He may not technically play corner, but if there’s one player in the draft who could come in right away to affect the Packers passing defense, it may well be TCU star Trevon Moehrig.
Welcome back to our series on the Green Bay Packers draft. This is aimed at getting you ready for the 2021 class before Brian Gutkunst and Co. make selections. We take a look at the kinds of players the Packers tend to like at positions of need. That way you’re ready when they make a pick.
No player affected more passes the last two years of college football than TCU safety Trevon Moehrig (pronounced meh-rig). He led college football in pass break-ups per Pro Football Focus and forced an incompletion rate of nearly 20%. But don’t just call him a safety because he played in the slot more than he played anywhere else (though he played all over TCU’s defense). He’s a defensive back. Put him anywhere.
His breakout season came in 2019 when, at 20 years old, he put up a 91.2 PFF grade. His 77.7 coverage grade is an elite figure for a safety and he boasts more than 1,000 cover snaps in his career, making him one of the most experienced pass defenders in the draft at any position despite entering this class at just 21 on draft night.
If we believe the EXOS combine (and we probably shouldn’t), his agility figures are better than Jaire Alexander’s, which at 6’1 202 pounds would be pretty absurd. Even if those numbers (6.69 second 3-cone, 3.97 second short shuttle) are off by .15, they’re still terrific figures and would give him a Relative Athletic Score over 8, putting him solidly on the Packers radar.
In fact, Moehrig lit up in a pro day media availability when asked about meeting with the Packers saying he had several productive conversations with them already.
Here’s the full scouting report on Moehrig.
- Doesn’t turn 22 until June
- So smooth
- Instinctive in coverage
- Shows the ability to click and close
- Beautiful rep vs. Purdue from the slot — pedal, click and close, PBU
- He isn’t purely as athletic as Rondale Moore, but still stuck with him in coverage
- Took the ball away from Moore for a pick in 2019
- So fluid and loose in coverage
- Fills in the run game but it’s not what you’re drafting him to do
- So sticky in coverage
- Understands route concepts and can get guys in the right positions
- Returned punts in big spots
- Plays with a swagger
- He makes impact plays every game
- Leaping PBU vs. Oklahoma State in ‘20
- Had another where he dislodged man from ball
- One-handed interception vs. Oklahoma State off a tip
- Had a PBU vs. OSU that still wound up a catch, but a great play by him
- Consistently affects the passing game with his coverage and playmaking
- Terrific rep vs. OU in 2020 from the slot — Didn’t bite on the double move, stuck his guy, then undercut the route for a near INT
- Lacks that top end speed to be a true single-high safety, but that’s fine
- Ran in the 4.5s at his pro day (with a sore back)
- A little dive-y as a tackler
- Fumbled a punt as a returner
- Lacks elite instincts as a read-and-react run defender — will sometimes guess wrong
- Can come in a little out of control for tackles
Moehrig is the prototype for safeties in the modern NFL. He reminds me of how the Saints use Chauncy Gardner-Johnson and if a team wanted to use him as a full-time slot, he would flourish there. I like him in a defense that allows him to do a little bit of everything. His coverage skills are what make him elite, so either a team who wants to play a bunch of zero coverage or a team who mixes coverages and plays multiple safeties in nickel would fit his skillset the best. He’s a no-doubt first-round pick an if he were a touch faster, he’d be a no-doubt top-15 pick.
That makes him a beautiful fit in Joe Berry’s scheme. He could come in Day 1 and the play the star position, but also provides the flexibility to play deep in split safety looks so Darnell Savage could play in the slot or be the robber. He would make the team better right away as a cover play erand his instincts as a hallhawk underneath would help with tight ends, a bug-a-boo spot in Green Bay from time immemorial.
If there’s a first-round defender who doesn’t play traditional boundary corner and worth pining over in the draft for the Packers, Moehrig is it.