Sio Moore Scouting Report

March 12th, 2013

Sio Moore brings versatility, power, and teeth to any NFL defense

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut
Height: 6’0¾”
Weight: 245 lb.
Grade: 7.17 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+Combine numbers indicate higher level of athleticism than he shows on the field
-Range due to open field speed merely average, will get outrun by faster backs and tight ends
+Has an impressive burst to close on the football from a position of space or as a blitzer
+/-Negligible foot quickness, but efficient with his first step
+Controls his body commendably with terrific balance playing through contact
+Developed strength in both upper and lower halves, plays like a bigger linebacker in the box as a result

+Decisive reactions to what he reads, comprehends what he sees very quickly
+Very ball aware player in all aspects of his game, plays into strong gap discipline
+As positionally diverse as a linebacker comes as far as college experience, played all imaginable linebacker positions and 4-3 defensive end
+High motor in pursuit, made a number of tackles running down plays from the backside
-Plays with selective physicality, only puts his body on the line if it’s clear that he has to

Pass Rush:
+Heavy hands as a pass rusher with powerful initial punch, can work combination moves after
+Efficient bending around the corner with proper flexibility, aids speed rush
+Reads the eyes of the quarterback as a rusher, gives him immense timing for getting arms into passing lanes and batting balls
+/-Height aids pad level as a rusher, but has size limitations matched up against bigger pass blockers

Run Support:
+Picks his way through traffic well from the middle with plus hand usage and adequate foot quickness
-Doesn’t naturally shed blocks quickly, can get pinned by blockers or take too long to disengage
-Gets caught up with blockers and fails to set an edge on sweeps and tosses occasionally
+Aggressive and effective coming forward to fill holes or penetrating to disrupt the backfield
+Keeps inside/out leverage with disciplined run fits from in the box or from a position of space
+Often penetrates into the backfield and redirects to chase, makes plays in the backfield as a result
+Powerful tackler who can hit with high impact while wrapping
-Has some tackling inconsistencies, will drop his head and lose eye contact, doesn’t always sink his hips

+High level of experience and effectiveness in both man and zone coverage
+Strong feel for man and ball in coverage, never totally abandoning one or the other with his eyes
-Doesn’t play the ball as often as you’d like when in position to do so, also dropped a number of interceptions, questions about ball skills follow
-Occasionally stops his feet and coverage and can be beat by double moves as a result

Sio Moore is as pro-ready a linebacker as there may be in this year’s draft class. By most accounts, he showed very well in the East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl, and the NFL Combine. He’s heavily experience with 31 career starts for the Huskies defense. Those 31 starts have seen him lined up all over the field, from inside to outside linebacker in multiple defensive fronts, to edge rusher as a 4-3 defensive end. He affects the game in a high number of ways, through coverage, as a run stopper, and as a pass rusher. Moore has 44 career tackles for loss, 16 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions. His versatility makes him a fit for nearly every defensive scheme out there, which will drive up his value on draft day. His best fit is probably as a SAM linebacker in a 4-3 front, where he can make use of his skills as a blitzer and in pass coverage with a versatile role. Moore’s varying skills and impressive production, backed up by strong showings in post-season events, will likely see him get pushed into the second round.—Darren Page

Editorial note: Darren and I don’t often completely agree on a player, but I could have very well written this scouting report based on my analysis on Moore in a couple different games (Syracuse, Cincinnati) than the ones referenced below and Senior Bowl and Shrine Game weeks—Jeff Risdon

Scouting Notes:

Connecticut vs. Maryland
• Comes up from over the slot on a QB read option keep and buries him with a strong tackle
• Walks up to the line on a blitz, too quick off the snap for a down block and wraps up the back in the backfield for a tackle for loss
• Comes free on an edge blitz, avoids the block of the back with his hands and gets in on the sack with two other defenders
• Stacks up a slot receiver to set the edge against a speed sweep and disengages to make a textbook tackle in space
• Forces the ball carrier to bounce farther outside on a speed sweep when Moore pushes the block back into his path
• Pushes back the right tackle with a heavy first punch and gets his hands up to bat down the ball on a quick pass to the outside
• Gets caught in space against an inverted veer concept, the QB gives to the back and Moore tries to shoot inside the slot receiver’s block and loses the edge as a result
• Attacks a speed sweep in his direction, doesn’t have his head on a swivel and gets cracked by a slot receiver
• Comes free around the corner on a blitz and forces the QB to step up into a sack, gets a piece of the QB himself by bending back to the inside
• Gets his hands up as a free rusher to bat a pass when the QB gets it out quick
• Unblocked on an inside stunt as a blitzer, ball comes out just before he gets to the quarterback
• Quickly bends around the edge as the unblocked defender and makes a tackle for loss on an inside give from shotgun

Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh
• Fills quickly from an inside linebacker position, quick to react and makes the tackle in the hole
• Gets a strong jam on a wide receiver and shows loose hips to turn and run with him on a corner route, cuts off the route and drops an easy interception
• Breaks down in space to make a tackle for no gain on a Ray Graham screen pass
• Wins around the corner from a 3-4 OLB spot with pure speed, just enough bend to redirect to the quarterback, forces an incomplete pass hitting the QB as he throws
• Shows burst to close on the quarterback from coverage after a play action rollout, forces a throw-away
• Reads the QB’s eyes as a rush linebacker and gets his hands up to bat a pass
• Dips underneath the block of the right tackle and wins around the corner for an easy sack
• Overpowers a tight end to win the inside gap on an A-gap run, gets held from behind and doesn’t finish the play through the hold, which goes uncalled
• Chases down a lead from the backside and makes a tackle for loss when a hole doesn’t open up for Graham
• Puts his head down and fails to wrap at all on a quick screen, completely whiffs on the receiver who gains extra yardage
• Called for roughing the passer, unwarranted even though it was unnecessary contact
• Shows strength to bullrush the right tackle and disengages to make the sack when the QB steps up

Connecticut vs. North Carolina State
• Blankets WR on multiple occasions in man coverage, on his hip well downfield
• Comes free as an unblocked edge blitzer, reads the eyes of Mike Glennon and gets his hands up for the quick throw to the outside, forces a high throw from Glennon
• Strings out a speed sweep playing off the block of a slot wide receiver and makes the tackle for loss
• Unblocked on a delayed blitz and sacks Glennon as he freezes up with ball
• Flips his hips well and runs with a TE in the seam, unable to break up the pass despite great position
• Sheds a down block with quick feet to side step it and is in on a tackle for loss on a lead
• Pushes a TE back into the play on an off tackle carry to his side, pads low and drives legs well
• Gets pancaked by a guard at the second level as he tries to redirect to the ball carrier’s cutback

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