Tarvarius Moore

NFC Notes: 49ers, Seahawks, Marshall, Lions

Several months before the draft, Tarvarius Moore wasn’t high on many team’s draft boards. While the cornerback had a solid senior season at Southern Mississippi, he served as mostly a backup in 2015. Prior to that, he was playing for Pearl River Community College.

As a result, the prospect wasn’t invited to the NFL draft combine. However, he went on to run 4.32-second 40-yard dash time at his school’s pro day, catching the eye of many NFL talent evaluators, including the 49ers.

“I remember talking about it,” Adam Peters, the 49ers vice president of player personnel, told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “We were all kind of p—- that he ran that fast because now we would have to take him a little higher.”

Barrows writes about the journey the 49ers took en route to selecting the defensive back with one of their third-round picks. While Moore is considered somewhat of a rookie sleeper considering his late rise up the rankings, it’s notable that several teams had focused in on the prospect in the days prior to the draft.

“I actually had a couple of teams call me after we picked him, and they said, ‘Hey, we really liked this guy. But we just didn’t have enough time to spend on him,’” Peters said. “Because I think a lot of teams really jumped on him after he had that pro day. And then they were kind of scrambling to catch up.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times believes receivers Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Jaron Brown are locks to make the Seahawks roster. Outside of that trio, any of Seattle’s other wideouts could end up being cut. Brandon Marshall, Amara Darboh and David Moore seem to have the inside track on the final three spots, although Condotta says the team could cut bait with Marshall if he’s failed to recover from last year’s surgeries. Otherwise, the team is also rostering receivers Marcus Johnson, Tanner McEvoy, and Cyril Grayson.
  • For what it’s worth, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gushed about the potential of Moore, who was taken in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. David Moore has been special for us,” Carroll told Condotta. “He’s a very, very good athlete. He came from a really small program (East Central in Oklahoma), and he wasn’t able to catch it all in stride until late in the season when we finally got him active the last week, but you can see the playmaking ability. We’re already trying to figure out ways to move him around so he can show off what he’s got. He doesn’t look like it, but he’s a real strong kid, probably 218 pounds, and he’s physical. We’re really excited to see him like we did in preseason last year with run after catch stuff. He’s had a very good camp, he has made a big jump—made the freshman-sophomore jump, and it’s exciting to see that.” Moore appeared in a single game for the Seahawks during his rookie campaign.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explores five Lions players who should outperform their contracts next season. Offensive guard Graham Glasgow ($809K) leads the list, followed by cornerback Darius Slay ($6.1MM), left tackle Taylor Decker ($2.9MM), defensive end Anthony Zettel ($660K), and wideout Kenny Golladay ($765K). The writer also opines that the Lions don’t have any bad contracts on the books.
  • The latest bit of Jameis Winston news could end up being damaging to the Buccaneers quarterback.

49ers Sign Three Draft Picks

The 49ers signed a trio of rookies this morning. The team announced that they’ve officially inked defensive back Tarvarius Moore, wideout Richie James Jr., and defensive tackle Jullian Taylor to four-year deals.

Moore is the most notable name on the list, as the Southern Mississippi product was selected in the third-round (95th overall) of last week’s draft. The rookie played safety in college, but the 49ers are planning on switching him to cornerback. Moore is 6-foot-2 and ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, giving the team hope that he’ll be able to stick around at his new position. During the 2017 campaign, the safety compiled 87 tackles, three interceptions, and 10 passes defended.

James Jr., who was selected in the seventh round, set a number of Middle Tennessee State records during his collegiate career, finishing with 243 receptions for 3,249 yards and 23 touchdowns. He sustained a pair of broken collarbones during his time in college, including one last season. This injury ultimately led to James Jr. deciding to turn pro.

Taylor, a seventh-round pick out of Temple, compiled 41 tackles in 2017, his only season as a full-time starter.

Bay Area Notes: Johnson, Hurst, Miller, DBs

It sounds like Jon Gruden and Derrick Johnson hit it off in a one-on-one meeting, which led to the Raiders signing the 14th-year linebacker earlier on Friday. Johnson’s deal is a one-year agreement, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports, adding that it’s worth up to $3MM. Gruden looks to have been a Johnson fan for a while during his years as ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst, and that intel may have played a key role in the 35-year-old off-ball ‘backer landing with Oakland.

I’m one of Gruden’s favorite players — he’s always had a soft spot for me,” Johnson said, via Paylor. “He’s always said that over the years. I’m not playing for a rebuilding-type year. I sensed an urgency from Coach Gruden that winning is important right now.”

The Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler, Johnson has not played in a 4-3 defense since the 2008 season. Prior to the Chiefs switching to the 3-4 look in 2009, Johnson worked as an outside linebacker with Kansas City during his first four seasons. The Raiders signed Tahir Whitehead as well. He, Bruce Irvin and Johnson could be the Raiders’ three linebacker starters, despite Johnson telling Paylor he’s not quite the same player he was since the second of his severe Achilles injuries shut him down late in the 2016 season.

Here’s the latest out of the Bay Area:

  • Gruden, though, did not rule out a NaVorro Bowman reunion (Twitter link via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area). Bowman is nearly six years younger than Johnson but also carries injury baggage. However, Bowman graded as Oakland’s best linebacker by a wide margin last season. The Raiders have maintained they’re still interested in Bowman throughout the offseason, but they’ve now added four linebackers — with Emmanuel Lamur and Kyle Wilber coming to California as well — since Bowman became a free agent.
  • The Raiders began their rookie minicamp with Kolton Miller working at left tackle, where he’ll likely be Donald Penn‘s backup. Gruden confirmed the team’s first-round pick will start his career there, per NFL.com’s James Palmer (on Twitter), despite the team being in need of an immediate right tackle starter. Third-round pick Brandon Parker will work at that position.
  • Maurice Hurst Jr.‘s been cleared for workouts and participated in the first day of the Raiders’ minicamp. Gruden said (via Bair, on Twitter) the team doesn’t have any reservations about the Michigan product, whose heart issues played a major role in him sliding into the fifth round. Gruden believes the Raiders landed the top two interior pass rushers in the draft in Hurst and second-round pick P.J. Hall, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers plan to move third-round pick Tarvarius Moore from cornerback to safety, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes. The Southern Mississippi alum ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, and his 6-foot-2 frame also makes John Lynch believe he could stick at corner. Interestingly, 5-9 safety D.J. Reed — an outside corner at Kansas State — will compete with K’Waun Williams for the slot job, per Barrows, but also practice at safety. San Francisco’s brass is clearly unafraid to shuttle its defensive backs around, having Jimmie Ward ready to potentially switch positions for the fourth straight offseason.
  • Would-be third-year DB Dexter McCoil broke a bone in his foot training independently, leading the 49ers to waive him with an NFI distinction, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. A 16-game Charger participant in 2016 and having played eight games with the 49ers last season, McCoil is facing a four- to six-week recovery period, per Maiocco.