Prospects

Prospects
Photo of William Moore
William Moore (S)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 221
College: Missouri
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Hayti, MO
High School: Hayti
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Atlanta Falcons
Round: 2
Pick (Overall): 23 (55)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The former Tiger was regarded as a top-tier prospect heading into his senior season until injuries and inconsistency derailed his play. In spite of those flaws, he's an intriguing prospect with the potential to blossom in the Falcons' two-deep scheme. His range is above average and he has a knack for coming down with INTs. If he plays to his potential, he's one of the draft's biggest sleepers.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Moore has been used to changes in his football life. He was a standout prep receiver who converted to cornerback upon his arrival at Missouri. But, as his body continued to grow, he was shifted to free safety, a position he would go on to record 32 career starts.


With his professional career about to begin, some teams are now looking at his 220-plus pound frame and ball-hawking skills as a potential strong safety. Other teams are also eyeing him as a potential outside linebacker candidate, likening him to Houston's Cato June, a former safety who shifted to linebacker in the Cover-2 defensive scheme.


All Moore asks for is an opportunity. Much like the opportunity he takes when he picks off a pass. With his receiver-like hands and quickness, he converted four of his 11 career interceptions into touchdowns, breaking the school career record of three scoring returns by Erik McMillan (1984-87). His hitting ability also rank with the Missouri elite, as his 284 tackles placed him fourth among all-time Tiger defensive backs.


At Hayti High School, Moore was rated the 64th-best receiver in the country and the 12th-best overall prospect in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com. He earned All-State honors on both sides of the ball during his career, leading his team to three consecutive conference titles before finishing second the Class 2A ranks during his junior campaign.


Moore set the school career records with 74 catches for 1,768 yards and 34 touchdowns receiving. His 35 total career scores ranks him fifth on Hayti's scoring chart. In addition to earning four letters in football, he also competed four seasons on the school's basketball team. He added team MVP and All-Conference honors on the hardwood as a junior.


Moore enrolled at the University of Missouri in 2004, turning down scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Purdue, Mississippi, Arkansas and Illinois, among others. He redshirted that season, competing on the scout team as a cornerback, but was shifted to free safety the following season. Wearing jersey No. 21, he started two of nine games he played in, missing three early-season contests with a hamstring injury. He totaled 30 tackles (23 solos) with a forced fumble and returned his first career interception 62 yards for a touchdown.


While starting the 2005 Independence Bowl, Moore suffered right foot fracture on the game's opening series, but continued to play with the injury for the entire first quarter. He would be limited in 2006 spring drills, but was fully recovered by August camp, going on to start five of 13 games at free safety as a sophomore. He posted 51 tackles (33 solos) and continued to find the end zone, returning his only interception 22 yards for a score.


Moore changed jerseys from No. 21 to No. 1 as a junior and had perhaps one of the finest seasons ever by a Missouri defensive back. His 117 tackles (71 solos) rank fifth on the school single-season record list for secondary players, as he also had two sacks and nine stops for loss. He broke up six passes and set the Tigers' single-season record with eight pass thefts, returning one for a touchdown. That performance earned him All-American and All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors.


The preseason favorite to capture 2008 Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) honors, Moore did earn semifinalist status, but struggled through an injury-plagued final campaign. He suffered a foot sprain in the season opener vs. Illinois and was never 100 percent healthy the rest of the year. He missed two full games and parts of two others. He was also still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, as it was discovered after the Cotton Bowl that he had torn his labrum, requiring January surgery. Later in the '08 schedule, he suffered rib cartilage damage vs. Oklahoma.


Through all his injuries, Moore still managed to register 86 tackles (55 solos), good for fourth on the team. He had one sack and 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as he also caused three fumbles. He also returned an interception for a touchdown and had six pass deflections.


High School

Attended Hayti (Mo.) High School, playing football for head coach Jerry Bethune...Rated the 64th-best receiver in the country and the 12th-best overall prospect in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com...Earned All-State honors on both sides of the ball during his career, leading his team to three consecutive conference titles before finishing second the Class 2A ranks during his junior campaign...Set the school career records with 74 catches for 1,768 yards and 34 touchdowns receiving...His 35 total career scores ranks him fifth on Hayti's scoring chart...In addition to earning four letters in football, he also competed four seasons on the school's basketball team...Added team MVP and All-Conference honors on the hardwood as a junior.


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Analysis

Positives: Well-built athlete with a prototypical blend of size, speed and instincts. ... Fast and agile enough to be a true centerfielder in coverage, as well as possessing the explosiveness to be an intimidating hitter over the middle. ... Reliable open-field tackler -- has rare body control to break down in space and make the reliable tackle. ... Reads the quarterback's eyes and can close on the ball. ... Led the Big 12 and broke the school single-season record with eight interceptions in 2007. ... Has a history of turning INTs into TDs, with four of his 11 career picks returned for scores. ... Showed his toughness by playing through a torn labrum for much of the 2007 season. ... Experienced at both safety positions. ... Dynamic athlete who should improve as he gains more experience.


Negatives: Flashes explosiveness as a hitter, but is too inconsistent in this area. ... Leads with his shoulder to create the sensational hit, but doesn't wrap up effectively. ... Too often resorts to shoestring tackles that were effective at the college level, but could be high-stepped through by better athletes. ... Dynamic athlete whose aggression and inexperience can get him in trouble while in coverage. ... Willing to gamble and can be beaten over the top with an effective double-move. ... Was not the same player in 2008 that flashed in 2007, prompting some concerns that he could be a bit of a one-year wonder. ... Sat out spring drills recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum.


Injury Report

2005: Sat out the New Mexico (9/10), Troy (9/17) and Texas (10/01) games after suffering a hamstring strain in the season opener vs. Arkansas (9/03)...Played the entire Independence Bowl vs. South Carolina (12/30) despite suffering a broken bone in his right foot in the opening series of the game...Underwent surgery to have a screw inserted in his foot, sitting out the bulk of 2006 spring camp.


2008: Did not participate in spring drills due to offseason shoulder surgery he had following the Cotton Bowl to repair a torn labrum in a shoulder he suffered in the bowl game while he was winning the game's defensive MVP award. He didn't actually know about the injury until after he returned to campus for second semester classes, when he had continuing pain in shoulder during winter weight-lifting sessions. After examination, the injury was discovered.


Sprained his foot late in the season opener vs. Illinois (8/30), missing the next game vs. Southeast Missouri (9/06)...Re-injured his foot vs. Nevada (9/13), sitting out the Buffalo clash (9/20)...Played in the Oklahoma game (12/06) with hurt ribs but still managed to record four tackles. According to coach Gary Pinkel, he pulled cartilage in his ribs in the Wednesday practice leading up to the game. He tried to play in the game, and he came out fast with two tackles on the Sooners' first possession. The medical staff ended up making the decision that Moore could not finish the game.


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