I think it’s fair to say that Rahim Moore has been through a lot. Between “the play” in the 2013 playoffs and his leg-threatening injury last season, Moore’s confidence and body have faced quite a few setbacks.
Those around the league may see Moore as a solid safety, but the truth is that he has the talent to be a superstar.
Now, if you’re looking at a distance, that may seem like quite an outrageous statement, but once you delve deeper into Moore’s short career, it becomes clear that he’s already been performing at a Pro Bowl level.
The questions arise because Moore has really only played one whole season; his rookie year was spent riding the bench, and he finished last year on injured reserve. That second season, though, cannot be forgotten.
First off, it is important that we understand where Moore was heading into his second season. Essentially, he was a complete bust. His career could not have gotten off to a worse start.
As the 45th pick in the 2011 draft, Moore was the first safety off the board and the first one on the bench, being beat out by fellow rookie Quinton Carter. What time Moore did spend on the field was mostly spent whiffing on tackles and leaving receivers wide open down the sideline. He finished the season with a 3.9 tackling efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus, second worst among all safeties with at least 200 snaps.
In all honesty, he just looked completely lost. But, to his credit, Moore wasn’t going to just lay down and watch his NFL career slip away.
He spent the entire 2012 offseason training to be a better tackler, and it became immediately apparent. Quickly, he won back his starting job, and this time he didn’t let it go. He played more snaps than any other player on Denver’s defense, showed off the speed and instincts scouts fell in love with before the draft and developed into one of the best tacklers in the NFL.
His tackling efficiency skyrocketed from 3.9 to 25.5, second best amongst all safeties – .5 behind Dawan Landry and 4.5 ahead of current-teammate T.J. Ward. Moore was also one of just three free safeties to make the top ten.
If it wasn’t for his admittedly unforgivable play against the Baltimore Ravens, the NFL and Broncos fans would have been talking about Moore’s tremendous growth as a player and not his playoff blunder.
That said, that play is over a year behind us now, and Moore should be playing on the best defense he’s ever been on. With the devastating pass-rush duo of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, an aggressive and talented cornerback corps and a run-stopping safety in Ward playing next to him, Moore should have the freedom and flexibility to dominate at free safety this year.
The Broncos roster is already stacked with Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers, but there is no reason why Moore shouldn’t be able to jump into that group this season.
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