ProFootballFocus.com is running its annual Secret Superstar series and they recently named safety as this year's superstar for the Falcons.
Moore enters his fourth year in the NFL and his third as a starter. PFF mentions Moore's draft stock as a safety in 2009, explaining that many teams felt he would be a liability in coverage in the NFL. Some went as far as to say he should be moved to linebacker. Moore has progressed well during his two years as a starter and PFF gave him a 4.0 grade in pass coverage last season.
"You read that right," Khaled Elsayed wrote about Moore. "The guy many speculated would need to be a linebacker because of his problems in coverage actually turned it on and continued to show a knack for making plays on the ball. His seven pass disruptions (two interceptions and five pass break ups) were bettered by only 14 other safeties, despite him missing large portions of the season."
That progression is a good reason for PFF to pick Moore as the Falcons' secret superstar this year. Under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Atlanta's safeties will possibly play a bigger role on defense. Moore will be allowed to be more aggressive in the new scheme and make more plays on the ball.
"He's aggressive," Moore has said recently of Nolan. "I love the defense. I love the scheme and what he's got us doing. He's letting us roam around and play football, as far as from the back end from the DBs. We've got a lot of looks in. It looks like we're freelancing, but we've got some organized football going on. It's fun. I say that most importantly, it's fun."
If Moore can remain healthy (he played in all 16 games in 2010) and work on what PFF identifies as his biggest issue, taking better angles to more securely and fundamentally tackle the ball carrier, he could be well on his way to delivering on PFF's distinction.
Incidentally, 2011's Secret Superstar for the Falcons from PFF was Kroy Biermann.