Why the Slide?: Fabian Moreau

By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Three years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. A year later, we started the Why Slide? series, and this year, it is back. Feel free to email me requests for “Why the Slide?” and “Why Undrafted?” at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely respond.

Over the past few seasons under head coach Jim Mora, UCLA has produced a lot of good talent for the NFL, especially on the defensive side of the ball. That group includes first- or second-round picks Anthony Barr, Kenny Clark, Myles Jack, Erik Kendricks and Datone Jones. In the 2017 NFL Draft, Moreau was one of the Bruins’ top defensive prospects along with defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. Moreau played really well as a senior prior to being one of the top players at the East-West Shrine. He sent a jolt into his draft stock by running a blazing 4.35-second time in the 40-yard dash. Some were mocking Moreau as a late first-rounder, thus it was surprise that he slipped into the third round.

According to sources, Moreau graded out as a late second-round to early third-round pick. They felt that Moreau didn’t always play up to his timed speed. The 6-foot, 206-pounder has good cover skills with physicality and size. Some other team sources say that Moreau slid because of a pectoral injury he suffered during his pro day. Overall though, Moreau was a consensus second-day player and teams weren’t grading him as first-round pick like some media projected.

The Washington Redskins took Moreau in the third round, and that was a great landing spot for him. Washington needed more cornerback competition to go with No. 1 corner Josh Norman. Bashaud Breeland disappointed in 2016 and is in a contract year. Moreau could form a talented trio with 2016 third-round pick Kendall Fuller going inside to the slot. It wouldn’t surprise me if Moreau is starting quickly across from Josh Norman on the outside, and a Norman-Moreau-Fuller trio could be one of the bigger, more talented trios in the NFL.

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