QB Kellen Moore (Boise State) - Undrafted Free Agent
The Detroit Lions went into the 2012 NFL Draft in need of a third-string quarterback. After Drew Stanton departed for the New York Jets (and later the Indianapolis Colts) earlier in the offseason, a vacancy was created at quarterback. The Lions were set on filling the vacancy either through the draft or free agency, and they really got the best of both worlds by signing Boise State's Kellen Moore. He went undrafted despite being the winningest quarterback in college football history, and he quickly decided to sign with the Lions as an undrafted free agent.
Strengths: An intelligent, experienced field general of a quarterback. Moore does an excellent job of reading the defense before the snap. A winner. Moore has arguably the best anticipation skills in this year's draft. Expertly knows exactly where and when his wide receiver is supposed to be to complete the pass. Would be a first-round pick if he weren’t so physically limited. Will be a great backup.
Weaknesses: Moore’s arm strength is average to poor and will have a hard time making a lot of NFL throws. Doesn’t get a lot of zip on his passes and will struggle putting the ball in a tight window. Slight frame.
As much as I want Moore to be an NFL starter or a fill-in QB, I think it will take a stroke of luck to get all the planets to align just right. He'll need the right team and the right timing to get his chance. What's more likely is that he contributes to a team in other ways - in the film room, on the practice field, in team-building Blokus games. I don't doubt that he can be a valuable part to an NFL team. I'm just not sure the value will be passing for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns each season.
From a mental standpoint, Moore grades out about as high as you can in this area. He's able to decipher information quickly; he's a magician with his pre-snap reads and routinely finds secondary targets underneath and locates his hot man. He's the son of a high school football coach, is a proven winner and has taken his team on the road, against adversity, and beaten some very good football programs. He's a hard worker who puts in the time and because of that warrants a pick and a potential roster spot.
Moore has been at the forefront of draft discussions for years. He was the undisputed leader for a Boise State team that won nearly every time he was under center. However, Moore's size and arm strength are key concerns. Look for a team to take Moore in the late rounds looking to bring in a strong leader, heady quarterback, and potential backup.
Positives: Productive high-percentage thrower on the college level who lacks the physical skills for the NFL. Patient in the pocket, buys as much time as necessary for receivers and waits until the last moment before releasing the ball. Displays a terrific feel for the game, effectively leads the offense and knows where his receivers are on the field. Senses pressure, steps up to avoid it and always finds the open wideout on the field. Possesses a sense of timing on throws, accurate with passes and always gives receivers a chance to make the reception. Throws a catchable ball putting short and intermediate passes where only his receivers can make the reception.
Negatives: Has a short throwing motion and looks like he's pushing the ball. Passes have minimal speed. Lacks a quick release and the ability to immediately get the ball out of his hands. Takes chances on occasion trying to get the ball through tight spots, yet lacks the arm strength to do as much.
A cerebral QB that does an efficient job of conducting a pro-style offense. Does a great job of getting pre/post snap reads. Diagnoses coverage quickly and has very good anticipation and timing with throws. A sound decision maker who can get through progressions and rarely forces throws into coverage. Understands the value of ball security and willing to take check downs. Holds a 142-28 TD/INT ratio through for his career. Extremely poised, efficient and effective running the two-minute drill with the game on the line.
2008: 281-405 (69.4 percent), 3,486 yards, 25 TD, 10 INT
2009: 277-431 (64.3 percent), 3,536 yards, 39 TD, 3 INT
2010: 273-383 (71.3 percent), 3,845 yards, 35 TD, 6 INT
2011: 326-439 (74.3 percent), 3,800 yards, 43 TD, 9 INT
Note: Moore had a career record of 50-3 at Boise State, and the three losses were by a combined five points.
- Moore vs. Oregon (2009)
- Moore vs. Hawaii (2010)
- Moore vs. Virginia Tech (2010)
- Moore vs. San Diego State (2011)
- Moore highlights from 2010
- Moore highlights from 2009 spring scrimmage
- Moore's combine workout
- Senior Bowl practice: North QB highlights
- NFL.com interview with Moore at combine
- ProFootballWeekly interviews Moore at Senior Bowl
- Another interview with Moore at Senior Bowl
- Interview with Moore after Senior Bowl
- Press conference with Moore after 2011 Las Vegas Bowl
- Moore talks about NFL Combine
- Moore at 2011 College Football Awards
- Moore interviewed by College Football Performance Awards
- Interview with Moore at 2011 Mountain West media days
- Moore breaks down a play
- Moore interviewed about being a Maxwell Award finalist
- NFL.com's draft profile of Moore
- ProFootballWeekly's draft profile of Moore
- CBS Sports analyzes Moore
Outlook for 2012
Moore should make the team as the third-string quarterback, and he really is a perfect fit for the role. Moore has a very high football IQ and will play a role in preparing the Lions for opposing quarterbacks each week by leading the scout team. Barring injuries, he shouldn't see the field after the preseason, but he will be doing a lot behind the scenes both to help the Lions and develop as a quarterback. In a couple years when Shaun Hill becomes a free agent, the hope would be that Moore has developed enough to step into the role of being Matthew Stafford's backup. For now, though, you can pencil him in as the third QB on the depth chart.