USC's Moore draws Raiders attention

The Raiders don't appear to have a pressing need at defensive end or linebacker but they've taken a liking to USC's Kyle Moore, who recently spoke with Senior NFL analyst Ed Thompson about his prospects of playing either position once he gets drafted.

As Kyle Moore waits to hear his name called during NFL Draft weekend, he'll also be wondering how his new team will use his talents. Although he played defensive end for USC, he could move to linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Fortunately for Moore, he's got plenty of experience dropping back into pass coverage.

"I had two interceptions my junior year playing the Leo position like Clay (Matthews) played this year," he told "But I can also put my hand on the ground and put pressure on the quarterback. I can also play the three-technique, so I can help a team in three aspects of their defense."

Moore is a mid-round prospect who caught Oakland's attention at the Scouting Combine. The Raiders had Moore, who is ranked 11th among all defensive end prospects according to Pro Football Weekly, in for a visit last week, and although the team didn't say anything officially, the general feeling is that the meeting went well.

The Raiders, however, probably won't look at Moore until the second day of the draft. They already have two-time Pro Bowl pick Derrick Burgess on one side while Jay Richardson and Trevor Scott split time o the other end. Scott shared for the team lead in sacks last season as a rookie.

As a team Oakland had 32 sacks in 2008 but still lacked the consistent pass rush needed to keep opposing quarterbacks on their heels, a point that has been emphasized more and more as the draft approaches.

Moore could be the player to help change that situation. At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, Moore has good speed and quickness off the edge. Those attributes helped him notch five sacks this season, tops among a formidable USC defense that boasted plenty of talented athletes.

"I ran a 4.7 electronic time at my Pro Day and I'm pretty happy about that," he said. "They were lucky I wasn't just 255, like some of those linebackers who were also running 4.7 times," he said with a laugh. "I'm not going to say any names, but I'm 270 and they're barely getting past me."

But Moore also knows that playing his position isn't all about speed. It also requires toughness.

"Playing defensive end is a lot of banging in the trenches. You have to be strong and you have to be strong-minded, because you're going to get hit, you're going to get punched, there's a lot of things going on in there," he said.

Jeff Golden/Getty Images Over the past few months, Moore has had the opportunity to work out for teams like the Miami Dolphins in addition to visiting with the Raiders. There have been a few moments along the way that have left him a bit in awe of the experience, but perhaps none more so than when he got the opportunity to talk with Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini prior to his USC's Pro Day.

"I call him Eric Man-Genius," Moore said. "He's a detailed guy, he knows his football. He knows what everybody's doing on offense and defense. He has a great plan coming up for the Browns this year. It was a blessing for him to move to a different team and start over again.

"He's a cool guy. Both he and Tony Sparano, the head coach of the Dolphins, were really cool."

Sparano and one of Miami's linebacker coaches had dinner with Moore the evening before he worked out for them.

"They like big linebackers and I'm a big guy," the former Trojan said. "When they think of me, they think of Joey Porter, the defensive end for the Dolphins. He led the league in sacks and they feel like I can help them out. They told me I can also put my hand down as a defensive end, so I'll do whatever they want me to do."

After going through the pre-draft gauntlet that included a Senior Bowl appearance, the NFL Scouting Combine, a Pro Day and visits and workouts, Moore enters NFL Draft weekend ready to enjoy the moment.

"I've done all I can do," he said. "I've shown them my pass rushing, showed them that I can run, showed them that I can be athletic and that I have great feet and hips. So all I can do now is wait and see what happens."

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