Elijah Moore is a position-versatile, undersized wide receiver who is a high-level route runner and also excels at generating yards after the catch. Since breaking out his sophomore season at Mississippi, he has been the go-to guy in the Rebels’ offense, earning a target share of over 30 percent in each of the past two seasons. In 2020, Moore took major steps forward in both his overall efficiency and his effectiveness as a downfield threat.
With Moore, teams are getting a “jitterbug” type player who not only possesses upper-echelon athleticism but understands how to control his body to maximize movements and implement strong footwork running routes. He should immediately translate to the NFL in the slot. Teams that don’t knock him for his size could have a top-50 grade on him.
Ultimately, opinions on Moore will likely be varied and his potential draft range seems to be decently wide. I would be comfortable selecting Moore at any point on day-2 of the draft and even as early as the back-end of the first round.
On targets 20 or more yards beyond the LOS, Moore caught 11 of 19 for 490 yards and four touchdowns.
Forced 19 missed tackles on catches in 2020 while averaging 6.1 yards after the catch.
In 2020, Caught 11 of 15 targets that were contested.
Strengths: Elijah Moore is a natural separator
Natural separator. Moore’s ability to stop on a dime and accelerate through corners is basically the package you are paying for with him. Moore can run with tremendous bend while also being able to plant his foot in the ground and string together multiple crisp breaks without needing to throttle down much. While this skill set is mostly displayed in the short parts of the field and after the catch, it also allows Moore to effectively threaten vertically to then snap off routes in the intermediate. Moore is also adept using his fluidity and crispness to crush defenders on double moves downfield.
Elite quickness and acceleration with good top-end speed. Moore’s raw athletic profile makes him a very intriguing prospect. He has the juice to separate downfield if asked to do so and is also a threat to take a short pass the distance at any given moment. Can easily outrun most defenders in the open field.
Top-notch hands. Moore arguably has the best hands in the class. He not only rarely drops passes (2 on 102 targets in 2020) but has examples all over his tape of high-end concentration catches through traffic or on off target throws. Despite his size he also routinely wins at the catch point when contested and has a few one-hand grabs on his resume to boot. His catching technique appears effortless and his hands appear strong as he naturally plucks the ball from the air.
Moore can play anywhere. Mississippi used him on the outside, in the slot and in the backfield and he excelled just about everywhere he played. While Moore projects as a primary slot-receiver in the NFL he has the tools to win elsewhere as well.
Weaknesses: Elijah Moore is undersized
Moore is undersized. With what he was asked to do at the collegiate level, his size very rarely appeared to be a problem, in fact, it played to his strengths at times. Whether this will be a legit weakness or not remains to be seen but the physicality and amount of space available in the NFL is very different than the college game and traditionally, smaller receivers struggle with certain parts of the change.
Manufactured production can be misleading and Moore had a lot of it. It's easy to look at the raw numbers the past two seasons and become enamored with Moore’s level of production. However, it is important to note that a lot of it was scheme-driven. In 2020, for example, 48 of Moore’s targets came just 5 yards beyond the LOS or shorter. This level of schemed opportunity likely isn’t available in the NFL, and Moore will have to consistently win against defenders to sustain production. Not a deal-breaker, though, as this is true for many WR prospects year over year, but definitely something to be aware of.
Limited reps winning against press techniques. Playing mostly in the slot at Ole’ Miss, Moore rarely saw press techniques. This could remain true in the NFL as well but if he is to be the offensive chess piece that some teams hope he can be, consistently winning against press becomes a lot more important.
Best fits: Elijah Moore could fit in Arizona or New York
Arizona Cardinals (picks 1.16, 2.17, 3.16) - The Cardinals could stand to add talent to the offense in order to maximize the rest of QB Kyler Murray’s rookie contract. Moore would be a great compliment to Hopkins and could see large target volume immediately as a fixture of Kliff Kingsbury’s quick-hitting spread offense.
New York Jets (picks 2.02, 3.02, 3.23) - No surprise here, as the Jets need weapons badly. While there is some overlap here between Moore and Jamison Crowder’s skill set, Crowder likely isn’t a long-term fixture in the offense. Moore’s multifaceted game would pair well with downfield threat Denzel Mims. This is a landing spot that could allow Moore to be the No. 1 WR. Quarterback would be the main question mark pertaining to early-career production.
Cleveland Browns (picks 1.26, 2.27, 3.26, 3.28) - My player comp for Elijah Moore is a young Stefon Diggs. The idea of pairing Moore with Kevin Stefanski is very interesting to me, as Stefanski coached Diggs’ first two career thousand yards seasons.