2018 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Skai Moore
School: South Carolina
Weight: 220 pounds
Moore’s tackling technique will be his calling card in space. Knowing his size limitations, he does not attempt an arm tackle. This paid off in 351 tackles during his career. He drives toward the ball carrier and wraps quickly. There is no hesitation. Part of tackling is the ability to shed or elude blocks. Moore is obviously overmatched against larger opponents. However, he uses quick hands and feet to slip by blockers. Provided he continues that tact, he will be a factor. While he is a sure tackler, Moore is not the lights-out, brutal striker. He forced three fumbles during his career, but may not strike fear in opponents’ hearts.
If Moore plans to continue as a linebacker, he will need to add mass and power. While he is strong for his size, battling tackles in the run game requires more heft. Provided he gains useful size, Moore should be able to hold his own.
For Moore, explosion allows him to do what many linebackers cannot. First, Moore gets the drop on most slow-rising linemen during games. Although his five sacks may not sounds any alarms, his twenty TFL stands out.
While in Columbia, Moore was an outside linebacker. He is listed at 220 pounds, which could be a reach. Moore sees the entire field well, and is comfortable in man coverage. He is strong enough to body up on a tight end, but quick enough to single up on a slot receiver. Coverage is a combination of calm, timing, and awareness. This speaks well for Moore, as three of his fourteen interceptions were in the end zone.
Moore sustained a neck injury in 2015. As a result, he required surgery that forced him to redshirt the following season. According to doctors, Moore completely healed. In 2017, he returned to form. With that said, the combine medical eval remains crucial.
Since Reggie McKenzie took the reins in 2012, the Raiders struggled with one key defensive aspect: failure to cover tight ends. In a division with Travis Kelce, Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, the glaring hole in the defense needs filling. Moore gives the Raiders an instant upgrade in coverage. Not to mention, Moore’s speed allows him to make plays all over the field. Furthermore, his timing and instincts will provide an upgrade. In order to compete in the AFC West, the Raiders need dynamic defenders.