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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Dylan Moses

  • The Draft Network
  • December 23, 2020
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – DYLAN MOSES

Dylan Moses has been a walking superstar most of his life. Walking by a park when he was seven years old and seeing his first-ever Pop Warner practice made him immediately fall in love with the game. The son of a well-known Louisiana attorney, Edward Moses, Jr. finally let his son play after begging him during the days afterward. His father played linebacker at Northwestern State and experienced a brief stint in the Arena League. Ever since a video surfaced of him running through a local little league team when he was nine years old, the world has tracked his career. His most notoriety came when LSU offered him as an eighth-grader. At just 14 years old, he received his first scholarship offer and it came from the hometown team—and he just so happened to be the youngest recruit that the program has ever offered a scholarship to. Labeled as the best singular talent in the Baton Rouge area of the past decade, there wasn’t any shortage of hype surrounding him. Moses spent the first three years of his high school career at University Lab High School. There, he played both running back and linebacker. The hype remained intact throughout his career and he ultimately decided to transfer to IMG Academy (FL) for his senior year (2016). Despite his recruiting process being historic, he remained committed to LSU. A pledge he made in 2013 (Sept.). It wasn’t until the firing of Les Miles that made the star linebacker change course. Committing to Alabama (Oct. 2016), there was plenty of backlash, mostly from his hometown fans. Moses suffered a torn ACL prior to the 2019 season (Aug. 27) that sidelined him the entire year.

Moses is a well-experienced linebacker who has spent time at all three linebacker spots. A hyper-athletic and agile second-level player, he’s a fast-flowing prospect that gobbles up opportunities in space. Moses has an athletic and chiseled upper body that contains extended limbs, but contains plenty of definition on them from top to bottom. He has broad shoulders and there’s still plenty of room for growth on his physique overall. He has plenty of body armor to withstand constant contact and the physical asking price of the position combined with his physical mindset. He's a supremely unique athlete at the position. He has true sideline-to-sideline range and it’s rare to see him outran. When able to diagnose plays cleanly, Moses flies downhill with reckless abandon. When having exposure to anyone with the opposite color jersey on, he’s looking to embarrass them in any way possible. He's terrific at keeping his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, but when alleyways open, Moses is not hesitant with taking the slight crease and flying through it. He has above-average instincts combined with having what seems like a ball radar with his head. There isn’t a notch level of how often he dishes out contact because it’s always turned to its highest point. He's a heat-seeking missile that usually blows up whatever he comes into contact with. Hitting power is at an insanely high level in that when ball carriers come into contact with him, they know exactly who it was immediately. Moses is a face-up, chest-up tackler that runs his facemask through the opposition. There aren’t many times where he opts to tackle low or shy away from executing proper tackling techniques. There are few examples of where he shows bad technique or failure to wrap up. Ball carriers go down quickly after coming into contact with him.

Ideal Role: Starting SAM or WILL.

Scheme Fit: Moses is best in an attacking 4-3 where he can be used as a second-level defender on either the strong or weak side, but used routinely as a blitzing threat as well.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Auburn (2019), Michigan (2019), Texas A&M (2020), Kentucky (2020), Ole Miss (2020), Auburn (2020), Georgia (2020), LSU (2020), Mississippi State (2020), Florida (2020), Arkansas (2020)

Best Game Studied: Georgia (2020), Mississippi State (2020), Arkansas (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Ole Miss (2020), Missouri (2020)

Tackling: Moses is an aggressive tackler that enters the point of attack with lots of intensity. Possessing limitless physicality notches, he places all of his might and force into tackles. Moses is a powerful tackler that isn’t afraid to take on any body types. Uncoiling his hips and running his feet on contact, ball carriers come to a complete stop and quickly go down to the ground when Moses is able to get clean shots on them.

Football IQ/Instincts: Considering that he’s gained experience at all three linebacker spots as well as being utilized as a defensive end in subpackages during the earlier portions of his career, Moses has a high football IQ across multiple spots. He’s at his best when free to attack moving forward where he’s designed to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Moses' aggressiveness can be used against him often, though, as puller, misdirection, and run-pass options can get the best of him as his eyes wander.

Competitive Toughness: A tough and physical player in all phases, he’s an endless competitor that has the emotions of wanting to make every single play that he’s involved in. A frequent chaser on the backside of plays, he’s been able to reappear in plays that weren't designed to attack his areas. His competitiveness has been more evident as a MIKE in 2020 as he’s at the center of all of the action. With the strength and reliance of the first-level defenders ahead of him, he’s been able to roam freely with opportunities to make a lot of tackles without barriers in front of him.

Pass Coverage Ability: Moses remains a work in progress in pass coverage. Moses' biggest bugaboo is that he’s an extremely aggressive player. While at MIKE linebacker, teams have schemed against him specifically by using misdirection and play-action or run-pass option specific passing concepts to counteract his violent vertical steps toward the line of scrimmage. What’s noticeable about Moses is that his eyes have often been caught wandering and he frequently is caught “taking the cheese” of misdirection or heavily influenced play-action mesh fakes. Moses shows minimal limitations with his athleticism and looks to be fully recovered from his knee injury, but being able to slow the game down and mentally process the action happening in front of him from a different platform has been an inconsistent transition for him, especially in pass coverage.

Run Defending: Early on, it’s easy to tell that Moses’ head was spinning from the allotment of space in the middle combined with seeing both sides of the line. The difference between playing on the weak or strong side as opposed to being in the middle? The answer is simple: space. With each position being formational based, when in the middle and forced to make plays in either direction, there’s a small margin of error that can be made with gap integrity. Moses has a tendency to overflow or react falsely to decoys that have little to do with where the actual play is headed. When able to diagnose plays cleanly, he attacks quickly vertically and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty by sticking his facemask on ball carriers in all areas.

Block Deconstruction: With his suddenness, Moses hasn't developed a plan that can effectively untangle him from climbing blockers or how he can minimize his body to slide through creases on his way to the first level. Blockers have had lots of success with latching and steering him out of plays because of his inability to use his hands or athleticism in order to get his frame out of harm's way.     

Lateral Mobility: Moses is well above average when able to scrape over the top of plays freely and chase them down from each end of the formation. His lateral athleticism is also evident when chasing down plays. He has unique speed at the position where he’s hardly ever out-leveraged by ball carriers. Even if he doesn’t take proper angles to ball locations, he has the make up speed necessary in order to still have opportunities at tackles. 

Flexibility: A highly athletic and crash course type of linebacker, Moses has average flexibility at the position. Possessing a chiseled body, he has some difficulties at the point of attack when wanting to contort his body when attacking forward, but when his frame is free of impending blockers, his athleticism and free-flowing body movements are easily noticeable. 

Leadership: Despite being at Alabama for four years, he has never been voted a team captain, but was chosen as a player to speak at SEC media day prior to the 2018 season. That's not an indictment of his character or how he’s viewed throughout the facility, as Moses was the clear communicator for the defense.

Versatility: Possessing lots of versatility, Moses has spent time at all three linebacker spots, special teams, and as a rush end on obvious passing downs. His type of attacking style can provide lots of value in multiple situations. Moses' most consistent play came as a SAM linebacker where he’s aligned on the strong side of formations.   

Prospect Comparison: C.J. Mosley, (2014 NFL Draft, Baltimore Ravens)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 73.38/100

Kyle Crabbs: 73.50/100

Joe Marino: 73.00/100

Jordan Reid: 75.00/100

Drae Harris: 72.00/100

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