With their third round pick in the NFL Draft, the 81st selection overall, the Washington Redskins took CB Fabian Moreau from UCLA. Moreau makes three picks on the defensive side of the ball in the first three rounds of the Draft, demonstrating a clear desire on the part of the team to bolster what was widely seen as a major weakness on the squad for years.
A two-time All-PAC 12 honorable mention in 2013 and 2016, Moreau had a first round grade from many NFL scouts before a torn pectoral muscle at his pro day caused his stock to drop. Moreau also suffered a Lisfranc injury early in the 2015 season.
Listed at 6’0″ and 206 pounds, Moreau has great size and almost the build of a running back. He blew away scouts at the NFL Combine with a 4.35-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical leap to go with an 11-foot-3-inch broad jump. All those numbers were among the leaders of any cornerback at the Combine.
Moreau has light feet, great acceleration and changes direction naturally. A very strong 2016 season at UCLA helped Moreau leap up the draft boards of many teams.
I’ll turn it over to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com for more:
Former running back with a thick frame and great speed. Showed off his ability to jam and reroute receivers at Shrine Game practices. Patient from press. Fluid athlete with good lateral quickness and agility to press and match against plus athletes. Maintains good feel for the route as it progresses. Early accelerator with recovery quickness and “makeup” long speed. Good physicality inside the route. Shows enough reactive twitch to challenge slants. Uses size and speed to crowd vertical routes and fight off receivers’ attempts to stack him on their hips. Showed noticeable improvement in confidence and coverage skills from 2014. Has upper body strength to stack and shuck most receivers. Break-down, wrap-up tackler with the build to challenge NFL runners with size.
Fairly limited in his coverages with focus on Cover-3 and press man. Lower body hits pause button giving up some separation when biting into head fake at top of the route. Takes time to gather and redirect when transitioning forward from bail coverage. Instincts and ball production have been marginal. Slow to recognize clearing routes and rarely ejects to overlap back into the play area. Paltry average of just one interception every 63 targets. Slow to find and track the deep throw. Has been tagged with an excessive amount of pass interferences and defensive holding penalties in college. Loses track of his man during scrambles.
SOURCES TELL US
“He’s big and strong but I just want him to play with more edge. He should be whipping and overwhelming some of these skinny receivers but he just lets them take too many liberties. I would want to bust their ass and let them know whats up early in the game.” — NFC West regional scout
Moreau is an explosive athlete who had to transition from running back over to cornerback. While the transition has taken some time thanks to inexperience and his 2015 injury, Moreau’s tape shows a more confident and consistent cover man than before. Moreau’s strength, speed and athleticism will move him up draft boards, but a torn pectoral muscle at his pro day could cause him to drop by a round.