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2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU

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Just what will Moss’ role be in the NFL?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Being the son of a Hall of Fame player is likely both a blessing and a curse.

For Thaddeus Moss, son of Randy Moss, the family name certainly comes with a certain cache that draws the eye. However, as one of the two or three best to ever play his position, Randy Moss casts a long shadow that could create impossible expectations for his son. It will be important for him to be judged fairly on his own merits and not compared to expectations set by being “Randy Moss’ Son”.

Like many LSU players, Thaddeus ended the 2019 season playing his best football. Three of his four touchdowns he scored this season came against Oklahoma and Clemson, and finishing his college career as a national champion. But his road to the NFL was a winding one. He originally played for NC State before transferring to LSU in 2017. Due to NCAA rules, he sat out the season, and his career was put on hold again by a foot injury which cost him his 2018 season. Finally eligible and healthy in 2019, he started all 14 games for LSU.

The New York Giants want to be more consistent in their running game, and Moss established himself as an excellent blocker. Could they look to add a young blocker at some point in the 2020 NFL Draft?

Prospect: Thaddeus Moss (TE/H-Back, LSU)
Games Watched: vs. Alabama (2019), vs. Auburn (2019), vs Oklahoma (2019, College Football Playoffs)
Red Flags: Foot (2018)

Measurables

2019 Stats

Games Played (starts): 14 (14)

Receptions: 47
Yards (YPC): 570 (12.1 per catch)
Total Touchdowns: 4

Quick Summary

Best: Power, play strength, blocking, hands, body control
Worst: Athleticism
Projection: A second tight end or an H-back in a run-heavy offense.

Game Tape

Full Report

LSU’s Thaddeus Moss is a compact, powerfully built tight end prospect with a very good thickness in his upper and lower body. Moss lined up at a variety of positions in the LSU offense, playing out of tight end, wide receiver, slot receiver, and H-back alignments. He is primarily a blocker in LSU’s offense, and shows very good technique executing his blocks. Moss plays with good knee bend and pad level to maximize his natural leverage and play strength. He routinely fires his punch into defenders’ chest plates to secure inside leverage and gain control. He also shows very good play strength in sustaining his blocks through the whistle, with the ability to create movement at the line of scrimmage. Moss has very good competitive toughness as a blocker, standing up against bigger linemen and giving a second-effort to re-anchor against power rushes when necessary.

Moss shows a good understanding of blocking assignments as a pass protector and can be relied upon to block rush linebackers. He also does a good job of executing chip blocks when he releases into routes.

Moss has good, reliable hands as a pass catcher. He presents a good target for his quarterback, tracks the ball well, and extends to pluck the ball out of the air away from his frame. He also shows very good body control to contort and make difficult catches or secure the catch going out of bounds. Moss’ leverage and play strength make his routes difficult for most coverage players to disrupt, and he can be difficult for lone defenders to tackle in space.

Moss’ greatest weakness is his lack of athleticism. He shows definite lower-body stiffness and a lack of quickness and agility which hamper his route running. Moss also lacks speed on vertical routes or in the open field. Suffered a broken foot (fifth metatarsal) in 2018 that required a pair of surgeries.

Overall Grade: 6.1 - Has definite limitations, but also has enough useful, positive traits to be a good back-up and rotation player. Could play starters reps in the right scheme. A value in the early-middle rounds. [Grading Scale]

Projection

Thaddeus Moss projects as back-up tight end for most teams, but could be a number two — and second starting — tight end for a team that uses a scheme based on 12-personnel packages.

Moss’ greatest value will likely be for teams that feature run-heavy or vertical offenses. He is a very good blocker in both the running and passing game, and a capable-enough receiver to bring value as a check-down option. Moss’ lack of athleticism will prevent him from being a true mis-match, and that will hurt his value in the eyes of many offenses. However, his blocking ability absolutely has a place in the modern NFL. If he can become adept at finding voids in coverage, Moss’ hands and body control should allow him to become a reliable chain-mover in the passing game.

Teams that have an “H-Back” position in their offense could be particularly interested in Moss. His ability to line up in the backfield as well as both a detached and in-line tight end could allow offenses to show multiple looks out of similar personnel packages.