The Future: 2021 NFL Draft Prospects Dylan Moses
Dylan Moses has been in the spotlight ever since receiving a scholarship offer in 8th grade from Alabama. After tearing his ACL during the preseason of the 2019 season he decided to come back to Alabama for one last season to try to cement his draft stock as a first-rounder. Unfortunately, he had a disappointing 2020 season where he recorded 68 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, and 3 passes defended. He has all the athletic tools to be a first-round pick but he doesn't possess the technique and mental processing to use his athletic ability consistently to his advantage. Below I'll discuss his ability against the run at the point of attack (POA), how he plays the outside run, how well he plays in pass coverage, and how well he can pass rush/blitz.
Vs. Run at POA- Moses is a very good, technical tackler at the POA. He is violent and gets the ball carrier to the ground with ease. At 6'3, 240 he possesses the elite size to not only bring down the ball carrier but also to attempt to shed blocks. Part of Moses' issue is that when he allows blockers to get their hands on him he struggles to get off of them. He needs to use both his hands and athleticism better to be able to shed blockers. On top of this added functional strength will help him in this area of his game. His mental processing needs to improve as well. When he can diagnose a play and see where the ball is going he can attack it downfield and make a play. Too often though he can get lost by play action, motion, and ball fakes and end up in the wrong spot. I think this is due more so because he better projects as either a weak or strong side backer instead of a true middle linebacker.
Outside Run- Moses is best when in space. This is where he can show off his speed and athleticism to not only get to the ball carrier but often beat them to their spot. He tackles very well when in space and can get from sideline to sideline. Again his ability to diagnose slows him down. When he can diagnose correctly he flies around the field but when he diagnoses incorrectly he misses assignments and ends up in the wrong spot. Play fakes, motions, and options are some areas where he tends to diagnose incorrectly.
Pass Coverage- His athleticism alone has shown that he can drop back into coverage in both man and zone when he needs to and make plays. He wasn't tasked with playing man very often but he can stick with tight ends and running backs. When he drops back into zone he will sometimes get caught with his eyes in the backfield and come too far upfield and not be able to drop back into his zone. He doesn't have any athletic limitations, even coming off of an ACL tear and as of now most of his limitations are due to mental lapses where he doesn't make the correct read.
Pass rush/blitz- This is one of the best parts of his game as he doesn't need to think much and can just use his athletic ability to rush the passer and get to the ball. He is quick of the ball and patient when he needs to be. He can very good timing and knows when to shoot the gap. He was often tasked with spying on the quarterback and is very good at tracking them and not allowing them to use their legs to make plays.
Moses stock fell this year and he will most likely be taken in the second or third round this year. He has all the athletic tools to turn into an elite backer at the next level but it will come down to how well he can improve his mental ability to match what he can produce athletically.