When Morgan Moses walked across the stage in the crowded auditorium at the Mobile Convention Center for Senior Bowl weigh-ins, sighs were heard from the collection of NFL media, scouts and coaches. At 6'6" and 314 pounds, Moses defines the physical profile NFL scouts and coaches are looking for. His status as a first-round talent would be cemented in Mobile against the nation's best senior defenders, but his on-field play wouldn't be the only thing in question as the 2014 NFL draft neared.
Question a player's work ethic and the perception of them changes instantly. Moses, the former Parade All-American, arrived at the University of Virginia as a 350-pound freshman with no idea how to properly train for the rigors of a college football season. And yet the big man notched 43 career starts at left or right tackle while working his way down to a svelte 314 pounds in his senior season. Poor work ethic? Those tasked with training Moses for the NFL Scouting Combine are left shaking their heads.
Chip Smith, the man training Moses for the NFL, doesn't believe the reports about a poor work ethic. "I've put 1,300 players in the NFL, with 200 active clients," Smith told me when talking about Moses the player and person. Smith isn't just a hired gun with a player to protect, though, as he has 10 other offensive linemen in his workout groups—each of them vying for draft positioning with Moses.
Moses put in six hours of work each day with Smith—training on positional work with former NFL offensive tackle Bob Whitfield while also working on things like conditioning, speed work and film study. He's learning how to become a professional under their watch—something many draft prospects learn in the spring before they're drafted after spending just eight hours per week with their college coaches.