The Uphill Battle Of Cleveland's Newest Tight End Evan Moore

Samuel IngroAnalyst IDecember 27, 2009

Not a year goes by where countless college players with pro football aspirations, find themselves undrafted.

Many wind up in training camps around the league as Unrestricted Free Agents, some wind up on preseason rosters, and some even make the active gameday roster.

Others go to the Canadian Football League, some go to developmental leagues, and some give up their dreams, seemingly disappearing off the face of the Earth.

Every once in a while though, a player slips through the cracks of the draft and makes a splash into the NFL. Star players like Kurt Warner, Adam Vinatieri, Jeff Saturday, Pat Williams, James Harrison, and Antonio Gates.

Even active Cleveland Browns cornerstones like Josh Cribbs, Phil Dawson, and Hank Fraley were passed up seven times by all 32 franchises.

Which leads me to Cleveland's recently acquired tight end, Evan Moore, a recent practice squad addition that showed up big against the San Diego Chargers.

What many people don't realize is not only was that his first ever NFL game, but it was also his first game ever as a tight end. All throughout college, Moore was a wide receiver, and made the transition only upon arriving in the National Football League.

Evan Moore, comes to Cleveland out of Stanford University, where he quickly became a favorite target of Buffalo Bills quarterback, Trent Edwards.

While at Stanford, "E-Mo" put up solid numbers, registering 103 receptions for 1555 receiving yards, and 12 TD catches in his career. His accomplishments earned him awards including First Team Pac-10 All-Academic, Honorable Mention All-Pac-10, and District 8 Academic All-American.

Still not enough, Moore fell down the draft boards and went undrafted, like many others.

Not to be discouraged, Moore signed on as a UFA with the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately the Saints were well stocked at the position with Mark Campbell and Jeremy Shockey, and Moore found himself waived back into the free agent pool.

As the 2008 season began, he found himself on the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers, where he finally had a chance to prove himself. As luck would have it though, disaster struck and he injured his knee, forcing him onto the Injured Reserve for the season.

On Sept. 7, Moore was given a settlement and release from the Packers. Back into free agency where he sat for two months, until injuries to Browns' tight ends Robert Royal and Steve Heiden, forced Eric Mangini to sign up every free agent at the position he could find.

Among Greg Estandia and Michael Gaines, was unknown Evan Moore, who was signed to the practice squad where he spent the next month.

After being activated Dec. 5, in his first ever NFL game against San Diego, Moore hauled in six catches for 80 yards. Making every head in Cleveland collectively look up and take notice.

In the three games he has played for Cleveland, he has nine grabs for 121 yards, not bad for a rookie in a new offense and position.

Moore is a hard-working, tough player, with outstanding character given to him from his religious background. His blocking skills are above average, his routes are clean, and his hands are steady.

In my opinion, Evan Moore will be a great weapon, and the best friend of whoever the next starting quarterback in Cleveland is.

If you don't believe me, ask fellow UFA Josh Cribbs.

“Moore came out of the woodwork and he’s going to be good for us,” said Cribbs. “He’s going to be one of those guys that has incredible talent. On scout team, he was unbelievable, just killing our first-team defense. We had to make him active and look what he did out there today.”

Spoken by the man himself. Welcome to Cleveland Evan.