Derek Moye, WR
Career Stats: 144 receptions, 2395 yards, 18 touchdowns
Workouts and Measurables: Moye earned himself a trip to the NFL combine, but aside from checking in at a prodigious 6'4, 209 pounds, he failed to separate himself from the pack. With just 10 reps on the bench press, Moye seemed to prove valid concerns about his strength, and with a 33-inch vertical, he showed a lack of explosiveness. However, at Penn State's Pro Day, he did prove that he could couple his tremendous frame with elite speed--he improved on a 4.52 40-yard dash at the combine with a 4.41 time.
College Career: Derek Moye's Penn State career was an up-and-down affair, equally fulfilling and frustrating from a fan's perspective. At times, it seemed Moye was Penn State's best receiver in a generation, and yet other moments were marred by what seemed to be a lack of concentration. But when Moye was at his best, he was the definition of a game-changer, and he did single-handedly steal wins for his Nittany Lions.
Moye perhaps benefited greatly from timing: his freshman year was spent toiling behind the record-setting trio of Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood, but immediately after they left, as a sophomore, he became Penn State's number one receiver, a title he would not relinquish. During each of his final three seasons, Moye led Penn State in receptions, yards, and yards per catch, and that's despite missing a quarter of the 2011 season with a foot injury.
Moye's best year was his junior one, when it seemed Matt McGloin only had eyes for his big receiver. Six of the seven touchdown receptions Moye had that season were on tosses by McGloin, although McGloin and Bolden split playing time almost equivalently. When he was playing well, Moye showed an outstanding ability to get open, both as a terrific route runner and at finding soft spots within the zone when a play broke down. And Moye used his size to get open on quick slants patterns whenever Penn State drew them up. But what Penn State fans will remember most about Moye's 2010 season was how he put the Lions on his back and nearly pulled off an incredible comeback win over Michigan State practically by himself. "Motor" is a term typically reserved for defensive linemen, but Derek Moye has a hell of one, too.
Of course, it wasn't all good for Derek Moye. Last year, as Penn State's offense devolved into a terrifyingly inept unit that seemed incapable of anything resembling football, even Moye took a step back--not only in his numbers, which were markedly worse across the board, but also, it appeared, in terms of effort. Moye must have dropped more balls in 2011 than in the two previous years combined, and all seemed to be easy ones. But he was still Derek Moye, damnit, and when he sat out for a month with an injury only to return on the final drive of the Illinois game, it was like something out of a movie, with his presence alone turning the game around for the Lions.
NFL Prospectus: Moye is very big and very fast, two traits that aren't typically found in concert with one another. Hell, his size and speed match those of A.J. Green almost perfectly, and Green was the fourth overall pick in last year's draft. Moye, on the other hand, might be a stretch to go in the fourth round, and it's that lack of upper body strength that will do him in. Big Ten corners don't usually press at the line, but Moye's ability to get off tight coverage proved a concern in college and will loom even larger in the pros. He, more than anyone else, could've really benefited from a year with Penn State's new conditioning team.
Unless he can improve significantly in that area--which is unlikely, at this point--it's hard to see Moye as maxing out at anything but a 3rd or 4th option at wide receiver--a deep threat from the slot who doubles as a great red zone target. And hell, if that's what you get from your 5th or 6th round pick, that's pretty good value.