First Look: Quentin Moses

Looking to improve the critical position opposite Derrick Burgess, the Oakland Raiders picked an edge-rushing talent who has the quick first step and explosive athleticism to torment opposing quarterbacks on a regular basis.

Quentin Moses (6-foot-5, 261 lbs.), a defensive end from Georgia, had some projected him to be as an outside ‘backer in a 3-4 scheme.

In his four-year collegiate career, Moses registered 137 total tackles, 44.5 tackles for a loss and 25 sacks. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and All-America first team by the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook following his senior season.

Although that productivity came from the defensive end position, Moses originally had no qualms about moving to linebacker – and teams were interested in moving him there.

"If coaches who have been in the game for 20 or 30 years feel like I should play linebacker, then I want to play linebacker," Moses said. "I feel like they know a little more about the game than I do."

Moses certainly has the athleticism to make such a switch but he won't need to. The Raiders fully expect Moses to hold down the fort on one side of the line with Burgess on the other, dreaming of them both grabbing a leg of the quarterback and pulling him down.

He is a natural pass-rusher who can anticipate snap counts and is relentless in pursuit. Despite the fact that his experience is on the defensive line, he has also received plenty of opportunities to drop back in coverage, allowing Oakland some flexibility in his use – rushing a linebacker and having him cover a tight end. Always a diligent worker with a terrific attitude, Moses could care less where he is on the field.

"I'll play wherever anybody puts me on the field," he said.

In Oakland, Moses is looking supplant Tyler Brayton at left defensive end. Brayton has shown to be stout against the run but has little pass rushing skills, going without a sack in 2006.

He has the kind of potential that teams seek, and Oakland had to take the plunge in round three, figuring he could be the ultimate bargain.

He fell because Moses failed to meet those lofty expectations during his senior campaign, but he still flashed the ability to be a difference-maker on the next level.

Given his transcendent pass-rushing ability, it may be a pick well worth it.

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