Sometimes in life, the ones who are the most quiet speak the loudest.
Dan Moore Jr. is one of those individuals that stands tall and carries a calm demeanor. On the surface, one would assume he does not have the type of disposition to play a physical game like football, until you see him play.
During this year's Reese's Senior Bowl practices, Moore Jr. was one best offensive linemen that performed at the event. One observer described him as a mauler when run-blocking and in one-on-one battles against opposing defensive linemen. For those who played against him during his years with Texas A&M, they found out first-hand what he can do.
In his freshman year, Moore Jr. was featured in eight games, with one start against Florida. By his sophomore, he graduated to a full-time starter as he helped his offense gain 5,590 total yards. In his junior year, Moore Jr. started again in 13 games, and started to gain attention for his pass and run blocking skills. By his senior year, he was named Second Team All-SEC while his unit was named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. He finished that season with an overall grade of 69.7 from Pro Football Focus.
As much as he is known for his overall athleticism, Moore Jr's physicality deserves more attention. When viewing him on film, his ability to use his natural strength and technique to dominate one-on-one battles is one of many reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers were so eager in drafting him.
Aggression and Physicality
One of the biggest misconceptions about Moore Jr. is that he lacks an aggressive disposition. On tape, there is much evidence to prove the very opposition. By nature, his style is based on technique and athleticism. Yet in run blocking situations, he employs a physical and aggressive style that can overwhelm opposing defensive linemen.
In this clip, we see the Texas A&M offense in an '11' personnel package, with the Aggies running back in eye formation; Moore Jr. is seen positioned at the left tackle position. When the ball is snapped, each Aggies offensive lineman take their assigned gaps in the zone blocking sequence. Notice how Moore Jr. overpowers the Mississippi State defensive lineman, then takes him completely out of the play. This is just a small example of his aggressive nature when run blocking.
Pass Protection Technique
Without question, Dan Moore Jr. shines in pass protection. From a technical standpoint, he employs proper hand placement, ideal pad level, and the positioning to stay balanced. If one were to point out the key to his success in these situations, it would have to be his movement.
In this sequence against South Carolina, we will focus on Moore Jr.'s approach after the snap. First, he employs a strong punch coming when he engages. Secondly, he keeps his pad level low. Thirdly, he gets underneath his shoulder pad, allowing him to assume the dominant position. Fourthly, he anchors, and stays balanced. Lastly, he uses his length to frame him. Another aspect to note is his feet, which are constantly moving, giving the opposing defensive lineman not path to the quarterback. All these things noted worked beautifully in unison.
From a surface point of view, Moore Jr. does not have the physique of a lineman with raw power. The truth is such that his strength is to the point where he likely does not recognize the full extent of it. There are many example of him on film dominating opposing defenders physically with little effort.
The sequence below is an example where natural strength meets technique. In general, Moore Jr. has a knack of getting underneath opposing defenders and winning leverage. In this instance, he gets underneath the right armpit of the Alabama defensive lineman, and heaves with ease over to the left, resulting in a big gap on his side. Impressive display of strength.
As it stands, the starting left tackle spot is currently occupied by Chukwuma Okorafor. Considering the Pittsburgh Steelers are implementing zone-heavy schemes to improve their overall offense, Moore Jr. has more proven experience in this style of offense over Okorafor. For him, the key is believing in his overall potential as an offensive lineman that can dominate in the trenches. Many have judged Moore based on his overall demeanor, but he is one to surprise the masses with his tremendous physical abilities.