The former Oregon State product and current Carolina Panthers quarterback did well for himself in his rookie campaign. After going undrafted and being waived by the Cowboys out of training camp, the unheralded Moore signed on with the Panthers, and seemingly emerged from no where to win two of his three starts.
Not bad for a guy who was passed over by the likes of John Stocco and James Pinkney for an invitation to the Scouting Combine. So where did scouts go wrong? And more importantly, where did Moore go so right?
It wasn’t too hard to overlook Moore. After two uneventful seasons at UCLA, he transferred to the College of the Canyons (Calif.) in 2004, but did not play. The following year, he moved on to Oregon State, but was far from impressive, completing just 59.4-percent of his passes, while throwing just 11 touchdowns to 19 interceptions.
These same struggles continued into his senior season. Through the first seven games, of which the Beavers compiled an unimpressive 4-3 mark (including victories against Eastern Washington and Idaho), Moore played his way off the NFL radar, throwing six touchdowns to six interceptions.
Somehow, someway, the light bulb finally turned on the second half of the season. Over the final seven games, over which the Beavers compiled a very impressive 6-1 mark (including dramatic victories over USC and Missouri), Moore’s decision making markedly improved, as he threw 12 touchdowns to just one interception. The physical ability had always been there for the former Major League Baseball draftee, and the mental aspect appeared to have caught up.
Two prospects from this year’s quarterback class to a certain extent fit the bill as “the next Matt Moore,” given their inconsistency or underachievement in college, but otherwise have the potential to make an NFL roster. And like Moore, neither prospect has yet to receive an invitation to the Combine.
Adam Tafralis (San Jose State) – Did not attend school in 2002, but instead stayed home to work. Developed into a solid three-year starter. Over his final two seasons, completed nearly 64-percent of his passes, throwing 39 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions. Faced marginal competition in the Western Athletic Conference, and struggled with bouts of inaccuracy. Otherwise, has a good arm with nice touch, and is competitive enough to warrant a look.
Kyle Wright (Miami, Fla) – Was one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the country after earning Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year honors. After suffering through an assortment of injuries and coaching changes, Wright entered his senior season the back up to Kirby Freeman. Ouch – how the mighty have fallen. Never hit his stride and finished with a 59.2-percent career completion percentage, throwing 38 touchdowns to 31 interceptions. Showed flashes this season vs. Oklahoma, Texas A&M. Has good size and a very good arm, but struggles with accuracy, getting rid of the ball quickly, and hangs his deep ball. Will go undrafted, but perhaps with proper guidance and coaching could at least make it as a career No.2 quarterback. With the likes of another Hurricane, Brock Berlin, taking meaningful snaps in the league, there has to be a spot for Wright.