by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Alabama, Safety, Malachi Moore
Name - Malachi Moore
Pos - S
Team - Alabama
HT/WT - 6’0” 198 lbs.
Home – Trussville, AL
Malachi Moore was a consensus four-star recruit at Hewitt-Trussville High School in Alabama. He was rated the no. 5 prospect coming out of Alabama and was a member of the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team. Following a productive senior season where he totaled 83 tackles and 4 interceptions, he was selected to play in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. He elected to sign with Alabama over Arkansas, Auburn and Georgia.
He earned the starting role at the “star” position for the Alabama defense, a mix of a 3rd cornerback and a Sam linebacker. He started the first 11 games, before an injury knocked him out of the College Football Playoff game. He totaled 44 tackles and 3 interceptions, while forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble and scoring a defensive touchdown. He was selected to the All-SEC Freshman Team for his productive season.
As a sophomore in 2021, Moore saw his playing time diminish due to injuries and the fact that teammate Brian Branch was making huge strides and became the starter at the “star” position. Moore played in all 15 games, but the time was limited and he only collected 16 tackles and had 1 interception in a down season.
He was part of a rotation in the Crimson Tide secondary once again in 2022. He played in 13 games and finished the season with 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks. With Brian Branch being drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, Moore was expected to start in Alabama in 2023 and set career highs in tackles with 52 while picking off his 5th career interception. He was named to the watch list for both the Lott and Nagurski trophies, each of which is presented to the nation’s top defender. He was also honored for his community service by being named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List. Moore has not made a formal announcement on his intentions but is expected to enter the NFL Draft.
Malachi Moore plays instinctively and does a good job of recognizing routes while playing zone defense. He is a versatile defender who can be productive on all 3 levels of the defense. He has effective awareness and football IQ and seems to always be in the right spot, whether in the running or passing games. He’s also strong enough to line up inside the box and be a run stopper. His versatility allows him to line up everywhere and cover in all defensive packages and he’s physically strong enough to take on bigger blockers.
On the downside, he overplays double moves and pump fakes and can be beaten deep by either. When he feels beaten, he can get very handsy early on in a receiver's route. He doesn’t always establish an effective base and can play with his pads too high and lose explosion off the snap. Though he is a physical tackler, there are times he goes for the strip or the ball instead of securing the ball carrier. He is a smooth runner with some speed but lacks the recovery speed to make up for mistakes.
Draft Nation sees a strong comparison to Jason Pinnock, a 5th round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh. Pinnock is a hard hitter and a playmaker who can be overly aggressive at times and get fooled on pump fakes. Moore has more upside than Pinnock but will need to fix some of his shortcomings to become a star at the next level.
Versatility in lineup
Double moves/play action
High pad level
Forgets to tackle/goes for ball
Plays too upright and loses explosion
After his freshman season, many pegged Moore for the first round and he was considered at the time one of he best safeties in football. After his 2 year slide, Moore has improved his draft stock well enough to be a possible day 2 draft pick. With a ton of upside, it will be hard to see him slide past the 3rd round in April.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 3rd or 4th round