The NY Jets made an intriguing roster addition on Monday claiming undrafted free agent offensive guard David Moore off waivers from the Carolina Panthers.
Normally, a mid-August waiver claim of an undrafted rookie wouldn't exactly garner headlines. But Moore isn't just any undrafted rookie, as those who followed the NFL Draft closely this year might know.
But due to a variety of factors outside of his control, he went undrafted and found himself in high demand in the hours following the event. The Panthers ultimately won out and he was expected to compete for a roster spot in a weak offensive line unit.
Somewhat surprisingly, Carolina waived him this past week just a couple of weeks into training camp. The Jets immediately showed interest, as did three others teams — the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and Las Vegas Raiders — who also placed waiver claims on him.
Moore was a popular name on the waiver wire, and for good reason.
The NY Jets have an intriguing developmental prospect in David Moore.
Moore was a no-star recruit coming out of high school as he played football sparingly growing up. Despite his lack of experience, FCS-level Grambling State showed interest and brought him on as part of their 2016 recruiting class.
He didn't start his first game until 2018 when he started five of nine games at left guard. But it wasn't until his junior year in 2019 that he put his name on the NFL radar starting 10 games for his team.
Moore was a small-school player to keep an eye on going into the 2020 season, but he chose to opt-out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That left NFL teams scrambling for whatever tape they could get their hands on.
Despite his obvious physical gifts, Moore had just 15 starts under his belt — all at the FCS level — and he hadn't played since November of 2019.
The 22-year-old impressed at the Senior Bowl and showed off the versatility to play center as well. Still, he was one of the players most negatively affected by the lack of a normal pre-draft process.
In a typical year, Moore likely gets drafted. This is why it was so surprising that the Panthers gave up on a player who many knew was a project before ever really giving him a chance.
Their loss is a potential gain for the Jets, however.
The Athletic's Dane Brugler had a fourth-round grade on Moore. The Draft Network had him as their No. 150 overall player. He was highly thought of around draft circles, but the lack of available tape created too many uncertainties.
David Moore is a project. He's a small-school athletic wonder who doesn't have a ton of football experience. But his ceiling is much higher than your average undrafted rookie.
Don't be surprised if he at least sticks around on the practice squad with a chance to compete for a starting job in the future if he develops.