Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room: Is Thaddeus Moss (LSU) a Difficult Eval?

Matt Waldman examines the game of LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss, a 2020 NFL Draft prospect whose game is definitely separate from his name. 

Is Thad Moss a difficult eval?

It’s a point Fantasy Pros writer Mike Tagliere raised during a conversation with Kyle Yates and me during a podcast. The pair were split over Moss’s skills and asked me for my opinion. I hadn’t studied Moss extensively but I leaned toward the positive based on what I had seen of Moss while studying Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

A lot like his Hall of Famer father, Randy Moss, Thad is fluid, flexible, and possesses excellent awareness and reactions to what’s happening around him. Watch him win the ball at the front pylon of the Alabama one-yard-line his fall and it’s easy to wonder if Thad’s lack of production has more to do with the cavalcade of stars on LSU’s receiving corps than a lack of NFL traits.

The short answer: Moss is not an open-and-shut case as a fantasy prospect and because Thad lacks Randy’s quick-twitch explosion, fantasy players should be advised not to consider Thad among the top 3-5 tight ends in rookie drafts prior to the NFL’s selection event. However, you shouldn’t ignore him outright.

There are a ton of details to Moss’s game that gives him a promising opportunity for early playing time and, there are a lot of schemes where Moss could thrive as a productive receiver, including from a fantasy player’s perspective:

  • Offenses with strong play-action and misdirection components.
  • Passing games with scrambling quarterbacks who need a Heath Miller-like personal protector who also has a feel for finding open space on check-downs.
  • Schemes that value an H-Back that can open creases like a good fullback and earn big plays in the passing game based on that role when the team uses play-action.
  • Teams that spread the field enough to dictate zone coverage.

In these situations, Moss could deliver as a receiver. Now that I’ve studied him, I can say confidently that Thad Moss was not a difficult evaluation as strictly an athlete. However, his route-running, blocking, and overall approach to the game reveals that there is more to him than, “Is he a tight end version of his daddy that got lost among the giants in Bayou country?”

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