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2021 NFL Draft: Breaking down Dan Moore Jr. Part 2, Run blocking

What kind of run blocker is the Steelers new offensive tackle?

Arkansas v Texas A&M Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the first half of this series we looked at Dan Moore Jr. as a pass protector.

Today we are going to look at his run blocking. The Steelers offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has been vocal about adding players with nastiness in their game to the roster, and the Steelers are clearly making the run game a bigger priority in the 2021 season, how does Dan Moore Jr. fit into that?

Texas A&M ran inside zone plays a lot, and the Steelers run a lot of inside zone as well, so this is one area that will apply directly to his transition to the NFL as a Steeler offensive lineman.

Dan Moore Jr. (#65) is the left tackle. (don’t get fooled by the left guard #55’s shirt bunching up)

A staple of inside zone is combo blocks. The line will double team a key defender then one of the two will peel off that block to find a second player to block. Watch the defensive lineman that is the target of the combo block. When Moore Jr. delivers his shot, it knocks that defender back and sets the guard up to win the block handily. Moore then works upfield, staying tight and even leaves that hand out to make sure they keep a nice wall for the back to run behind. His second target is the guy whose tackle is broken. Moore Jr. ruins his angle to the back.

Dan Moore Jr. is second from the bottom on the line, inside the tight end.

This is a tougher task for Moore Jr. The defensive end tries to keep both Moore Jr. and the tight end occupied, but Moore Jr. is able to disengage and get to his second level block.

Dan Moore Jr. is the left tackle, farthest to the top of the screen on the line.

Moore Jr. nails his part of the combo block on the defensive end, and works off to the second level block. he doesn’t get a very good block on the middle linebacker, but after his back breaks that tackle he stays alive and his shove on #13 clears the last few yards for a huge touchdown in their eventual upset of Florida.

That downfield effort is no small deal.

Dan Moore Jr. is the tackle to the bottom of the screen.

In pass protection we talked about his long arms and grip strength. Here we see Moore Jr. use one of those long arms to help drive the defensive end back while working to the linebacker. This is a quality rep, and again shows his effort and awareness in zone blocking.

Dan Moore Jr. (#65) is the left tackle, third from the top of the screen

Tight end #46 has to get the edge defender outside and seal him there. Moore Jr. gives him a lot of help with a shove from one arm as he closes to drive his defender back into the end zone. In run blocking you see Dan Moore Jr. rely on one long arm a lot. In these plays, it is a nice weapon for him.

Dan Moore Jr. is the left tackle, third from the bottom of the screen.

Florida slants their rush to the right side. Moore Jr. is responsible for bringing the slanting end inside and out of the way. On this play you can see his hands get on both sides of the rusher and just like in pass protection, the defenders rep is over.

Dan Moore Jr. is left tackle, just inside the tight end to the bottom of the screen.

This time the defender doesn’t let him get his arms on both sides and Moore Jr. ends up trying to drive him out of the play with his shoulder and it doesn’t work as well. The end drives Moore Jr. into the play and the running back has no-where to go. You can see Moore Jr. is trying to slow the end to keep that window open, but the end won position on him and he’s not able to regain control.

Keeping control of his targets once he blocks them is a consistent problem in Dan Moore Jr.’s film.

Dan Moore Jr. is the tackle to the top of the screen. (no tight end on his side)

The pulling guard is responsible for the end, Moore Jr. heads upfield to block the linebacker, and he gets to him, but the linebacker is able to get off the block and trip up the runner.

That shows up in more situations than just the second level.

Dan Moore Jr. is second from the bottom of the screen.

Moore Jr. looks to be in good shape when he makes first contact, he needs to seal the defender inside and the defender starts by going inside, all he has to do is seal him out of the run, instead his back has to break a tackle in the backfield.

Dan Moore Jr. isn’t consistent with his inside hand placement and controlling defenders when his hands are inside theirs. He’s much more comfortable getting his hands outside on them and using his grip to wrestle with them.

I believe that lack of comfort leads to another interesting trend in his run blocking.

Dan Moore Jr. is the left tackle, just inside the tight end to the bottom of the screen.

This is a better block than the last one. Moore Jr.’s job is to keep that defender inside and seal him out, and he does it with that one long extended arm. It works well here.

Dan Moore Jr. is the left tackle, just inside the tight end to the bottom of the screen.

Not so well here. One arm is long, but it’s not low, it’s high and this time the defender responds by getting low and driving Moore Jr. back into the run and tackles the back for a loss on the play.

Dan Moore Jr. is farthest to the top of the screen on the line.

Again the long arm, but with his block entirely focused on the defenders outside shoulder he has given up the inside lane. All he does here is buy the running back a few yards, which isn’t the worst thing, it’s just not good either.

Dan Moore Jr. is the tackle second from the top on the line (not tight end #85)

Here’s a good usage of that long arm block. When the end tries to come off his block to chase the run Moore Jr. keeps a grip on him with his left arm and pushes the defender to keep him out of the play.

Lastly I wanted to cover his ability as a puller.

Dan Moore Jr. is the left tackle, the lineman furthest to the bottom of the screen.

Moore Jr. is not slow on these pulls, and he delivers a good punch when he pulls. His mobility isn’t a concern on pulling plays, but it did stand out to me that they didn’t ask him to move laterally a lot in college. His footwork is a problem in passing sets, so I wouldn’t expect much power from Moore Jr. if he’s moving laterally in the run game either.

In run blocking, like pass blocking, we see Dan Moore Jr. rely on his length and grip to cover his weaker fundamental skills. He shows a lot of strength in his arms when he gets a grip on the opponent or with that long arm, but he doesn’t look strong or keep control of defenders when his hands are inside. His anchor and leg drive seem to be good, but his footwork doesn’t do him many favors getting into those blocks. He has some outstanding traits, but he also has a lot of flaws in his technique.

That is the boom and bust potential Dan Moore Jr. brings. In college he was able to use his length and strength to cover for skills that he lacks right now. He’s not going to be able to get away with that in the NFL, they will expose his flaws. How well he is able to develop those skills will determine his success in the NFL.