Continuing my ongoing series “The Guys No One is Talking About” I move on to another defensive end prospect, Zach Moore.
Moore’s final campaign for Concordia was one for the record books. Zach Moore, the three-time All-Northern Sun Conference First Team defensive end, was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award and the Cliff Harris Award.
Zach Moore, the two-time team captain currently ranks ninth in NCAA DII history with 33.0 total sacks, which is a Concordia record. His 45 career tackles for a loss are third in the Concordia record books. In the preseason, Zach Moore was the coaches choice as NSIC Preseason South Division Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus preseason All-American and the fifth-ranked overall DII football player
Will all of the players I profile in this series become Pro Bowl players or even solid starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may become solid special teams guys, backups, or not make final cuts in training camp. However, for those of you who are familiar with the series, you know many have gone on to have solid careers in the NFL. This series is about getting these guys some recognition.
Zach Moore, DE|DT
College: Concordia St. Paul
40 time: 4.82
Grade: 65 | Round: 7th-FA
Official Concordia Team Bio
Career Notes: Has 26.0 sacks in 28 games with 35.5 tackles for loss … has 24.0 sacks over last two seasons (2010, 2012) … ranks fourth in school history in sacks, just 4.0 shy of the school record total of 30.0. (Update. He ended up finishing his career with 33 sacks and 45 tackles for loss.)
2013: Member of 2014 Senior Bowl Watch List … ranked #5 overall, #3 defender and #2 defensive lineman on D2Football.com and Josh Buchanan’s preseason top-100 list … D2Football.com Preseason All-America First Team … Sporting News Preseason All-America … BSN Preseason All-America First Team … College Football America Preseason All-American …USA College Football Division II Preseason All-America First Team … Collegiate Development Football League Division II Preseason All-America First Team … NSIC South Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year …D2Football.com NSIC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
2012: Voted team captain … AFCA All-America First Team … D2Football.com All-America First Team … BSN All-America First Team … Associated Press Little All-America Second Team … Don Hansen All-America Second Team … Daktronics All-Super Region 3 Region First Team … Don Hansen All-Super Region 3 First Team … All-NSIC South Division First Team … one of 32 players selected to JB Scouting Small School (non-FBS) Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Watch List …
D2Football.com Preseason All-America Second Team selection … earned team Big Bear of the Year award, Parlet Lifter of the Year award and Paw Pride of the Year award … earned CU Defensive Player of the Week award three times (at UM Crookston, vs Wayne State and at Winona State) and CU Defensive Lineman of the Week award five times (at UM Crookston, Upper Iowa, at Sioux Falls, Wayne State and at Winona State) …
Named CU Male Athlete of the Week for season finale performance at Winona State (11/10/12) … ranked fifth in the nation in sacks per game (1.27) and tied for 11th in tackles for loss per game (1.91) … his 14.0 total sacks were fourth most in Division II football … led the NSIC in total sacks (14.0), sacks per game (1.27), tackles for loss (21.0) and tackles for loss per game (1.91) … ranked 17th among NSIC defensive linemen with 3.5 tackles per game … also led the NSIC South Division in seven divisional games in sacks (10.0), sacks per game (1.43), tackles for loss (14.5) and tackles for loss per game (2.07), was tied for lead with two fumbles forced and ranked eighth among divisional defensive linemen with 3.9 tackles per game … in season finale at Winona State (11/10/12), he tied the NSIC single-game highs with 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks while being the only player in the league to post those totals in the same game …
Ranks second in Concordia history for single season sacks (14.0) and fifth in tackles for loss (21.0) … had at least three tackles in 10 out of 11 games played and had a tackle in every game … had at least 1.0 tackle for loss in 10 of 11 games and at least 1.0 sacks in nine of 11 games … had six games with at least 2.0 tackles for loss and four games with 2.0 sacks … in only game without a tackle for loss or sack, and season-low one tackle (vs Upper Iowa, 10/6/12), recorded an interception and two quarterback hurries … had a blocked kick, four tackles, 3.0 TFL and 1.0 sacks with three quarterback hurries at Sioux Falls (10/13/12).
- Film Study
- Zach Moore has good length and build. He has excellent character and is a natural born leader. (team captain 2 consecutive years).
- It was hard to grade Zach Moore because of the level of competition he was up against. What I had to focus on the most was his overall intangibles. What he has the potential to develop in to. The first thing I noticed was his versatility. He has the quickness to play outside at DE, and the size to be converted to a DT at the next level.
- Zach Moore has a tall muscular physique and the frame to carry more weight. If he was used as a DT in this Tampa 2 defense, I would like him to gain 10-15 lbs.
- Zach Moore is quick off of the snap and has a good first step. He has good length and bend and maintains a decent pad level when he engages. He has good upper body strength and plays with power at the point.
- Zach Moore lined up at RDE and is an elusive player with extremely light and quick feet. He has good lateral agility and elite change of direction (he played WR in high school). He understands his assignments and performs stunts and slants well. What makes him a good pass rusher is his ability to sell the inside move and then cut back the other direction and shoot the outside gap. He has the ability to play sideline to sideline. He also shows the ability to get pressure inside. He does a nice job of moving laterally to his left and finding a seam in the offensive line to penetrate. He doesn’t have elite straight line speed, but moves well for his size. His combination of length and athleticism will be intriguing to a number of NFL coaching staffs.
- Zach Moore has decent closing speed and does a nice job in pursuit. He uses his hands well, but needs to work on his technique. He takes bad angles at times and over-pursues, but he usually recovers well. He will need to get stronger to play DT at the next level.
- I see Zach Moore a better fit as a DE in a 3-4 rather than a 4-3 despite his quickness. I believe he would be a better fit at DT in the Cowboys Tampa 2 that relies more on quickness, but he could be lined up at DE as a situational pass rusher as well. He tends to tackle too high at times and that could lead to some helmet to helmet penalties at the next level. He needs to learn to break down, wrap up, and go through the hips. By coming in so high, the more mobile quarterbacks will dip under his attack and escape. He will also need to learn some more pass rush moves. He is instinctive, tracks the ball well and is solid against the run.
I project Zach Moore as a good developmental player for Rod Marinelli. He has a non stop motor, excellent work ethic and a good head on his shoulders. Like the other guys I profile in this series, he is not only hungry, he has a lot of heart. I believe Zach Moore has all of the intangibles to develop in to a starter at the next level. Chances are, the Cowboys could get him as an undrafted free agent: making him a low risk, high reward player. However, if he has a good showing at the combine and during his team visits, his stock could very well rise. I wish I could have seen him against some better competition. Unfortunately he didn’t participate in the Shrine Game.