When watching video of specific players on Connecticut's defense, it really is hard to come to a conclusion about which one translates best to the National Football League. This unit had so much darn talent in 2012, it's hard to imagine the team as a whole didn't do better than it did.
Sio Moore is one of the most impressive defensive prospects that I have had the pleasure of watching on tape. In fact, he caught my attention when I was focusing on former teammate Trevardo Williams.
Moore is likely a Day 2 pick.
Lets take a look at five things you need to know about the talented linebacker prospect as he prepares for life in the NFL.
Full Name: Snorsio Alston Moore
Birth date: May 2, 1990
Hometown: Apex, N.C., by way of Liberia
High School: West Haven High School in West Haven, Conn. Transferred to Apex High School in Apex, N.C. following freshman season.
Major: Political science
Sio Moore was just a 2-star recruit out of Apex High School in North Carolina back in 2008 (via Scout.com). He didn't receive a great deal of interest from major college programs and decided to return home to Connecticut for college.
Moore graduated from Connecticut with a degree in political science this past semester.
2009 (Freshman): Four games, six tackles, two solo and one for loss.
2010 (Sophomore): 13 games, 110 tackles, 72 solo, 11.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception.
2011 (Junior): 12 games, 86 tackles, 55 solo, 16 for loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, six passes broken up and three interceptions
2012 (Senior): 12 games, 72 tackles, 45 solo, 15.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks and 11 passes broken up.
As a first-year starter for Connecticut in 2010, Moore finished second on the team and fourth in the Big East in tackles with 110. He was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week twice during this stellar sophomore campaign.
While Moore's tackle numbers went down in 2011, he did tally the second-most sacks on the team and become a much better all-around player.
Still, it took until his senior season before Moore drew national attention. Again, he finished second on the team in sacks and led the team in tackles for loss. Moore earned All-Big East first-team honors and was on the preseason Butkus Award watch list, which recognizes the best linebackers in the nation.
All statistics provided by CFB Stats
Weight: 245 pounds
Arm Length: 33 5/8"
Hand Size: 10 1/4"
Broad Jump: 127.0"
40-Yard Dash: 4.65
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31
Three-Cone Drill: 7.49
Vertical Jump: 38.0"
Bench Press: 29 reps at 225
Moore absolutely dominated the generic drills at the combine. He finished in the top five among linebackers in all but one drill he participated in.
Overall, the Connecticut product finished first among linebackers in the 60-yard shuttle, second in bench press reps, third in vertical jump, fourth in the broad jump and second in the three-cone drill. Needless to say, he was among the most impressive defensive players at the combine.
All measurements and combine numbers provided by NFL.com
Sio Moore was born in the small African nation of Liberia, but Moore's family moved to Connecticut when he was young in order to avoid an escalating civil war in the country under then-president Charles Taylor.
Kevin Weidl of ESPN had the following to say about Moore back in January (subscription required).
No 2013 draft prospect has helped himself more during the all-star process than Connecticut LB Sio Moore ... Moore showed the ability to run and hit, blitzed well and held up in coverage. ... Moore clearly looked like he belonged. His stock could be rising out of the later rounds.
This was long before mainstream scouts started to really put Moore under the microscope at the combine. Since then, he has risen even higher on expert boards.
B/R's Sigmund Bloom couldn't have been higher on Moore in the initial paragraph of his scouting report on the Connecticut product:
Moore can line up inside or outside in both three- and four-man fronts, and he can even put his hand on the ground and rush the passer as a 4-3 defensive end. He is strong, instinctive, decisive and smart. Moore is as comfortable playing in space as he is clashing with bigger opponents in the trenches.
For someone that came into the draft season with mid-round expectations, Moore has skyrocketed up the board more than any other linebacker in the draft class. He is now firmly entrenched in as a solid second-round prospect. His combination of speed, intelligence and versatility will make him a hot commodity come draft day.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
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