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Kyle Moore Needs To Step It Up

Kyle Moore was a fourth-round draft pick in 2009. He had been an underachiever in college, but was supposed to have all the athletic ability to succeed as a top defensive end in the NFL. The Bucs drafted the USC defensive end in hopes of coaching him up, as he fit what then DC Jim Bates was looking for in defensive linemen: size. And for a minuscule window of time, it seemed like he could be a steal. He had two sacks in the 2009 preseason, and the Bucs had high hopes for him. Unfortunately, those two preseason sacks are two more than he's ever had in a regular season game. 

Kyle Moore tore his meniscus early in his rookie season and couldn't get back on the field until week 9. And he never managed to make any kind of impact. Zero sacks and a total of ten tackles in his rookie year. But that was just his rookie year, and players often improve early in their career. There were some hopes he'd do well in his second season, especially when he won the starting job in training camp. Of course, he then continued to not do anything on the field and injury problems contributed to a shortened season. Tim Crowder, Michael Bennett and Alex Magee all played better at his left end position, but somehow it took an injury for him to lose his starting job. 

To be fair, Kyle Moore isn't the worst run stopper in the league. However, he may just be worst pass rusher in the league (behind only Vernon Gholston), and the other DEs on the roster aren't significantly worse against the run. The Bucs tried to have him rush inside on third downs for a while, but he was unable to make an impact there. His inability to get after the quarterback should put him on thin ice going into next season, especially because the Buccaneers drafted two defensive ends with their first two picks. Competition will be fierce, and I really can't see Kyle Moore beating anyone out. So he'd better step it up, or he's likely to be out of a job come fall.