Before the draft, I wrote that the New York Giants needed to improve on both the offensive and defensive lines. Through three picks of the 2013 NFL draft, Big Blue general manager Jerry Reese has accomplished that goal.
The latest pick from Reese? Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, a sack artist for the duration of his time at College Station.
The Giants' pass rush sputtered in 2012, as the team recorded their lowest sack total (33) since 2009. Their lack of ability to get to the opposing quarterback was the main reason Big Blue missed the postseason. They needed to draft a player who could come in right away and rush the passer.
Moore (6'4", 250 lbs) fits the bill. He was a pass-rushing terror at A&M, compiling 26.5 sacks in three seasons, including 12.5 in 2012.
He has tremendous burst coming off the edge and has an extremely high motor, never quitting on plays and chasing down opposing players.
While he does have some character concerns, the Giants haven't shied away from potential troublemakers. Tom Coughlin is as good a head coach as any when it comes to discipline, and Moore will have to fall in line if he's to contribute.
While Moore's initial burst is well-documented, he'll need to work on a secondary move if he's to reach the quarterback with any consistency. Fortunately for Moore, the Giants have a terrific defensive line coach in Robert Nunn, who will work to draw the best out of him.
Moore was once considered a top pick in the draft, but the character issues, combined with an atrocious performance at the combine, led to his fall to pick No. 81. Moore ran a 4.95 40-yard dash, which is obviously not good, and only bench-pressed 225 pounds 12 times, which is awful for a man of his size.
But, his pass-rushing ability was too enticing for Reese to ignore.
So, where will he fit with the Giants?
He'll essentially be replacing Osi Umenyiora, who signed with Atlanta, in the Giants' defensive end rotation. He'll join Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka as the team's main pass-rushing threats.
The Giants attack the opposing quarterback in waves, and Moore will be one of the principals. He will benefit from playing on a suddenly stacked defensive line, and will likely often be alongside fellow rookie Johnathan Hankins, the team's Round 2 selection.
I expect Moore to have a successful rookie campaign, as the Giants will have the luxury of using him as a situational pass-rusher, maximizing his talents and allowing him to do what he does best. I think four to six sacks is certainly within the realm of possibility, with the potential for more.
Plus, this is a nice pick for the Giants in the years to come.
Tuck is entering the final year of his contract and has clearly slowed down in recent years. He's not the player he was when he led Big Blue to two Super Bowl titles. This could very well be his last year in New York.
If that's the case, it's likely that Moore would be counted on to replace Tuck. They're big shoes to fill, but Moore has the pass-rushing pedigree to potentially make it happen.
I love the pick for Reese and Big Blue. I believe Moore will do big things in a Giants uniform.