'Lights Out' Shines Light on D-Line Prospect

The San Diego Chargers are looking to reinforce their defense this offseason, and Shawne Merriman knows just the guy who can do it. The Chargers are giving thought to drafting one of Merriman's protégés to beef up the defensive front seven. Amberly Richardson catches up with this prospect for an SDBoltReport.com exclusive.

At 6-4, 305 pounds, Dre Moore (Maryland) is San Diego's ideal big-bodied defender. His ability to make replay-worthy sacks is largely due to the hard-nosed toughness he's acquired by mimicking former teammate Shawne Merriman's fury.

"I always admired Shawne for his passion, how fiery he is in everything he does," Moore said. "He's such a competitor. I went at it with him the most in the weight room on testing days. He's really strong. We went at it back and forth."

Even after Merriman left Maryland for the Big League, Moore continued to follow in his footsteps. Moore got the closest to Merriman's single-season sack record (8.5) with six sacks his senior year, good for a second-place finish.

These days, second sounds good for Moore. He hopes to work his way into the second round of the draft, but is currently projected for the third or fourth round. Fortunately, Merriman helps keep Moore's expectations high.

"Shawne told me that I could do it. The biggest thing is don't be afraid to do that extra work watching film, and make that transition."

Moore knows that in order to improve his draft stock, he must work on using his hands to get off blocks and make plays in the backfield.

"I'm a bigger, stronger guy, so naturally I lean toward the bull rush in one-on-one situations," Moore said. "I predicate all my pass rush moves off the bull rush initially and I think I kind of tie myself up at times with offensive linemen.

"I have to get better at stopping and getting off of the blocks, because I was holding too long and giving them a chance to get their hands on me. I have to get off it quicker."

While Moore works diligently on his pass rush, teams focus on him as one of the best run-stuffers in the class. Similar to Jamal Williams, Moore never shies away from double teams.

Moore will have to prove he can play in the 3-4 scheme if his name is called by the Chargers. Maryland played a base 4-3, but flexed back and forth depending on the formation or yardage.

Once again, Merriman would be glad to show Moore the way. The Chargers have seen firsthand that a Maryland boy can fit right in. Regardless of where Moore suits up next year, he wants to make a contribution right away.

"Definitely, I did my part with the extra work off the field, the extra studying in the film room, and the extra time in the weight room and the running just to kind of eliminate that curve and step up."

Moore's Memorable Moment

Moore made his first career-interception off a pass from Matt Ryan in November 2007.Ryan is widely expected to be a top-five selection in the draft.

"We were in a 4-3 front. We checked into a blitz and on that particular blitz, I had to drop into coverage. I had to cross between the cutters. I got lucky. He looked right at me before he threw."

"I didn't think he was going to throw it."

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips, Shawne Merriman and others for Sixthman Communications.

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