The book on: Morgan Moses

Virginia's Morgan Moses was a four-year starter, with three years at right tackle and his senior season at left tackle. He hopes a big Senior Bowl will propel him into the first round.

Morgan Moses

Offensive Tackle
University of Virginia Cavaliers
#78
6:06.0-314
Richmond, Virginia
Fork Union Military Academy
Meadowbrook High School

OVERVIEW

The key word for Moses as he began his quest to move up team draft boards was "momentum." Momentum saw the 330-pound senior work hard after the 2013 season to trim down and gain flexibility before attending the 2014 Senior Bowl. That momentum saw the Cavalier left tackle dominate as a drive blocker throughout the week-long scrimmages in Mobile, where he shows more than enough ability to clear wide rushing lanes.

Moses then carried that momentum over when displaying his pass blocking ability, as he utilized his hand punch and impressive wing span (84 5/8-inches) and arm length (35 3/8-inches), along with nimble feet and surprising athleticism to quickly stave off any attempt by the speedy edge rushers he faced one-on-one.

The Senior Bowl has been a great place for other unheralded offensive linemen to launch their professional career by improving their draft stock. Last year, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson arrived at the game as potential first-round picks, only to end up being selected first and fourth overall, respectively after a similar eye-opening performance that Moses put on this year.

Alternately lining up at left and right tackle for the South team, the Virginia four-year

Moses had no problems handling the different assignments at each position. He actually lined up at right tackle during the first three seasons with the Cavaliers before switching to the more demanding left side as a senior. He spent his final campaign showcasing his length, quickness and balance to easily handle speed rushers he faced regularly in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Even though his linemates allowed 39 sacks last season, Moses yielded just two on 506 pass plays. The senior demonstrated throughout the season that he knew how to utilize his reach and hand punch to stave off those quick jab-steps inside and explosive bursts that his opponents featured weekly, simply preventing his assignment from reaching his quarterback by delivering an emphatic pancake block that usually drew gasps from fans in the stands.

The Senior Bowl momentum carried Moses to Indianapolis, where he participated in the 40-yard dash (rumbling in at 5.35 seconds), three-cone drill (7.93), 20-yard shuffle (4.95), broad jump (106 inches) and vertical jump (21.5 inches). "I'm going into the draft thinking I'm a first-rounder," Moses said. "As a player and as a performer, I know I'm a first-rounder. I'll be blessed either way. As long as I get an opportunity, I'm blessed either way."

Now, he hopes that when teams review film of his performance at a new position in 2013, that he can convince them that he is the next in a line of Virginia offensive tackles like D'Brickashaw Ferguson of the New York Jets, Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs and Eugene Monroe of the Baltimore Ravens who can succeed at the next level.

Moses was a two-time All-State, All-Region and All-District lineman during his playing days at Meadowbrook High School, where he also garnered Richmond Times-Dispatch first-team All-Metro accolades as a junior and senior. The Parade and Super Prep All-American was rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com.

Moses was rated the sixth-best tackle in the prep ranks by ESPN.com and the 26th-best offensive lineman in the country by Super Prep. An All-Southern choice by the Orlando Sentinel, he was regarded as the sixth-best player in the state of Virginia by the Roanoke Times. He signed his national letter-of-intent to attend the University of Virginia, but due to academic, he spent the 2009 playing for head coach John Shuman at Fork Union Military Academy before finally joining the Cavaliers in 2010.

During his first season at the University of Virginia, Moses spent the first half of the schedule rounding into shape after reporting at a robust 357 pounds. Knowing that playing time would come once he was able to perform at a lighter frame, he embraced a different nutrition program. "Just eating the right things, nutrition," Moses said when asked to credit his weight loss. "I've just been paying attention to the details. I've set goals for myself going into this thing that I wanted to reach. Being able to do that and show teams that I'm really happy and I've been working really hard, it's been great."

Four years later, Moses remains a big deal — but more in a figurative sense, as the weight loss in 2010 would earn him starting assignments at right tackle in six of the Cavaliers' final seven contests during that freshman season. He remained at right tackle for his sophomore season and was one of 13 players to start all 13 games for the Cavaliers in 2011.

The junior season saw Moses earn All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention and All-State first-team recognition. He started 11 contests at right tackle, coming off the bench vs. Wake Forest due to a minor injury issue, delivering 10 touchdown-resulting blocks as the team generated 4,758 yards that included 545 vs. Richmond and 625 vs. Louisiana Tech, becoming the first Virginia team since 2004 to have multiple 500-yard performances in the same season.

Named All-ACC first-team and to the All-American Super Sleeper Team as a senior, Moses slid over to the more demanding left tackle position, performing admirably at his new assignment. He produced 104 knockdowns, the first time a Cavalier reached the century mark in a season since Eugene Monroe in 2007. Twelve of his touchdown-resulting blocks came for a rushing attack that reached the end zone eighteen times. That drive blocking ability saw Kevin Parks become the Cavaliers' first 1,000-yard rusher since the 2004 season.

CAREER NOTES

Moses has appeared in 48 of a possible 49 games during his Virginia career, starting forty-two contests — his first 30 as a right tackle and his final 12 at left tackle…Registered 281 key blocks/knockdowns since joining the first unit, producing 35 touchdown-resulting blocks during his career.


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