carolina and Villanova … had solo and shared sacks vs. Coastal Carolina and Towson and solo sacks vs. Rhode Island and Delaware … had five stops (all solo) at Rhode Island and four vs. Northeastern, William & Mary and Towson … covered a bad punt snap at the Coastal Carolina 11 to set up a JMU TD.

2006 Season

As a true-freshman played in each game and had 18 tackles (11 solo, 2 for loss) … had a season-high five stops (4 solo) vs. William & Mary and four (1 solo) at Youngstown State … had three solo stops vs. Northeastern and had two stops vs. Bloomsburg and Virginia Military … returned a fumble 22 yards for JMU's final TD vs. Delaware.

High School

Team MVP, first-team all-district and all-Tidewater and second-team all-state DE and district champion in wrestling and in the shot put as a Churchland senior … state all-star game invitee … first-team all-district and second-team all-Tidewater as a junior … second-team all-district as a sophomore.


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