If there was one thing the 2015 Cincinnati Bearcats were able to do, it was throw the rock. The squad finished the season with the sixth-most passing yards in FBS college football. And if chicks really do dig the long ball, then Chris Moore could be popular in some fantasy leagues. He certainly helped his draft stock by putting together some nice practices during the week of the Senior Bowl. Still, the bigger question remains: will he have a wider fantasy appeal in 2016 and beyond?
» Outstanding game speed to get downfield
» Solid arm length with good catch radius
» Outstanding explosion
» Big play threat
Moore is a good case study for the difference between 40-yard dash times and game speed. At the combine, he ran a fairly humdrum 4.53 time. But watching him on film tells a different story. Moore was a problem for safties coming off the line of scrimmage. It didn't take much for this long-strider to eat up cushion and suddenly be behind the defender. That's why he was primarily a deep threat while playing for the Bearcats.
That speed -- combined with his explosion of the line -- made Moore a big play threat. In his final two seasons at Cincinnati, Moore averaged better than 22 yards per catch. In 2015, he was fourth in the FBS with 21.8 yards per catch. With his long arms and ability to reach the ball in just about any place, Moore has the makings of a productive receiver.
» Needs to prove he's more than a one-trick pony
» Must add strength
» Has a tendency to round off routes
Moore did a very good job at being a deep threat for the Bearcats last season, but that seemed to be about it. There was very little in his body of collegiate work that truly featured anything other than his straight line speed. That doesn't mean Moore can't handle the rest of the route tree ... it's just that we don't know.
What we also don't know is how Moore might handle press coverage from physical NFL cornerbacks. Rarely did he face press coverage of any kind in college, but his frame suggests that he could stand to bulk up to better handle the rigors of playing receiver in the NFL. At the same time, he'll need to tighten up some of his route running as he had a tendency to round off some of his patterns. That will certainly need to be improved.
Ideal fantasy fits
Yes, the Bengals did add Brandon LaFell in free agency. No, that's not enough to make us believe their receiving corps is solidified. Moore could add a deep threat to take some pressure off of A.J. Green. The Browns could use any help they can get in order to shore up their group of pass-catchers (and spare me the "what if Josh Gordon comes back?" trope).
It would be nice if the Rams found themselves a new quarterback, but Case Keenum does like to throw the deep ball which would suit Moore's skill set quite nicely. With a change in Philadelphia's offense, the Eagles could be on the lookout for a deep threat to go along with Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor. Moore could help clear things out underneath for the main pass-catchers.
Early fantasy draft projection
Moore is likely to be a third day player in this year's NFL Draft and will likely need to prove a few things to an NFL team before he finds his way on to the field consistently. But the fact that you can't teach speed is certain to make him intriguing to plenty of general managers. As for fantasy managers ... you can probably wait to pluck Moore off the waiver wire in the event that he lands in a position to make an impact for your squad.