J’Mon Moore Could be Gutekunst’s Biggest Bargain
You really need to watch this J’Mon Moore highlight reel from the 2017 season:
If you didn’t notice, Moore wasn’t playing against patsies. The Tigers played the likes of Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, South Carolina and Purdue last season. Due to their dynamic pass attack, Missou finished third in the SEC East and went to a bowl game against Texas.
Based on that highlight reel, my perspective has become: what’s not to like about this guy? Here’s what the critics say:
- Limited route-runner experience
- Tested slower than expected
- Questionable focus and drive
- Drops and lapses in play
So, despite lacking focus and drive, he put together back-to-back seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards, while playing in only 12 and 13 games. I’d take that kind of inconsistency any time.
Lapses in play? The guy has shown the consistency of a Swiss watch: 16.3 and 16.6 yards per catch in his junior and senior years; 84.3 and 83.2 yards per game; eight and 10 touchdown receptions.
Slow? Okay, his NFL combine time was 4.6, but I didn’t see anyone catching him from behind on that tape, and I didn’t see him having problems separating from defenders. He also got behind the defense to reel in a bunch of deep throws. He’s quick and twitchy. If his dash time is not misleading (17th percentile), here are some compensating marks: 3-cone drill, 96th percentile; 20-yard shuttle, 88th; vertical jump, 81st; and bench press, 93rd (23). His height, wingspan and arm length are all 75th percentile or better. These are great numbers for a player possessing such size and muscle.
Route-running? I saw plenty of crisp and athletic moves on those tapes. Don’t you love it when route-running is criticized in a guy who does nothing but get open and make catches over a two-year stretch? And he’s done this while being thrown to by Drew Lock, a “divisive” player who has heeded the advice of an NFL advisory panel that urged him to stay in college in 2018 for his senior year.
Highlight reels don’t show drops, so I can’t comment on that, but Moore displayed supple hands on the passes I viewed and he also uses them routinely and effectively on stiff-arming would-be tacklers.
The Packers selected Moore in the fourth round, followed by two more receivers: South Florida’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth and Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth. Though Moore was chosen 74 players ahead of St. Brown, Pro Football Focus ranked St. Brown the ninth-best receiver in the draft and Moore the 20th. Walter Football had the Notre Damer ranked the sixth-best, but Moore 31st and Valdes-Scantling 37th. Those are huge differences of opinions.
By the way, though Moore’s height is 6’ 2 5/8”, he’s dwarfed by Valdes-Scantling (6’4”) and St. Brown (6’ 4 ¾”) – who are exceeded by Michael Clark among the Packers’ current crop of receivers (6’ 6”).
It’s going to be a wide open battle among these three, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey and Clark. If the Packers keep six receivers (including Davante Adams and Randall Cobb), then at least three of these other guys won’t make the final roster.