If a factory stamped prototypical single-high defense cornerbacks from a mold, you’d get Tarvarius Moore. Despite playing safety at Southern Mississippi, his height and 33 inch arms put him on the cornerback radar. His 95th-percentile SPARQ score, a score better than draft darling Derwin James, made him an absolutely salivating prospect. While defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley thought he had a sleeper on his hands, Moore’s rare blend of athleticism made him a fast riser late in the scouting process.
Moore, a junior college transfer, only had one season of significant playing time at Southern Miss. Frequently tasked with playing deep safety in a cover 4 shell, Moore earned a 87.2 PFF grade. A grade good enough for 6th among college safeties. During his brief time at USM he accumulated 5 interceptions and 9 passes defensed on just 51 targets, indicating he has a nose for the football.
Age: 21 (Turns 22 on August 10th)
Experience: Carry the pads, rookie.
Weight: 199 lbs.
Tarvarius Moore signed his rookie deal in early May. His total contract is valued at $3.35 million, with a 2018 cap number of $676,093.
What to expect in 2018
Moore was rarely tasked with covering receivers in college. When he was, he acquitted himself well. When in primary coverage against a wide receiver, he allowed a completion rate of just 51.5%, 5.8 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 66.6 per Pro Football Focus. With Sherman and Witherspoon entrenched as starters, the 49ers do not need Moore to be a finished product early in the season.
Special teams will likely be the place Moore makes the most impact his rookie year. But he’ll need to improve his tackling if he plans to be a consistent special teams force. Moore missed 13 tackles on 116 attempts (11%) during his time at Southern Miss. This was mostly a product of flying around the field and losing control on his way to the ball carrier. He’ll need to reign that in if he’s going to become a special teams ace.
Odds of making the roster
He’s a third round pick, so barring some catastrophe he’s definitely making the team. He will likely be a contributor on special teams while he learns the finer points of playing cornerback. At best he’ll be the primary backup at corner with an eye towards being Richard Sherman’s replacement by 2020.