Conventional wisdom is that it takes three years to properly evaluate a draft class. Well we don’t need to wait another year to know Denarius Moore has outperformed his draft stock. Most of Raider Nation was aware of that before he even played his first NFL game. Moore was an instant star in his first training camp and has since gone on to out-perform all but 3 of the 17 receivers taken ahead of him in the 2011 NFL Draft. For the record those three men are Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Julio Jones plus Super Bowl champion Torrey Smith. So Moore is already in elite company with regards to his classmates.
But the novelty of his diamond in the rough status will officially have worn off once the Raiders open camp in 2013. The time has come for Moore to up his status from unexpected contributor to dynamic playmaker.
We all know he’s capable of stretching the field like an unemployed man’s Randy Moss. We also know he can make the type of plays that can turn the tide of game in mere seconds.
All that remains is for Moore to do his thing with more consistency.
After a breakout rookie season Moore began his sophomore campaign looking like he was well on his way to making his #17 jersey an official seller in every NFL shop. Then Oakland’s offense slowed to a crawl and his production and consistency went south like so many football fans flocking to New Orleans last week.
Injury issues definitely didn’t help his cause but he never missed another game after sitting out the season opener. Still it’s hard to ignore his receptions, yardage, touchdowns and yards per catch all taking drastic dips from Week 11 until the end of the season.
In once seven game stretch from weeks 2 through 10 Moore caught 34 balls for 575 yards and 5 TDs. After that he only managed 17 catches for 196 yards a two TDs. Clearly his role in the offense became confused as Greg Knapp struggled to understand how best to use his talent. Moore also didn’t give the same type of effort seemingly frustrated like all members of the Raiders’ offense became after watching Darren McFadden run into the back of his O-line on every carry.
There is no doubt Moore can easily become the Raiders’ first 1,000 yard receiver since the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. did so back in ’05. That would mean he’d become more than just a favorite of Raider Nation, he’d also become a highly sought after fantasy stud.