Commentary

No system for finding steals

Sleeper draft picks like Denarius Moore break out for a variety of reasons

Originally Published: September 24, 2011
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Denarius MooreThearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesRaiders wide receiver Denarius Moore has had a strong start to his rookie campaign.

Last week, after Oakland Raiders rookie Denarius Moore blew up against the Buffalo Bills with five catches for 146 yards and a touchdown -- something that was actually no surprise given his exceptional preseason -- I was asked if there was a pattern to be found. An interesting player with average college stats but great combine measurables goes late then turns into something as a rookie. After all, didn't the Raiders do this last year with Jacoby Ford, the speedster out of Clemson who had a great 40 time but unrefined skills as a wideout?

I'd like to say there is, that the Raiders have a method, taking great athletes late and hoping there are some football players in there, but that's not really the case. The Raiders also take great athletes early, as do many others, and we know it's a hit-and-miss game early as well.

The truth is that there are many reasons why guys can fall. Just look at Moore.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst