Senior Bowl 2012: Grading the Performance of Boise State's Kellen Moore

Adam OdekirkContributor IIJanuary 28, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos holds up the trophy after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 56-24 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kellen Moore was not the worst quarterback in the Senior Bowl this year (that dubious honor may belong to Brandon Weeden), but he was also not the best either (that honor could go to Nick Foles).

What Moore was in this game was exactly what all the scouts thought prior to it—an intriguing prospect with some upside to him.

His stat line was nothing to be desired, but anyone watching the game probably knows that his lack of production had more to do with receivers than Moore himself.

Twice in the red zone, Moore threaded a skinny post into a fairly tight window, and both times the ball was dropped by receivers who would have had sure touchdowns. Those throws alone were some of the most NFL-ready of the entire game, and the fact that they were dropped cannot be blamed on Moore.

In another instance, Moore made a high-arcing rainbow that seemed destined to be intercepted, when in actuality it fell right into the hands of his fullback for a 20-yard gain. In fact, on several occasions, Moore showed an innate ability to either change the arm position for his throws when need be or adjust the type of pass in order to be completed.

Early in the game there were some missed opportunities on classic corner fade routes in the end zone by Russell Wilson and Ryan Lindley respectively. One has to wonder if the outcomes would have been different with Moore making the throws.

If there was one major concern that could have been exposed in the game it was Moore's inability to escape the rush or stay in the pocket long enough to deliver on longer developing passing plays.

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos throws against the Arizona State Sun Devils after faking a handoff to Doug Martin #22 during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas,
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

His size simply limits his ability to stay in the pocket when it is collapsing and as competitive as the Mountain West and the WAC may be, they cannot offer the same kind of pass rush for Moore to practice against that the NFL will, or even the SEC for that matter.

Still, Moore was able to lead a long scoring drive when the outcome was still undecided and managed to get three points on the board to make it a two-possession game. It was clear that he has the football IQ to manage a game and that could give him a chance to land on an NFL roster.

It's hard to say that Moore actual game performance was anything other than a simple C—just average—considering there were no touchdowns to swing towards a B and no interceptions to trend down to a D.

His potential could have been more in the B+ range considering he demonstrated the ability to make some necessary NFL throws and had decent enough arm strength to keep himself out of trouble, much like Chad Pennington after his shoulder surgeries.

Without much to show on the stat sheet, there is not much likelihood that Moore changed his draft status much today; but he didn't hurt it either. Scouts will just have to wait for his pro day to test out all the throws they want to see him make before April.