Giants add Moore help to D-line

An analysis by an NFL scouting service states that Eric Moore is an explosive pass-rusher who struggles sometimes against the run because his lack of bulk prohibits him from shaking blockers.

The evaluation also notes that the former Florida State standout is a likeable, outgoing guy who commands respect from teammates and coaches. If this assessment sounds a little familiar, scouts said similar things about Michael Strahan when the Giants selected him in the second round 12 years ago. Strahan's sacking skills are legendary, but he has also become a respected run defender and one of the most complete defensive ends in the league.

So becoming more consistent against the run is only one of many things Moore, the Giants' sixth-round draft choice last month, hopes to learn while working alongside Strahan.

"I don't know too much," Moore said, "he knows a lot and he's one of those guys you can depend on to get everything right. I'm just going to sit back, keep my mouth closed and learn from him. Basically, he's the guy that stands out on the team. He's a leader and a good role model, so I think basically if I just sit back, look at him and ask questions and let him talk, I'll learn from him. With the way he plays, that can only help me get better."

Moore, a preseason All-American in 2004, had hoped to have a better senior season for the Seminoles. But he suffered a high right ankle sprain in Florida State's fourth game against North Carolina, an inhibiting injury that might've hurt him more figuratively as a draft prospect than it did physically. Moore missed two games entirely due to the injury and was limited in several other games.

Moore managed only one sack and seven tackles in Florida State's six games after suffering the injury, and consequently lasted a lot longer in the draft than he envisioned. Teams took 16 defensive ends before the Giants drafted Moore with the 186th overall pick. Those ends included less-heralded Florida State teammate Chauncey Davis, who was chosen in the fourth round by Atlanta.

"(The injury) hurt me a lot, but you can't sit here and dwell on it," said Moore, the last of eight Seminoles drafted last month. "Everything happens for a reason and I've just got to take it in stride and deal with it. I've just got to make the best of it. I'm going to come out here and work my behind off, just like I got picked in the first round. I have to come out here, make sure I get all my work done and know all of my assignments. I'll try my best. I'm just going to make the best of the opportunity."

Moore's competition for a reserve role behind Strahan or Osi Umenyiora will come from fellow draftee Justin Tuck, a third-rounder out of Notre Dame, and second-year man Raheem Orr, though the Giants signed three undrafted rookie ends as well. Like most sixth-round draft choices, however, he'll have a tough time seeing significant playing time as a rookie.

Moore is intriguing because of his pass-rushing reliability and the overall athletic ability he demonstrated as a two-year starter in college. Still, Giants coaches would like the 6-4, 262-pound end to add weight to his frame and want him to be less reliant on his speed, which is above average for a defensive end. Moore was an elite linebacker at Pahokee (Fla.) High School, but was strictly a defensive end for Florida State.

"Moore is a pass rusher who played in an outstanding, aggressive defensive scheme," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "He had one of those high ankle (sprains) this year and played through it. He worked out very well, he ran well and his gym numbers were very good coming out of the combine. He's a muscular guy right now, but he has enough height that he can put some more weight on. His value for us in that round at that time was outstanding."

The information Moore received prior to the seven-round draft led him to believe he wouldn't last beyond the fourth round. But by the time the sixth round rolled around, Moore's agent began discussing possible free-agent routes he could take if he somehow wasn't chosen. The draft slide hurt him, but Moore maintains that pain has subsided, as has the ankle pain.

His ankle didn't hurt him at all by the time he participated in the NFL Scouting Combine two months ago, and it was an afterthought during the team's recently completed rookie minicamp.

"It feels great," said Moore, the last of the Giants' four draft choices this year and the second Eric Moore they've drafted since 1988 (they're not related). "I'm moving around. I feel quicker and I'm much more explosive. My ankle's great. I don't feel any kind of pain. It makes me feel great. It makes me feel like I have a chance of making the team."


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