I started this scouting report on a beach vacation and (surprise!) didn’t finish it. But with Moten committing later today, it’s now or never.
Name: R.J. Moten
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Delran (NJ) Delran
Position: Running back/safety
Notes: Offers from Boston College, Buffalo, Duke, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Tulane, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin…Plans to announce commitment on July 27, 2019…Claims a 4.61 forty, 4.31 shuttle, 40.9″ vertical…Son of Ron Moten, who played linebacker for Florida and the Philadelphia Eagles…ESPN 4-star, 81 grade, #16 S, #247 overall…Rivals 3-star ATH, 5.5 grade…247 Sports 4-star, 94 grade, #6 S, #93 overall
Stats: As a junior in 2018, Moten rushed 149 times for 1,305 yards (8.8 yards/carry) and 16 touchdowns. He caught 16 passes for 298 yards (18.6 yards/catch) and 4 touchdowns. And he even completed 6/13 passes for 157 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Defensively, he made 44 tackles and 5 interceptions.
Hit the jump for the rest of the scouting report.
Strengths: Decent frame to continue adding strength…Long strider in open field with zero wasted motion at full speed…Maximizes speed…Versatile athlete (baseball shortstop, running back, slot receiver, safety, returner, quarterback)…Tough runner who’s unafraid to lower shoulder
Weaknesses: Average short-area quickness…Does not sink hips well to change direction…Limited technique in both zone and man coverage…Sits too high in backpedal…Not quite a burner…Hesitant at times on defense…Catches ball carriers rather than delivering blows…Stops feet on contact
Overall: Moten has an odd combination of traits that may or may not lead to success at the next level. As an offensive player, he’s a one-cut-and-go downhill runner who’s not afraid to lower his shoulder and run through people; defensively, he doesn’t run through tackles, stops his feet, and seems hesitant. If his future is indeed on defense – as most analysts seem to think – then he needs to harness the aggression he plays with when carrying the ball.
Reminds me of: Joshua Furman. In case you don’t remember, Furman was a high school running back/outside linebacker-turned-safety at Michigan who made 29 tackles from 2011-2013 with the Wolverines. As fifth-year guy, he grad transferred to Oklahoma State, where he made 64 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. He did all that by playing as a hybrid safety/outside linebacker for the Cowboys.
Projection: Moten looks to me like a guy who should bulk up a little bit and play a hybrid safety/outside linebacker position; or he should play deep in the middle of the field as a high safety. He lacks ideal change-of-direction and man coverage skills, and his straight-line speed would be best used either covering a wide swath of the field or setting the edge and occasionally blitzing the passer.
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