How good is Elijah Moore? It’s a question that a lot of excited New York Jets fans have been asking themselves this spring.
In many ways, Jets fans don’t even know how to judge a young playmaker like this after OTAs and minicamp because the franchise really hasn’t had a rookie this dynamic over the course of the entire social media era.
We are learning though.
Everyone Talking About Moore
The Moore hype train has broken Jets Twitter on numerous occasions, and for good reason. Teammates, coaches and media professionals can’t stop talking about the rookie, so I figured I would compile some of the best quotes about the 2021 second-round pick.
“Going to be hard to keep Moore off the field.”- D.J. Bien-Aime, New York Daily News.
“He’s a heck of a ball player.”- Jamison Crowder, Jets slot receiver.
“He’s so internally motivated and driven… You can see it with some rookies that come into this league, like ‘just give me a year and I’ll figure out this game.’ He doesn’t want to wait a year, he wants it now.”- Mike LaFleur, Jets offensive coordinator.
“Will say this about Moore, he is fast as hell.”- Connor Hughes, The Athletic.
“Elijah Moore showed his hands on a nice catch in a goal line period.”- Brian Costello, New York Post.
“He’s really hungry to do more. He’s a perfectionist and he’s always trying to better his game.”- Corey Davis.
“He’s a dynamic young man… What makes those guys difficult to defend is that he can line up a Z, F or X, he can line up wherever you want and he’s going to execute at a very high level.”- Robert Saleh.
“His work ethic is off the charts, his mindset is off the charts.”- Robert Saleh.
“Nearly uncoverable in the red zone.”- Connor Hughes, The Athletic.
“He’s got a heck of a skillset… he has fantastic hands, he’s got everything that you’re looking for with quickness and the dynamic short-area burst and everything like that. His [ball] tracking just needs a little clean-up but I think he’s going to be a very very very good player in this league.”- Brant Boyer, Jets special teams coordinator.
“I think the kid’s got a bright future. He’s a self-starter, he’s a worker. There’s two of them in here at 6:30 in the morning on their own, working by themselves. I think it’s fantastic that they’re doing that. Young kids that get how this business works.”- Brant Boyer, Jets special teams coordinator.
“Elijah is a fun dude to coach, and whatever success he has he’s going to earn it.”- Mike LaFleur, Jets offensive coordinator.
“He’s not playing for a participation trophy. He’s going to do whatever it takes to get that No. 1 spot.”- Tevin Allen, Moore’s trainer.
“He’s someone I want to be around because he wants to be great.”- Zach Wilson, Jets quarterback.
“Elijah Moore does this every day. As promising as I’ve seen a rookie wide-out.”- Connor Hughes, The Athletic.
Moore Is Not a Slot Receiver
It has become plainly obvious that Moore is not limited to a slot receiver role. The all-around talent has the versatility to play any position on the field, as Coach Saleh alluded.
It may take a year or two, but the Jets skillful rookie has WR1 potential.
Due to his height and size, he’ll never be that Julio Jones/Calvin Johnson type of player, but he could be more similar to an Antonio Brown or a Tyreek Hill number one.
Moore has proven to be explosive, elusive, confident, hard-working, intelligent, fearless and awe-inspiring in a very short amount of time. He is a tremendous route-runner with sticky hands and a mix of quickness and burner speed.
Simply put, Moore looks like the full package.
Yes, Moore Has Surpassed Denzel Mims
To me, there’s no question that Moore has already surpassed second-year pro Denzel Mims. Many Mims-truthers have argued that this has not happened, but to do that is to ignore the facts that are right in front of us.
One, he’s outplayed Mims at every turn in OTAs and minicamp, injuries or not.
Two, he was drafted higher than Mims. In fact, Joe Douglas jumped at the opportunity to select Moore with the second pick of the second round in 2021. With Mims on the board in 2020, he elected to trade down, risking that someone else might take the Baylor product. He ended up getting him anyway through shrewd general managing, but if Douglas wanted Mims as much as Moore he would not have traded down in the first place.
Three, Moore and Crowder will most likely play at the same time by all early indications, which makes up a clear top three alongside Davis.
Having said all that, I do believe this system will rotate different players in and out a lot more than a typical NFL offense.
As we heard Keelan Cole mention in an interview with Good Morning Football, this receiver room won’t focus on depth chart rankings, it will be “together as one.”
Want to Know Moore?
In an exclusive with Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News, Moore showed his personality which is both humble and confident. He described the day he was drafted by the Jets as the “best moment of [his] life so far.”
He also called catching passes from Wilson, “legendary,” and told the reporter that the strongest aspects of his game were his “mental” attributes and his route running. He also displayed some of that conviction which Bien-Aime highlighted below.
Maybe Jets fans like myself are getting a little ahead of ourselves, or maybe we’ve seen so many disappointments that we wouldn’t trust true greatness if it slapped us in the face. Moore has the look of a special athlete, and it’s okay to acknowledge that.