The New York Giants have invested two seasons hoping that defensive end Damontre Moore would become a core member of their defensive line. Let's look at Moore, whose importance can't be overestimated with the uncertainty surrounding Jason Pierre-Paul, as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp in a few weeks.
2014 Season in Review
The 2013 third-round pick took a step forward in 2014, just not as big a step as he and the Giants had hoped. After getting no sacks in just 136 defensive snaps as a rookie, Moore registered 5.5 sacks in 326 total defensive snaps (115 as a pass rusher) last season. In his first two seasons the problems for Moore were run defense, where his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame often did not hold up in run support, and a penchant for mistakes. Moore received a -3.4 grade from Pro Football Focus for his run defense. He also committed three defensive penalties and three special teams penalties.
Moore did, however, flash the pass-rushing potential that convinced the Giants to take a chance on him two seasons ago. He graded at +3.3 in pass rush per PFF, with 25 hits or hurries in addition to his 5.5 sacks. HIs PFF pass rush productivity percentage of 11.3 was eighth in the league among 4-3 defensive ends, one spt behind Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks and well ahead of Jason Pierre-Paul, 21st overall with a pass rush productivity score of 8.9.
2015 Season Outlook
How much Moore will play and what exactly his role will be are dependent to an extent on the situation with Jason Pierre-Paul and his injured hand. No JPP for at least part of the season would mean an opportunity for Moore and other Giants defensive ends to earn additional playing time, and be counted upon for additional production.
It is important when looking at Moore to realize how young he still is. Moore is just 22, and won't be 23 until mid-September. Rookies Geremy Davis, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Brett Jones are older than Moore. Second-year players like Jay Bromley, Bennett Jackson, Weston Richburg, Nat Berhe and Corey Washington are older than Moore. Justin Pugh, the first-round pick in 2013, is already 24. So, Moore is still a relatively baby when it comes to his age. It could well be that there is a lot of room for him to grow yet as both a person and as a football player.
As part of that personal growth Moore went back to Texas A&M to work toward finishing his degree during the offseason. He also gained a few pounds, saying during mandatory minicamp that he was up to 255 pounds after dipping to 245 pounds at times last season.
Moore has said in the past that he understood why coaches were hesitant to play him more, and that it is up to him to earn their trust.
"I feel like you're constantly working on trust. Day in and day out from the that you walk into this building to the time that you leave you're always being watched," Moore said. "You can gain trust in one day and you can easily lose trust in a second. That's still an ongoing saga."
Moore's words not only apply to himself, but in light of recent events to Pierre-Paul as well.
With or without Pierre-Paul Moore figures to be an integral part of the Giants' pass rush. The question remains, however, as to whether or not he can develop into more than a situational player.
"It's a new opportunity with a new defensive coordinator, us losing a player (Mathias Kiwanuka)," Moore said. "I'm ready to get that opportunity and once I get that opportunity I promise you I'm taking advantage of it."
The Giants defense -- with or without JPP -- would be much better if Moore can keep his promise.