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NFL Draft prospect to know: Tarvarius Moore, FS, Southern Miss

This safety prospect is rising up the draft boards.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Southern Miss v Louisiana Lafayette Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Blogging The Boys will take a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.

Who will the Cowboys grab at 19? Linebacker, defensive tackle, wide receiver, or offensive line? That is the subject of debate among Cowboys Nation at the moment. In fact, David Helman ran a poll recently asking what position should be the pick on day one. As you would expect, the answers varied.

Linebacker and defensive line were tied for the top choice at 31%, followed by wide receiver, and finally offensive line. All four choices are among the biggest areas of need for the Cowboys, obviously. Of course, this was all before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, so that is likely to change things in draft expectations.

Anthony Hitchens is gone and both Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith have question marks regarding injury. Bringing in a defensive tackle would give the interior of the defense a big boost. With Bryant gone do the Cowboys grab Calvin Ridley or DJ Moore? And then, the team needs a left guard - could that be Isaiah Wynn or WIll Hernandez?

Another position that the Cowboys need to address is safety. Barring a scenario of Derwin James falling to 19 or the Cowboys trading up for the unique talent out of Florida State, Dallas won’ t be adding a safety on day one. However, if the team is going to pick one up later in the draft, this is one name to know.

Tarvarius Moore — free safety, Southern Miss Golden Eagles

6-foot-1
195
Senior

NCAA Football: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

One of the sudden risers of the 2018 NFL Draft process appears to be Southern Miss defensive back Tarvarius Moore. Moore, a senior that began his collegiate career on the JUCO level, is generating day two hype at the moment. With the Cowboys needing to add a safety to the mix, could Moore be a realistic option this April?

As noted above, Tarvarius Moore began his collegiate career as a Junior College football player. Playing at Pearl River CC in Mississippi, Moore blossomed from an overlooked high school prospect into a Division-1 caliber player. Moore was a star for Pearl River in 2015, making first team all-conference (MACJC) as both a cornerback and as a kick returner. The two-star DB only gathered interest from two D1 programs — Southern Miss and Louisville — but he inked with the Golden Eagles and soon became an instant playmaker as soon as he arrived to campus.

In 2016, Moore’s junior season and first at USM, the Mississippi native grew into a solid contributor in the defensive backfield: 17 tackles, two deflected passes, and a team-high two interceptions (one came against the LSU Tigers). His first D1 season wasn’t going to earn him any accolades, but it gave him the confidence that he can play on the big stage.

Moore put together quite the senior campaign this past fall. The 6-foot-1 defensive back emerged as one of the better players on the Golden Eagles’ roster in 2017, as he earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2017. Moore finished with 87 tackles — 59 solo and three for a loss — ten deflected passes, forced a fumble, recovered one, and picked off three more passes last season.


Tarvarius Moore wasn’t invited to the combine, but that hasn’t stopped him from rising draft boards in this past weeks. Here are just a few thoughts from analysts and writers on the intriguing safety from Brett Favre’s alma mater.

Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss (6-1, 199, 4.32)

The highest-ranked non-Combine prospect on my draft board, Moore spent two seasons at the junior college level before coming off the bench as a junior at Southern Miss and starting as a senior. He lit up his pro day (4.32 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical, 11-feet-2 broad jump), and that athleticism matches the tape. If a non-Combine prospect is going to crash the top-100 picks, it will be Moore.

Brugler also has the Cowboys grabbing Moore at 81 in his latest three-round mock.

  • NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris says Moore is one of the most talented safety prospects in this draft class.

Round 4 (116): S Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss - I’m a big fan of Xavier Woods and think he’ll sustain starting caliber play. Moreover, Moore is one of the more talented players at the position I’ve seen in this class. I have a feeling we are catching up on him on the outside, but he has fans inside the NFL.

Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Miss

The 6-1, 195-pound Moore caught my attention with a scintillating pro day that included a 4.32-second 40-yard dash, a 38.5-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot, 1-inch broad jump. When a player produces speed and explosive numbers like that, it requires an extra look at the game tape because those traits are going to be highly coveted by NFL teams. What I found on tape was a safety with good size, play speed that matched his timed speed as well as the smooth footwork and athleticism needed to handle his coverage duties. Moore has cover skills and he’s a downhill run supporter. He has quality ball skills and instincts. Somehow, Moore wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and has flown well under the public’s radar, but NFL teams are all very well aware of him. He’s likely to come off the board on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the draft. He has the potential to be a good NFL starter.

Some of my fellow BTB FPW’s have also weighed in on the safety prospect that is now one of the 30 pre-draft visitors for America’s Team. Here’s what DannyPhantom and Michael Sisemore have to say about Moore.

Phantom:

There might not be a hotter draft prospect climbing the boards right now that Tarvarius Moore. I have him mocked to the Cowboys in the fourth round, but Brugler doesn’t mess around as he has Dallas picking Moore in round three.

It’s great to have the athleticism to stop on a dime. It’s also great to have the physicality to make your opponents do the same.

Draft projection: 3-4

Sisemore:

FS Tarvarious Moore, Southern Miss (Brugler: —)

Where he fits: Moore is a new name that just crept up after Brugler mocked him to the Cowboys in the third round but he’s still relatively unknown. Moore’s tape shows a fantastic athlete that fits the single-high needs for this team to the “T”. He’s an aggressive tackler that tracks the ball well with the hands to make a quarterback pay for throwing his way. At his Pro Day, Moore posted a 4.32 40-time, 38.5 vert, and 11.1 broad jump. He’s going to face questions about the competition level he was up against but the guy does have great cover skills.


Overall, Tarvarius Moore appears to be an ideal selection for a team — such as the Cowboys, for instance — that is looking for a safety in the third or fourth-round. Moore possesses great size (6-foot-1, 199) and his five interceptions over his two D1 seasons shows that he can make some plays on the ball when needed.

He does have some flaws obviously, but his length, speed, and coverage skills makes him a prospect that the Cowboys need to seriously consider with picks 81 and 116.

While Pro Day’s aren’t everything, he made a name for himself at USM’s in late March:

Moore stole the show in the 40-yard dash, clocking a 4.35 on his first attempt and a 4.32 the second go-round. The 6-1, 199-pounder also finished the day with the best vertical, at 39 ½ inches, and the top broad jump, at 11-feet, 1-inch.


Thoughts, BTB?

*Stats gathered from sports-reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

Catch up with our previous installments below!

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Austin Bryant, DE Clemson

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Tarvarus McFadden, CB Florida State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Martinas Rankin, OL Mississippi State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Daron Payne, DT, Alabama

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Ronnie Harrison, Safety, Alabama

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Deontay Burnett, WR, USC

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

NFL Draft Prospect to know: Vita Vea, DT, Washington Huskies

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa Hawkeyes

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Deadrin Senat, DT, South Florida

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NFL Draft Prospect to Know: PJ Hall, DT, Sam Houston State

NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State