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The 2018 WR Elite 8: (4) Christian Kirk vs. (5) D.J. Moore

The RotoViz Wide Receiver Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each matchup with the winner moving on to the next round.

SUTTON WR GREAT 8

 

Catch up on any of the previous Great Eight matchup in this series by clicking one of the links below.

(1) COURTLAND SUTTON VS. (8) SIMMIE COBBS

(4) CHRISTIAN KIRK VS. (5) D.J. MOORE

D.J. Moore took out Deon Cain in the first round of our tournament with a clean sweep. Moore’s athletic profile and Dominator Rating have made him a force to reckon with among our panelists. With a combine performance that placed him with an impressive Freak Score of 64, Moore has quickly moved up draft boards and is the name to watch in WR draft circles. Will that momentum continue?

Christian Kirk’s closest comparable is Stefon Diggs. If that comp turns out to be accurate, then a multitude of drafters should be very happy with the selection. Kirk bested Michael Gallup in the first round to move into the Elite 8. With a 93rd-percentile breakout age in the SEC, Kirk has been on the radar since his freshman year. Can the early starter take out the late riser in one of the more intriguing battles in our WR tournament?

Anthony Amico – D.J. Moore:  I love Christian Kirk, but Moore is one of the few WRs I would pick ahead of him in this tournament. He is by far the best WR in my projection model and has one of the best in the entire sample. He’s been a constant riser throughout the process and doesn’t have an obvious blemish on his resume.

John Lapinski – D.J. Moore:  While Moore has the higher upside, these players are close enough that if you were forced to pay a top-three pick to acquire Moore, then Kirk would be my choice just based on the discount. With the running back class pushing all the WRs down the draft board though, I expect Moore to be available with a mid-first round pick despite the accelerating hype. The respective landing spots in the NFL draft could flip this matchup for me.

Scott Smith – D.J. Moore: These are the top two WRs on my draft board. Remembering that Breakout Age is the Key for WRs, both of these guys fit the bill. Kirk more than likely played against stiffer competition over the course of his career but never could quite best his impressive freshman season. Moore wins this battle by a hair due to his ability to grow as a receiver and ultimately have an impressive final season DR of .532. While Moore is far from a perfect prospect, he is the best we have in 2018.

Cort Smith – D.J. Moore:  I believe Kirk is being vastly undervalued in this class after dominating at a young age for most of his career. However, Moore is looking increasingly like an elite prospect and is already coming at a bit of a discount, considering he’ll go behind several RBs – and maybe even a few WRs – in rookie drafts.

Matt Wispe – D.J. Moore:  Moore was an ideal prospect before the NFL Combine with a 32 percent career MS of receiving yards and a 53 percent final season MS. Using Kevin Cole’s regression tree, he finishes in the elite tier with a 61 percent historical success rate. Once you add in his strong combine, now Moore is rising up draft boards too.

Jordan Hoover – D.J. Moore:  The hype surrounding Moore is growing by the day,1 so the discount you may have had is likely gone. But the combination of production, athleticism, and age is impossible to ignore. Kirk could very well end up a solid fantasy asset, but in a matchup of two prospects with similar costs of acquisition, I’ll take the higher ceiling.

Blair Andrews – D.J. Moore:  Moore has been rocketing up draft rankings, but I still think he’s not getting the love he deserves. Can you even name another WR with a 98th-percentile breakout age, a 97th-percentile Dominator Rating, a 95th-percentile speedscore, and a 95th-percentile burst score? And that’s not even to mention that he’ll still be 21 at the end of his rookie year. Talk about checking all the boxes. If someone told me Moore was their favorite WR prospect of all time, I wouldn’t think that person was insane. Kirk is one of the top WRs in this class, but to me there is a sizable gap between Moore and everyone else.

Ryan Bobbitt – D.J. Moore:  Moore has everything we want in a WR prospect here at RotoViz – breakout age and production. Testing as a plus athlete is just icing on the cake. Kirk is a very good prospect in his own right and someone I hope to own a lot of next season, but it’s hard to overcome Moore’s overall profile with similar draft position in rookie drafts.

Hasan Rahim – D.J. Moore: Despite playing with four different quarterbacks who combined to complete 55 percent of their passes, Moore posted a Dominator Rating of 53 percent in his final season at Maryland. He overcame a broken passing offense and finished 26th in the nation in raw receiving yards. Despite the differential in acquisition price between the two players, a prospect like Moore is worth paying up for.

Shawn Siegele – Christian Kirk:  While I’m with all of my compatriots in loving Moore – and would select him first in a draft – Kirk is also an excellent prospect and may end up being quite a bit less expensive if Moore’s deafening buzz continues unabated. The Texas A&M product was much more impressive than Moore when they were freshmen in 2015, holds large edges in raw career yards and TDs, and scored seven special teams TDs, peripheral stats that project well to the NFL and help validate his athleticism.

FINAL RESULTS

D.J. Moore continues his momentum as he moves past Christian Kirk with only one dissenting opinion. Mr. Contrarian himself, Shawn Siegele was the only person on the panel to pick Kirk. That pick may be cause to pump the breaks and re-examine both prospects. Kirk’s dominance as a freshman certainly gives him a solid profile and should put him among the top-drafted WRs in dynasty drafts. However it’s Moore’s athletic profile along with his final season DR of 53 percent that has everyone falling in love with his projection.

D.J. Moore moves onto the Final Four to take on top seed Courtland Sutton.

  1. He’s jumped to No. 2 in the NFL Draft Scout rankings.  (back)

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