Today’s feature is the first safety I’ve studied in detail, and I’ve already completed my 2010 safety grades. You can see there that I am very low on Alan Ball, giving him a D+ (66.7) overall grade. He gave up seven touchdowns despite being targeted only 27 times and was horrendous in run support in 2010.
It is my view that Dallas needs to make upgrading the free safety position a priority in 2011. There are a lot of potential free agents (Michael Huff and Eric Weddle, to name a few), and the draft class is weak at the position. Thus, free agency seems like the logical solution to fix the problem.
If the Cowboys do decide to look at rookie safeties, UCLA’s Rahim Moore is the top-rated guy on many people’s boards.
Moore is lean—6’1”, 200 pounds—and at times, it shows. He can get caught up in traffic in run support and doesn’t really make big hits. He often lets the ball carrier drag him for a bit after contact.
The good news is Moore isn’t afraid to help out against the run. He can struggle to get off of blocks, but in the open field, he’s a sure tackler with good technique.
Rahim Moore vs. UCLA (primarily run defense)
Moore has played primarily zone coverage at UCLA. Although he can give up too great of a cushion at times, he generally does well in zone or when he can read the quarterback. Take a look at the 2:51 mark below, where Moore takes off into his Cover One responsibility before the snap. He doesn’t bite on the play-action fake and puts himself in position to make the interception.
Moore’s range is quite good, but not extraordinary. He diagnoses plays very quickly, however, and uses his intelligence to put himself in proper position. He also has good speed, which should help him become better in man-to-man coverage. Sometimes he has trouble turning his hips and shadowing receivers.
Rahim Moore vs. Temple
Moore could go anywhere from the late first round to the early third. To me, he’s a second-round pick—good upside and the potential to be a really good, not great player.
If the ‘Boys like Moore, they’d probably need to scoop him up with their second-round pick. Moore would be an immediate upgrade over Alan Ball, but the team may choose to secure a high-impact free agent at the position.
Other Potential Cowboys Draft Picks in 2011