A name that has popped in recent diaries has been that of Jarvis Moss, defensive end for the national champion Florida Gators. I've noticed a lot of mock drafts have the Steelers taking him at 15. Moss would be drastically undersized as NFL defensive lineman, but would be a perfect fit to develop into a top notch outside linebacker in the 3-4. With that in mind, I spoke with Mark over at Swamp Ball and he agreed to put together a scouting report on Jarvis Moss.
6'6, 250 lbs
13 Games | 56 Tackles | 11 TFL | 7.5 Sacks | 4 FF
26 Games | 85 Tackles | 20 TFL | 15 Sacks | 5 FF
Moss could be considered a "tweener" as the draftniks call them, as he could be looked at as either a defensive end or perhaps an OLB in a 3-4 set defense.
Moss' biggest asset is his size, as he uses his tall, lengthy frame and his extremely long arms to take up quite a bit of space wherever he is at on the field.
With that size comes gifted athletic skill, as his 4.7 speed gives him an advantage around the end, something that is vital to his pass-rushing abilities. In several instances in college Moss was able to get around the end just with his explosive speed at the snap, something that became a huge problem for opposing defenses in 2006.
His quarterback pursuit skills are very good because of his bursts of speed and his ability to change direction quickly. Once he gets around the corner, his speed and size make him a tough defender to avoid. Quarterbacks always seemed to have trouble slipping an inpending Moss sack, something that is one of his strengths.
Moss also showed ability to play back in zone blitz coverages, something that is not indicated by his interception numbers (he had 0 in 2006). With his big frame and athleticism, this could be a good asset to have if used as an OLB.
Also with his long arms Moss can be a pain for the opposition on special teams, as he has shown that he has the ability to get up and block field goals. While his vertical was nothing to be in awe of (30 1/2), he makes up for that with his length when he jumps in the air.
One knock on Moss was that he only used his speed at the snap to get to the quarterback in his college career, something that NFL teams may be concerned about. One thing that he will need to improve upon is his moves on the defensive line to shed big offensive linemen in the pros if he can't get around the corner quickly.
This will come with time, as he may not have the strength needed to automatically become an excellent pass-rusher from the beginning. At the combine he did not do too well on the bench, only getting 16 (lowest in his combine group), so shedding blockers with his physical strength should be considered a weakness coming into the NFL.
Moss did have injury problems at Florida, having a staph infection in his pelvis region -- something looked at as possibly career-threatening -- that kept him out for quite some time. This does not look like it will be a future problem for Moss, as doctors have determined there is no longer anything wrong.
Moss does not have any character issues outside of one positive testing for marijuana he received this season at Florida, which caused a one-game suspension for the defensive end. Outside of that one occasion there were no other issues that were openly discussed.
Thoughts on the Future
Jarvis Moss could make a fine NFL player, especially if he gains some strength on a pro conditioning plan and improves on the technical skills needed to be a good pass-rusher at the pro level.
In terms of his weight, he is only two years removed from losing a lot of it following a serious staph infection that threatened his career. As time goes on I could see him filling out a little more (if he really needs to) depending on what his pro squad wants from him. His past injury should not be a problem, neither short-term nor long-term, so that shouldn't be taken into account by teams who are looking to draft him.
In my opinion Moss would make the biggest impact early on as a pass-rushing OLB. His speed and ability to get up in a quarterback's face with his long arms will be a huge asset at the pro level, something I think he could do better as a linebacker. I also think that he could make a suitable OLB with his knowledge of dropping into zone coverage.
But for depth purposes, of course, I feel you could plug Moss in just as easily as a defensive end and he could make an impact there as well.
Whoever drafts Jarvis Moss will get a guy who could become an impact pass-rusher early on in his career, as well as the type of guy who could drop back into coverage pretty well. If he improves a few small glitches in his game, he could be one of the better defensive players in this draft, easily.
I want to thank Mark from Swamp Ball again for taking the time to put this together. Moss seems to be a raw talent with a lot of potential and would make a very intriguing option at 11.