With the 34th overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft, the New York Jets made a thrilling selection in wide receiver Elijah Moore. It was a surprise that Moore was still on the board. Even with more pressing needs elsewhere and at the time a good group of wide receivers, general manager Joe Douglas made the right move in drafting Moore.
Rookie year stats
As a rookie, Moore played in 11 games. On 77 targets, he caught 43 passes for 538 yards (12.5 per catch) and five touchdowns. Moore averaged 48.9 receiving yards per game. His longest reception of the year went for 62 yards. He also got five carries, which went for 54 yards and a touchdown. In total, Moore recorded 592 yards from scrimmage (53.8 per game) and six total touchdowns. In 2022 and beyond, expect far greater production from Moore.
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Moore’s complete skillset
Moore offers a relatively complete skillset. He can line up out wide, in the slot, be utilized on pre-snap motioning, and in the backfield to allow offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to be even more creative calling plays. Moore offers multiplicity in the screen game, on jet sweeps and end arounds. With the football in his hands, Moore is dynamic. After the catch, he has great play strength to break tackles. He is built lower to the ground and can beat tackling attempts in space with his elusiveness.
Moore has great footwork with his releases to defeat press coverage, and he runs crisp routes. He has a special combination of speed and quickness. In short areas, he is shifty and can separate on his route or beat a defender in space after the catch. Moore has 4.3 speed and can win downfield vertically. Overall, he is a very explosive athlete that can win running routes in a variety of ways.
One of Moore’s most notable strengths is his reliable hands. He hardly ever drops the football. Moore is tough over the middle of the field. He can win on the intermediate level. Even for a 5-foot-10 receiver, Moore made his presence felt in the red zone in 2021. Five of his six touchdowns came inside the 20-yard line, a good amount for his first year as a Jet. In the end, Moore has every trait to be tough to defend and ultimately one of the best.
One bright future ahead
Moore will play his second year at 22 years old. Going forward, what gives Moore an even better chance to be great is his off-field character. He has a strong reputation for the person he is. His work ethic and knowledge of the game are there. Moore is a competitive, tough, and confident young player.
Going forward, the expectation should be for Moore to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and one of the Jets’ best players for a long time. His production on the stat sheet should be toward the top of the league year in and year out. Especially as he gains more time with Zach Wilson, the big games should pile up over the years. The complete talent and, more importantly, the character is there for Moore to be the best for the Jets.