2023 NFL Draft Player Preview: Malachi Moore

  • Malachi Moore, 6-0/190

  • Safety

  • Alabama

  • Malachi Moore 2023 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: Moore is a versatile defensive back who plays the STAR position that was previously manned by the likes of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavier McKinney. Moore had a phenomenal freshman season in 2020, totaling 44 tackles, one forced fumble, three interceptions and six passes broken up. He then notched 16 tackles and an interception in his nine-game, injury-shortened 2021 season.

    2022 Season Outlook: The 2022 season will provide a variety of excellent tests for Moore. In Week 2, he will see the best running back in college football with Texas’ Bijan Robinson. That will be a great test of Moore’s tackling and run defense. On Oct. 1st, Moore will take on a big, physical, and mobile quarterback in Arkansas’ K.J. Jefferson. On Oct. 15, Moore will see a potential first-round wide receiver in Tennessee’s Cedrick Tillman. Later, Moore will see another possible Thursday night pick in LSU’s Kayshon Boutte.

    Skill-Set Summary: Very few freshman end up starting for Alabama, especially in the secondary, as that position group is coached by head coach Nick Saban. However, the instinctive Moore was able to win a starting job as a true freshman, which is an extremely rare feat. What made that even more impressive was that Moore learned the defense via Zoom meetings because of COVID-19 restrictions. Moore is a talented and versatile defensive back who should be able to help an NFL defense in a variety of ways.

    Similar to former Alabama standout Minkah Fitzpatrick, Moore is a hybrid corner/safety who functions very well in the short to intermediate part of the field. Moore shows the ability to play cornerback on slot receivers and does a nice job of staying with them to prevent separation. Moore is also skilled at picking up receivers downfield along the sideline, and he displays the awareness to use the sideline adeptly and keep receivers from getting open over the top. Moore plays the ball very well, using his size to slap passes away, and he doesn’t panic when passes are coming his direction.

    As a run defender, Moore is willing to contribute, although he has room for improvement. He could stand to become a better tackler via more consistent wrap-up technique. Moore has not played a traditional eighth-man-in-the-box strong-safety role, so it will be interesting to see if he can move into that spot as well.

    Additional points of intrigue are if Moore can play deep free safety and be a single high safety downfield. Success in those roles would really help Moore with NFL scouts because true single-high deep free safeties are a tough commodity to find. `

    Moore looks like a future starter in the NFL and could be used in a Minkah Fitzpatrick- or Tyrann Mathieu-type role as a pro.

    2023 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2022 season, Moore could be one of the top safety prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft.


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