Safety First

Rahim Moore NFL Draft

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest safety of them all?

Last year, Rahim Moore snagged ten interceptions for the UCLA Bruins. This year, he only managed to grab one. Coincidentally, during last year’s NFL Draft there were ten relatively highly-touted safety prospects. This year, there will only be one.

Moore, who lists Baltimore’s Ed Reed as the player he most admires, certainly has the magnetic hands and locker-room persona that Reed has displayed over his years in a Ravens uniform. Like Reed, Moore always seems to be in the correct position to make a big play to change the game.

His instincts are off the charts while playing in zone. Moore makes lightning-quick breaks on the ball and his great hands do the rest. As good as he has played, Moore has also stayed very humble and was reportedly a great leader in the UCLA locker room.

At 6’0″ and just under 200 pounds, Moore might look more like a cornerback than a safety. That said, he hasn’t had any durability problems so far in his career. What he haven’t seen is, at that size, will he be able to play man against tight ends and slot receivers.

The safety position is increasingly becoming more important in the NFL. Rookies Eric Berry of the Chiefs and Earl Thomas of the Seahawks provided immediate impact for their teams, leading them to the playoffs in 2010 after disappointing 2009 campaigns.

The Chargers are one of the teams that will be looking for a similar turnaround in 2011. Moore would pair well with Eric Weddle and fill an important need in the Chargers secondary. Sitting at pick 18 in the first round, Moore should be available.

The aforementioned Ed Reed has threatened retirement before, and if he is going to follow-up on those threats anytime soon the Ravens will need to find his replacement. Rahim would jump at the chance to follow in the footsteps of his idol in Baltimore. The Ravens pick at 26, which means they might need to trade up a bit if they want to get Moore for sure.

Houston has had one of the worst passing defenses consistently over the last few years. The addition of Moore, even if safety might not be their most pressing need, would certainly do much to address the Texans’ deficiencies in their backfield. Picking Moore at 11 would certainly be a reach, but trading down or back into the first round using their 2nd round pick might be an option.

New England is in a similar situation, with a sub-par passing defense holding the team back. Brandon Meriweather, even with his multiple Pro Bowl nods, has been inconsistent, while Jarrad Page and Brandon McGowan are currently set to be free agents. With two picks in the 1st round, 17 and 28, the Patriots could afford to take a luxury pick.

If any of these teams miss out on Moore, there a few other options in what is a pretty weak safety class in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Check out the rest of our top five safeties at Patriots Insider.

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10 Responses to “Safety First”

  1. CC says:

    “Goin’ to a Steak joint…….and ordering a Big Mac” Nice analogy………LMFAO!
    That was beautiful Dude, absolutely beautiful!!!
    Totally worth clicking on and being the first thing I read.

  2. Ian says:

    Well we do only draft guys with the last name starting with M and W so isnt it automatic that we draft Watt and Moore…so obvious guys.

  3. NEPD says:

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  4. cash says:

    I totally agree with all of you. Our secondary isnt great but good enough. We need a pass rush. QBs are way to comfy in the pocket. Its not even all about sacks, but making the QB uncomfy, moving his feet, and forcing him to get rid of the ball before he wants to.
    And Merriwaether is the WORST tacler ive ever seen. Terrible angles and he never engages the ball carrier, he just waits for someone else to wrap him up. I started really watching him this year and I couldnt help but notice how poor he was at tackling. Chung is the exact oppisite, great tackler and runs at the ball carrier. Merriweather has been a huge dissapointment to me too, I had big hopes for him coming out, thought he would be a great all around playmaker, But im sure pressure on the QB would make him look better though.

  5. Steve says:

    I watched the little film on him on Youtube and he just doesn’t seem that good…over-rated. I agree on him being too soft….that’s what I saw.

    The position is a tough one these days…there aren’t many good ones…it requires a package of skills that isn’t easy to find. The coverage and speed demands have brought this position to another level.

    • Ryan says:

      I agree as well finding a Polamulu or Bobby Sanders is tough, it seems like as of now there are only a few ELITE safetys and a whole bunch of mediocre ones. Although, Eric Berry looks sick, but look at what it took to get him. Top five pick? We’ll see, though anything could happen. I just don’t see it coming from Rahim Moore.

  6. Phil says:

    i think Brandon Merriweather has been a disappointment, even with his 2 Pro Bowls. When we drafted him I saw an attempt at replacing on of my favorite players EVER! (Rodney Harrison) Brandon just isn’t rough enough! People talk about the defense winning those championships…and they are right, but the key thing is that the defense was made of tough, hard as nails, dudes, like Rodney, Bruschi, Ted FN Johnson. Guys who showed up with their lunch pail everyday. We need a guy at safety who can give the secondary that same toughness, without missing tackles in the running game. I think James Sanders has actually toughened up and started to hit people like Rod used to. But he isn’t feared! Rodney was feared by almost every wideout crossing the middle because they knew who’s house they were running through. Brandon doesn’t command that…but i agree with the other posters…a good pass rush could make Brandon a top 5 safety but it could not also…because then we he will have to be better against the run…my jury is still out on him…

  7. Bruschi54 says:

    I will be surprised if Moore is selected in round 1. His tackling ability is questionable, an area that all the other safeties you mentioned excel in. Unless you are a lockdown cover corner, tough to use first rounder on questionable tackler in the middle of the field. He will probably time and look great in shorts at the combine, and his reaction to the ball was incredible his junior year. Sash from Iowa plays the game faster than he gets credit for, and is always around the ball, would be nice 3rd round selection. I still think Chung is solid, and will continue to show improvement. We can put Ed Reed & Troy Polamalu back there for the Pats, and unless they bring Suggs, Harrison & Woodley with them have about the same results as our current group of safeties. GET a pass rush and magically everyone becomes a much better DB, crazy how that works.

    • Ryan says:

      Totally agree. Weird how a pass rush, makes everyone’s play look better. It’s also weird how much easier 3rd down conversions will be. Our secondary in my opinion is not suspect, while it can be at times, it is undeserving of first round attention.

  8. Ryan says:

    I don’t go to a steak joint and order a big mac. This is not a safety draft, albeit he may be a good safety. But this isn’t a deep draft of safetys, and I certainly wouldn’t waste a first round pick on him. I say resign Page or McGowen, and work on the younger guys. The safety’s in my opinion often look bad because a) the opposing qb was usually a top qb in the league (due to schedule) and b) because the opposing qb has all day in the pocket.

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