Over the weekend, I sent out an early draft proclamation, one I wholeheartedly believe and that happened to create a stir in my tiny sphere of #DraftTwitter.
It was in reference to Western Michigan receiver prospect Skyy Moore, a super-productive target I was admittedly late watching but got to on Friday. Here's the tweet, which was the culmination of the film-watching session that left my mouth agape.
Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore is going to be a first-round pick in April...— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) February 19, 2022
... if that doesn't happen, in 2-3 years we'll all agree he should have been
I currently have a first-round grade on Moore, and it'll stay there unless he completely bombs his combine workout -- which I'm not expecting in the least. He's essentially a lock to be within my top five receiver prospects in the 2022 draft class. I'm that smitten.
I followed up the initial tweet with this one on Saturday.
On the Skyy Moore tweet from last night— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) February 19, 2022
IMO he has RD1 WR traits/productivity. If he gets pushed down due to other prospects being available & b/c he played in MAC, in a few years he'll show why he also has WR1 abilities.
Releases, routes, YAC, ball skills are all high-caliber
Ok, so I've built Moore up quite a bit, haven't I? Well, let me literally show you the varying impressive plays I saw while watching his film. Moore's game is Complete, and the capital "C" was used on purpose.
The first thing any receiver must do at the NFL level is cleanly get off the line. If his releases are lackadaisical, not physical or some combination of the two, he can forget about creating separation or leaping for a deep ball down the sideline. And Moore is one of the most efficient press-beaters I've ever scouted. I'm serious. He leans on a rapid stutter step and shake and either explodes to the outside or inside. Simple and effective. No dancing. He often uses an arm over to free his upper body too. Watch this glorious release on a touchdown against Pittsburgh.
How about this one -- very similar -- on another long touchdown on a slant, this time against Northern Illinois. Notice the choppy footwork, swim move to get inside leverage, and acceleration into his route to give his quarterback ample room to hit him in stride.
(Moore is at the bottom of the screen here)
Nasty, right? Moore (at the top of the screen) wasn't targeted on this first-half play against Michigan in the Big House. Doesn't matter. He did his job to free himself on the slant and was open over the middle.
Next, a receiver has to run crisp routes. Sudden breaks, burst after changing directions, and sustained speed to generate space between the cornerback. Moore can do and routinely does all of those things. He's an explosive and methodical route technician.
Here, against Northern Illinois, Moore is in the slot and is running a corner route against significant cushion. To get the defensive back to bite, watch him fake with a jab step and shoulder fake to the inside before speeding to the sideline.
The ball was a bit overthrown and fell incomplete, but to get that open against 10 yards of cushion was eye-opening. Same game, same route, but this time inside the red zone against 5 yards of cushion.
Moore was less emphatic with his fake to the inside but sold a vertical route before snapping off the top of his route stem and accelerating toward the sideline. Note the tremendous diving grab too.
And Moore's a ball-skills wizard. Check this pluck touchdown against Kent State. He did get an early jump on the cornerback who wasn't aware of the snap, but the ball didn't lead him deep into the end zone. Didn't matter.
The ball-tracking brilliance, insane body control, and sideline awareness on that play ... [chef's kiss]. Moore's a natural hands catcher with enough leaping ability to challenge most cornerbacks down the field on slightly errant throws. He'll sell out to make overthrown passes with diving attempts too.
What else is important at receiver today? Oh, that's right. YAC. Yards after the catch, the area in which Deebo Samuel, Cooper Kupp and just about every elite wideout excels. Moore has the body, balance, and twitch to star in that area too.
At the combine we'll see his exact height and weight, but Moore's listed at 5-10 and a rather strapping 195 pounds. And that compact of a frame works in his favor with the ball in his hands. He has an inherently low center of gravity to go along with his springy lower half, making him deceptively strong and balanced through contact.
As evidenced by the run on this jet sweep against Northern Illinois...
... and this screen against Pittsburgh.
Moore even flashed on this lightning-quick comeback route against the Huskies. He knew where the cornerback was when he caught the football, spun to the outside, shedded the arm-tackle attempt and scooted down the sideline.
That is what YAC is all about. Taking a basic pitch and catch and morphing into an explosive play.
One last catch for fun -- a double move connection against Buffalo that you'll probably have to watch twice to make sure I didn't fast forward. You'll notice Moore's patented stutter and swim to get outside leverage, but the stop-and-start skills showcased here were downright ridiculous.
I'm not exactly sure how Moore's going to test, and I completely understand the vast majority of these reps were against MAC cornerbacks, most of which aren't going to be starting across him from him on Sundays next year.
But he looks incredibly twitched-up, decently fast, nuanced as a route runner with soft hands, and surprising YAC capabilities. He accounted for nearly 39% of Western Michigan's receiving yards in 2022. Any market share percentage above 30% is good and considered a quality indicator of future success. Plus, he won't turn 22 until September.
Maybe Moore won't go in the first round. But I'd want him on my team if I was a GM and genuinely believe he'll be appearing in the first round of 2022 redraft articles in a few years.