Scouting Reports On: Bjoern Werner -- Phillip Thomas -- Matt Elam -- Eric Reid
As I stated in my most recent article, the Lions should focus solely on defense in the early rounds. Martin Mayhew has said he needs playmakers on defense and the draft is the place to start. I decided to do a little research on the two prospects most likely to be the 5th overall choice for the Lions come April, Damontre Moore and Bjoern Werner.
As my search began, I came to the conclusion of discarding highlight videos and videos suggesting their respective best "plays" of the season, and focus on every snap of crucial games were each played top tier talent along the offensive line, and the offensive unit. Many things came into account. How they fared versus the emerging read option, burst off-the-line, ability against the run, ability as a pass rusher, and overall athleticism.
On Moore, I looked at nine game films, allowing most of my attention on three key games, LSU, Alabama and Florida. Taking into consideration that these three SEC schools have at least on offensive tackle likely going in the first three rounds of this April's NFL Draft. So here we go.
Strengths: Damontre Moore is an incredible athlete, possessing long arms, great speed for his size, and a solid body frame standing 6'4 and weighing 250 Lbs. Moore has an incredible first step off the line, and enables it to beat tackles on a speed rush. He has great closing speed on Quarterbacks and chasing down ball carriers. Moore is a relentless pass rusher and possesses very high motor for his position, and never seen him give up on a play.
Weaknesses: Moore seemed very undisciplined when teams used the read option to his side. With teams such as Florida, LSU, at times, and Mississippi State all running a form of the read option his way, Moore struggled to display sound technique to stay home on the Quarterback. He often dipped down on the ball carrier allowing the play to run right behind him. He struggles against the run, and often was manhandled by D.J. Fluker of Alabama, and LSU's pair of run blocking tackles. He lacks quick hands and often allows the tackles to draw first contact. Doesn't show the strength to bull rush, but could come with proper coaching on the field and in the weight room. Didn't show great feet work while attempting to flash an inside swim move from time to time.
Overall Assessment: Moore's best asset is his great athleticism and speed off the edge. Possesses great closing speed, and surprised me with his relentless hustle on every snap. He lacks stout run defense, much like Cliff Avril does, and his hand quickness off the line needs improvement. Displays great speed rush, but lacks a complimentary move to become great. With the tutelage of a player like Kyle Vanden Bosch, and the Lions wide-9 scheme calling for pass rush and the Outside Linebackers cleaning up the run, I can see Damontre Moore becoming the best pass rusher out of this class.