Fantasy Impact: Oakland Raiders Select Sio Moore
The Oakland Raiders continued the revamp of their linebacking group, drafting Connecticut LB Sio Moore with the 66th overall pick in the NFL Draft. During the offseason, Oakland lost Phillip Wheeler (arguably their best LB in 2012) and Rolando McClain. They did have a busy offseason in free agency, however, bringing in Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiva and Nick Roach. As LBs come and go in Oakland, the Raiders think they have a gem in Moore (and they might be right).
Moore was a playmaker for the Huskies, earning the starting job in his sophomore year. From 2010-2012, Moore racked up 274 total tackles, an amazing 44 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. He was a force at the line of scrimmage and had a nose for attacking the QB. He shows discipline, fills gaps and is a fundamentally sound tackler, not allowing any yards after contact or catch. He ran a decent 4.65 at the Combine, so he has average speed, but is a fearsome rusher and his ability to play any LB position is going to get him on the field.
He has better downhill speed, but his closing speed is average at best. Quicker runners might be able to get past him in the open field if he over-pursues. In terms of his weaknesses, it’s tough to find any others in his game. Coaches might have to teach him to use his hands more, but that’s something that should be simple to overcome.
College Statistics courtesy of Sports Reference
In addition to his position versatility, Moore is also strong in pass coverage. He was able to cover tight ends and bigger receivers. With more teams running multiple tight end sets, his ability to cover tight ends will be invaluable. He can run with those guys and gets his hands up at the line of scrimmage. Moore should be able to get nickel snaps, so there’s the upside for him to earn a three-down role for the Raiders in 2013.
Moore is slated for the weak-side, but I look at him more as a pass-rusher at the strong-side, so I view him as SAM ‘backer. He gets compared to Michael Boley, but he slots well as Oakland’s replacement for Phillip Wheeler. The two have similar skill sets, especially when it comes to getting to the quarterback. Maiva is a situational linebacker and hasn’t played more than 42% of his team’s total snaps in a season. Moore is a playmaker and should be able to make his presence known in camp.
Moore should be one of the first 5-6 linebackers off the board in most dynasty rookie drafts. His re-draft value in 2013 will depend on his training camp and preseason performances. I look at him as more of a waiver wire addition within the first few weeks of the season.
Mike Woellert is a Senior Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @PFF_MWoellert