Denarius Moore made a name for himself in the NFL before he ever donned a Raiders jersey. All throughout training camp, anyone who followed any news on the Raiders knew who Denarius Moore was. His athletic ability, great hands and crisp route running caught the eye of all who observed the Raiders practices.
Moore continued to impress during the preseason as he showed that he was able to make plays not just in practice, but in game time situations. However, despite this, many still questioned whether or not he would be able to translate his training camp and preseason success into regular season success.
Three games into the 2011 season, and Denarius Moore has answered that question. Yes, he most certainly can succeed in the regular season. In fact, he has impressed so much in the past few games, he was listed as the number three rookie on Matt Williamson's Rookie Watch column on ESPN.com.
Moore finds himself third on the list behind Von Miller in first and Cam Newton in second. Those are two pretty impressive rookies and Moore should be happy to be thought of in the same light. But while being in the same league as a rookie as those two is impressive, it is even more impressive when you really take a look at what Denarius Moore has done.
Of the ten rookies listed in the article, seven of the players are first round picks, one is a third round pick and one is a second round pick. Moore, on the other hand, was pick number 148, in the fifth round. That means that over 140 players were picked in between top two on the Rookie Watch and Denarius.Impressive right? How about the fact that Moore barely received any playing time in the Raiders week one win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Even more impressive.
Now that Denarius Moore has proven to the Raiders coaching staff that he really can play at an elite level, the number of touches he sees will only increase. He is the type of play maker that the Raiders will try and get the ball to not just in the passing game, but with special plays designed to give him the ball with space to run, like the end around he scored on against the Jets.
As long as Hue Jackson continues to ensure that Moore gets his hands on the ball, you can expect him to remain towards the top of Matt Williamson's Rookie Watch list for the rest of the season, and might even see him named NFL Rookie of the Year.