FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Alright Jets fan, I feel your pain. Fresh off back-to-back AFC Championship games and looking to build on that in 2011, the Jets, and the rest of the league, are left to wait and see if there will be football come fall time. But fear not Gang Green faithful, amidst all the depressing coverage surround the country’s most popular sport, there is something we can all look forward to: the NFL Draft.
Yes, there has been rumors of the NFLPA advising the top prospects to not attend the annual celebration at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, but it is still a spectacle and will shine some light on a what has turned in to a rather dark situation, even if it’s a little bit.
But, I digress. With the draft only a month away the Jets Insider will be delivering you profiles on the possible players general manager Mike Tannenbaum has targeted. The Jets own the 30th overall pick in the first round, and it is widely speculated that Tannenbaum will pluck a defensive player in that spot, much to the delight of head coach Rex Ryan.
UCLA safety Rahim Moore has been thrown around as a potential player to fit into Ryan’s aggressive defense. Here’s the insider report Moore, who is regarded as the top player in a weak safety position:
RAHIM MOORE, S, UCLA:
- Class Standing: Junior
- Height: 5-11
- Weight: 202
- 40-yard dash: 4.53
Collegiate Career: Rahim Moore 2010 Highlights UCLA
- 2010 – A captain, Moore started all 12 games while being name a first-team All-America by The Sporting News. The third-team Associated Press All-American was third on the team in tackles (77) and 17th (tied) in the Pac-10 (6.4 avg.). He was also one of 10 Thorpe Award semifinalist while being just one of just three All-Pac-10 first-team performers to repeat from 2009.
- 2009 – Started all 13 games at free safety for the Bruins on his way to leading the nation in interceptions with 10. Received plenty of accolades for his performance on the field: first-team All-America by scout.com, second-team by Walter Camp Foundation, AP, Rivals.com and SI.com, third-team All-America pick by The Sporting News and Phil Steele, first-team All-Pac-10 selection by league’s coaches, named Pac-10 Defensive MVP by The Sporting News and first-team all-league, named co-defensive winner of UCLA’s Henry R. ‘Red’ Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player, received high honorable mention for Thorpe Award. His total of 10 interceptions ranked No. 2 (Carlton Gray – 11 in 1991) on school single-season list. No player in the Football Bowl Subdivision had made 10 interceptions in a season since 2003.
- 2008 – Started in all 12 games at free safety ranking fourth on squad with 60 tackles. He tied for 11th in Pac-10 in interceptions (0.25) and tied for team lead with three. Named to Rivals.com All-Pac-10 Freshman team, CollegeFootballNews.com honorable mention Freshman All-American, Pac-10 honorable mention honors from coaches, defensive co-winner of UCLA’s John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year. Became the first true freshman to start a season-opener on offense or defense since Matt Ware (CB) in 2001.
- Superb Athlete with loose hips to turn and run with receivers coupled with quick footwork in coverage.
- Absolute ballhawk: great coverage instincts, awareness and anticipation.
- Good closing speed on plays in front of him.
- Can handle man-to-man coverage against running backs and tight ends.
- At 5-11, 202 pounds, Moore is a little undersized.
- Lacks elite speed deep, as evidenced by his poor 40 times (4.53 and 4.61).
- Poor recovery speed downfield in man coverage.
- Not a great tackler
- Offers little help in return game.
Why the Jets?:
- His playmaking abilities could be maximized in Ryan’s aggressive Cover 1 schemes, allowing him to sit back deep in coverage and follow the quarterback’s eyes.
- The Jets are especially hurting at the safety position. Jim Leonhard’s status is uncertain following the injury he sustained during Week 13 last season. And Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo are nice complimentary players, but are also free agents.
- Ryan coached arguably the best safety in the game, Ed Reed; a player that Moore considers to be his idol and someone who he has modeled his game after.
In his own words:
- “If a team drafts me, they won’t have to worry about the safety position for the next 10-12 years. I believe I’m special, and I mean that in the most humble way. I’m going to get in early. I’m going to leave late. I’m going to put in the same amount of hours, maybe more as the coaching staff.”
- “That is one of the smartest men I’ve ever talked to in my life. In a 45-minute conversation I learned so much. When I first got on the phone with him I almost started crying. That’s how much I love the guy. I respect what he does, the hard work and dedication.” – on Ed Reed.
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