Justin Oakman/Associated Press
The Patriots continue the trenches theme of this draft, selecting Division II prospect Zach Moore out of Concordia-St. Paul University in Minnesota.
Moore had solid production over his final two collegiate seasons, accruing 14 sacks in 2012, then seven sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in 2013. Though defensive end prospects from BCS schools remain on the board (Jackson Jeffcoat, James Gayle, etc.), the Patriots may have very well gotten the best pure pass-rusher left in the draft.
Moore (6'5", 269 lbs) has the athletic profile of an NFL-caliber defensive lineman. Moore's greatest strength happens to coincide with the most important pass-rushing trait, namely a quick get-off. Moore's 123-inch broad jump was the fourth-best among defensive linemen at the combine, per NFL.com, illustrating his explosiveness.
Furthermore, Moore comes with excellent intangibles, another quality the Pats have sought out in their draft prospects this year. A two-time captain, Moore is an extremely hard-working player with an indefatigable motor, which endears himself to his teammates and results in lots of positive results on broken plays.
Moore is not perfect, as he needs more functional strength. He does not have a "hump" move, or speed-to-power changeup, and will require coaching to diversify his pass-rushing arsenal. Moore could also stand to use more time in the film room, as he can lose track of the ball carrier.
However, Moore can currently help in sub packages immediately. After adding Will Smith and Dominique Easley, the Pats have beefed up their sub-package defensive line personnel, which should provide much-needed rest for starting stalwarts Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.
Moore comes with the small-school stigma, but his ceiling could result in double-digit sack seasons. Moore is talented enough to contribute in 2014, and also has plenty of untapped potential. That's a rare combination for a sixth-round pick, making Moore a bonafide steal.