The NFL has the longest offseason known to man (especially if you recently lost a Super Bowl and traded away a backup quarterback-turned-starter-with-a-golden-smile for a mere second round draft pick) - but hey, that grants us the opportunity to revisit some of the 49ers’ draft picks - today, we (re)take a look at Tarvarius Moore.
Who says you need the NFL Combine? Don’t ask Tarvarius Moore who, despite being a non-Combine prospect, managed to impress scouts enough on tape and at his pro day to eventually warrant the 49ers selecting him in the third round of this year’s draft. If you would’ve asked me in January who Tarvarius Moore was then, frankly, I wouldn't have been able to tell you - suffice to say I'm probably not alone in that. By the time we got to his pro day, though, all that had changed, evidenced by what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had to say:
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
Height: 6’1″ Weight: 195 pounds
Pro Day Results 40-Yard Dash: 4.32 seconds (would’ve tied for best at 2018 Combine). Vertical Jump: 39.5 inches (would’ve tied for second among linebackers at Combine). Broad Jump: 11 feet, 1 inches (would’ve led linebackers at Combine). Three-cone drill: 6.89 seconds
The now-former Southern Miss safety played for two years at USM where he established himself as a rising talent. His junior season (2016) saw him accumulate 17 tackles, two passes deflected, and a team-high two interceptions (one being against the LSU Tigers). His final year at school, though, was quite a step-up from 2016: he finished his senior season with 87 tackles (59 solo, 3 for loss), 10 passes deflected, 1 forced fumble, and 3 interceptions. He finished 2017 with honorable mention all-conference honors and, well, an impressive tape that would later help propel him up draft boards.
- Superior combination of size, speed and explosiveness
- Operates with smooth backpedal and loose hips to match route breaks
- Clocked speed shows up on tape with easy burst to close or to recover
- Turns to find and close targets quickly after recognizing play-action
- Has ability to handle combination safety role
- Impressive ball production in limited time at USM
- Able to blaze down the alley and catch running backs before they turn the corner
- Lacks experience - will take time to learn cornerback at the next level
- Despite interceptions, hands appear to be just average
- Has a tendency to sit and wait for stalk blockers rather than racing under when possible
- Needs to add more muscle and mass to his frame
- Too much head ducking into contact as a tackler
All things considered, it definitely seems like San Francisco got quite the player in Moore. The improvement he showed from his junior year to his senior year coupled with the skillset that he possesses will have 49ers coaches eager to mold him into a player who will be roaming in the secondary for years to come.
He still needs time to grow and that is totally fine, especially given the fact that Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon have things locked down at both cornerback positions. We’ve seen, though, over the last few years that offenses in the NFL are often employing sets of 3-4 wide receivers - Moore could definitely carve out a role for himself by season’s end a long as all goes according to plan and he is not too overwhelmed by the transition from college to the pros.