Damontre Moore Combine: Teams That Will Benefit from DE's Poor Performance
Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore has seen his draft stock take a considerable hit after his poor performance in the NFL Scouting Combine, and there are some teams who could benefit in the mid-to-late first round as a result.
Moore was once slated to be a top-five pick as one of the best defensive prospects in this year's draft, but the defensive end did little to promote what was thought to be his strengths and did even less to dispell his weaknesses.
Strength was supposed to be the best thing going for the former Aggies defensive lineman, but a bench press total of 12 reps didn't exactly show the goods for Moore. That depressing total was actually dead last among all defensive line prospects at the combine.
The biggest knock on Moore going into the workouts was that he isn't very athletic. A 40-yard dash time of 4.95 seconds proved that athleticism remains a major concern for this prospect.
The only thing going for Moore at the moment is that he had a stellar college career that finished with him compiling 12.5 sacks last season, which was good enough for No. 9 in the nation.
Because of that success, Moore should still be a first-round pick, but he won't go as high as originally thought barring an exceptional showing at Texas A&M's pro day on Mar. 8.
Let's take a look at some teams who will be selecting later in the first round that might be willing to take a chance on Moore's declined draft stock.
No. 15: New Orleans Saints
At this point in the process for Moore, this would likely be the absolute highest he'll be drafted unless his stock gets a boost going into draft day.
The Saints defense as a whole was pitiful last season after finishing ranked No. 31 and No. 32 against the pass and run, respectively. Compounding their defensive problems was the fact that the Saints finished tied for No. 25 in the NFL with 30 total sacks.
Cameron Jordan led New Orleans with eight sacks last season, and while he's on his way to being a stud in the NFL, Will Smith seems to be declining. The 31-year-old has notched no more than 6.5 sacks in each of his last three seasons and that simply won't cut it for this struggling defense.
An effective pass-rusher on the edge can be a game-changer, but to have two on either side would instantly change the face of this team's defense.
Moore's stock may have fallen, but I'm sure the Saints won't mind and will be more than willing to draft a once highly-touted prospect who is their best shot at beefing up the defensive line in the middle of the first round.
No. 24: Indianapolis Colts
Thanks to the departure of Dwight Freeney, the Colts will be looking for another pass-rusher on the edge in the hopes of filling the void.
As a whole, Indy's defense was the team's biggest weakness as it ranked No. 21 and No. 29 against the pass and run, respectively. The Colts also finished tied for No. 23 in the NFL in sacks as a team with 32, so clearly an upgrade is needed in that department.
Linebacker Robert Mathis led the team with eight sacks last season, and he was followed by Freeney who had five. Now that the second-best pass-rusher is no longer with the team, the Colts need to make a move to bolster their defensive line.
Not only will a solid pass-rusher on the edge help the Colts run defense by containing runs to the outside, but it will also take a ton of pressure off of the team's defensive backs because opposing quarterbacks will have much less time to make decisions.
If Moore were to fall this far, the Colts would have no choice but to pick him while hoping his lackluster showings leading up to the draft were just a mirage. Moore's college resume speaks for itself and the Colts will likely bank on that if he's still available.
No. 26: Green Bay Packers
If the Packers can't find an offensive lineman in this spot in the draft, their next focus should be on picking up a defensive end should Moore slide to the No. 26 pick.
Green Bay did finish with the fourth-best sack total as a team last season, but the team's sack leader, Clay Matthews, tallied 13 from the linebacker position. Green Bay's defense is improving, but there is still work to be done in order to make it elite.
As a team, the Packers finished No. 11 and No. 17 against the pass and run, respectively. Just imagine how much better they would have been with a better edge pass-rusher upfront.
The Packers didn't get much production from their defensive ends last season and a boost on the line is absolutely necessary at this point. This team can't hope to be much more successful on defense if it can't get pressure on the quarterback and that usually starts with a good defensive end.
It remains to be seen if Moore will eventually fit the bill for what Green Bay needs, but he'll be its best option in regard to defensive players this late in the first round. Again, unless there is an impact offensive lineman worth taking with this pick, Moore would be the most logical choice to go with.
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