Picks to Pop: SMU's Richard Moore

Richard Moore was months away from his high school graduation when John Chavis threw the Cedar Hill product into the SEC fire. With three starts for a young Texas A&M defense, including one at Death Valley, Moore earned his keep. As a sophomore, the undersized Aggie linebacker played in eleven games. Cedar Hill players don't take much time to adjust, they've grown up in one of the best programs in the state. 

In 2017 Moore decided to transfer back closer to home and ended up on the Hilltop. Now with SMU in desperate need of linebacking help and after sitting out 2017, it's Moore's time to jump in. 

Kevin Kane's transition to a 4-3 and his aggressive approach is a perfect match for Moore's skill set. Kane's defenses at Northern Illinois used undersized players in attacking dispositions to combat MAC spreads. 

At 6-1, 218 pounds, his instincts, and physicality are ripe for Kane. Moore can move through traffic and make plays heading downhill. Don't let his size full you; he's a thumper. In spring ball Moore's already made an impact, and he's not afraid to let SMU's offense know he's figured them out. 

Let's look at a little film on Moore from his time at A&M to demonstrate why we think he's going to be an asset, and why some issues that he might want to avoid. 

Here's Moore vs. Derrick Henry and Bama. 

Moore comes down on the motion of the tight end, he's his key, if he leads at Moore his job is to set the edge and force the action inside. If the tight end goes away, Moore follows him. The tight end is going to lead Moore to the football. Moore doesn't hesitate, and because he's unaccounted for, he's able to follow the lead's hip pocket and get to Henry for a one-yard loss. A trend you'll notice with Moore is if he's moving he's more effective. Moore's not a read, take on, shed linebacker. He's at his best when he's getting downhill. 

Here he is vs. LSU. 

As we've said, Moore's better on the move, if linemen get on him, he's going to struggle to shed. LSU is in a heavy set with two tight ends to the field side. Myles Garrett takes on the tights, sets the edge and pushes the action inside. Moore's instincts let him find green grass even in the tackle box, and he closes to make the stop. 

Last one, Moore vs. Bama again. 

Look at Lane Kiffin getting all spread-ish. This is why Saban and Kiffin's marriage was doomed. Kiffin calls a play action bubble to the field side. Moore is giving a man key; he's got inside leverage, his eyes are on the slot until the motion pushes him out. We think the slot blows this by not taking the first threat, but who knows. Either way, Moore is unblocked, and if you're unblocked, you might as well make the play. Moore closes the green grass quickly and makes puts the hurt on an unsuspecting high school All-American. 

SMU finishes up spring ball on April 14th at 11 a.m. 

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Posted on April 10, 2018 and filed under SMU.