PatriotMaven Scouting Profile: Thaddeus Moss
If you've been paying attention to the NFL Draft and its prospects at all, you have probably heard the New England Patriots and Thaddeus Moss being linked together.
If you haven't paid attention, Moss is the son of legendary receiver and former Patriot, Randy Moss. To make the story even sweeter for New England fans, Thaddeus is a tight end, which is the number one need for the Patriots heading into the offseason.
While Thaddeus is not the prolific pass-catcher his father was, he can certainly help fill a void left by another former Patriots legend, Rob Gronkowski.
Let's dive right into one of this week's prospects:
Type and versatility
- Moss will mostly be an in-line blocking type tight end, but has plenty of versatility when it comes to being able to also block on the move and whams. He also has the ability to contribute in the passing game.
- He will make teams that run a lot of 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) very dangerous. The Patriots run the football 51% of the time, which is just below the league average of 55%, per Sharp Football Stats. His strong run-blocking and developing pass-game tools would allow teams in 11 personnel to run the ball behind a good run-blocking tight end and create unpredictability by mixing in play-action passes and running their tight end into empty spots in zone coverage.
- Tell me if you have heard someone say this before: Moss has nice hands. Randy Moss, that is. In all seriousness, Thaddeus still has really solid hands. His catch radius is solid. He catches the ball away from his body. There are no worries in this department for Randy Moss' son.
- Moss' route tree is pretty limited. All he was pretty much asked to do was run a vertical down the field or run short, underneath routes at LSU.
- With so much attention on guys like Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, it was hard to keep Moss in check all the time, streaking down the hash or running drags. He lucked out a few times on vertical routes being wide open and then taking them for touchdowns, but that same success will not come in the NFL.
- Moss lacks some athleticism, which takes a bite into his route-running ability. He looks slow going through routes. His 40-yard dash might hurt his draft stock as concerns might come over his ability to run quick routes and get separation.
- Moss is an excellent blocker. He is one of the better blocking tight ends in this class. The idea of having Moss and James Develin blocking together might not be the same as Gronk and Develin, but it would still be very good.
- Moss is strong at the point of attack, has great lateral agility and can be a phenomenal lead blocker at the next level. He blocks like a fullback, however, his size and receiving ability makes him a tight end.
Technique and fundamentals
- Well, when watching the tape, he may have got away with a couple holding calls in the blocking game. Not sure he will get away with those at the next level. Besides that, his blocking technique is very sound. Really polished in this aspect of the game.
- His technique as a route-runner will require a lot more attention. Needless to say, if you are drafting Moss, he is probably not going to be your Travis Kelce-type guy who your rely on as a big receiving threat and gets open downfield and grabs yards after the catch. Moss is just an underneath type route-runner at the next level, who has dependable hands and can pick up a two yards after a six-yard catch. He could play the Ben Watson-dependable third down role.
- Moss is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, though he looks bigger than that. He looks almost like a bulkier Mike Evans on the football field.
- His combine numbers might be slightly different from what is on file right now.
- His speed and explosiveness concern me a little bit. He certainly is not a huge threat after the catch. He cannot seem to run or break away from defenders or turn the corner on underneath routes to get more positive yards.
- Like I said in the route tree section, his 40-yard dash could raise some eyebrows to NFL teams and make him fall into fourth-round territory.
I kind of eluded to Moss' fit throughout the article. Dependability is going to be a big issue if Tom Brady comes back, with the question remaining of how much he can trust his targets. Moss being a guy who can be a check-down type player and give Brady a few yards when nothing is open downfield would be huge.
He'll need to develop more as a pass-catcher to be a number one tight end in New England. He is, however, ready right now to form a nice duo with a veteran tight end in Foxboro. Maybe Hunter Henry? Or Austin Hooper? We'll see.