Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore has elected to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound WR will be the second-youngest WR on draft day.1 Despite catching passes from four different quarterbacks, Moore had a breakout campaign and posted a 0.53 dominator rating.
Given his stellar campaign, Moore was a late addition to the Biletnikoff Award watch list. He was awarded the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year, and it should come as no surprise that he graded out as the top prospect in Anthony Amico’s WR prospect model.
As a freshman, Moore posted a 25/357/3 receiving line. Although the results from his freshman season were not flashy, but Moore accounted for 20 percent of Maryland’s receiving TDs and posted a reasonable dominator rating of 0.19. His most impressive performance was against Ohio State2 where he caught three balls for 64 yards and a TD.
As a sophomore, Moore’s production took a step forward. Although his 41/637/8 receiving line is not particularly impressive, he accounted for 27 percent of Maryland’s receiving yards and 40 percent of Maryland’s receiving TDs. Moore not only led the Terrapins in receiving but also in kick returns.3 We know that special teams stats carry importance in determining a player’s “true playing speed,” so don’t let a poor showing in the 40-yard dash scare you away.
The spike in production during Moore’s junior year is heartening to see. He improved upon every raw receiving metric, despite dealing with a tumultuous QB situation.
It’s important to point out how bad Maryland’s overall passing game was in 2017, ranking 74th in Passing S&P+ and 114th in Passing Success Rate. Quarterbacks Max Bortenschlager, Ryan Brand, Kasim Hill, and Tyrrell Pigrome combined to complete just 55 percent of their throws on the season. Despite operating within a below-average passing offense, Moore finished 26th in the nation in raw receiving yards. Although he appeared to struggle against stiffer opposition,4 he broke the 75-yard threshold against all other teams.
NFL Draft Prospects
As mentioned earlier, Moore is the second-youngest WR prospect in this draft class. He boasts a breakout season of age 19.7, a positive indicator of future success. Forty-six percent of the top-100 picks with Moore’s breakout age have reached the 200-point plateau in at least one of their first three seasons.
Referencing Kevin Cole’s regression tree for evaluating prospects, we can see that Moore’s career market share of receiving yards is healthy,5 although his low number of total yards and yards per reception is cause for some concern.
However, Moore overcomes the low yards per reception and total yards metrics by posting a monster 53.0 percent market share in his final season. As a result, he lands in the cohort of past prospects with the highest likelihood of future success. Given Moore’s strong production profile and age-adjusted profile, it’s safe to say that he’s going to quickly become a 2018 RotoViz crush.
NFL Scouts have compared Moore to another RotoViz favorite WR, Stefon Diggs. Given his ability to overcome a dysfunctional passing offense, it’s possible that we see his draft stock rises further if he tests well at the NFL Combine. Moore is a high-floor, high-ceiling dynasty asset who is well worth your investment in rookie drafts.