Packers draft Mizzou receiver J’Mon Moore in fourth round
UPDATED, 6 p.m.
It took 133 selections but an NFL team finally chose a Missouri player in the NFL draft. The Green Bay Packers went with wide receiver J’Mon Moore late in the fourth round on Saturday with the 33rd selection in the round, using a compensatory pick to take the All-SEC receiver.
“My heart burst,” Moore said on a conference call about getting a phone call from the Packers. “That’s the best feeling in the world, a dream come true, getting that phone call knowing that some one believes in you and they have selected you to come play for their team. That’s a feeling I’ll never forget.”
For the second straight year, Missouri produced just one NFL draft pick among the 256 selections. MU’s other draft hopefuls will have to settle for free agent contracts. Defensive end Marcell Frazier agreed to a contract with Seattle, he confirmed. Tight end Jason Reese is headed to Tampa Bay, while safety Antony Sherrils signed with Detroit, MU announced
With just one pick each of the last two years, it marks the fewest picks Mizzou has produced over a two-year span since the 2001 and 2002 drafts produced just one player, defensive end Justin Smith, the No. 4 overall pick in 2001. Last year, Miami drafted defensive Charles Harris in the first round with the 22nd overall choice.
Moore, a two-time 1,000-yard receiver for the Tigers, is the first MU wideout drafted since the St. Louis Rams took Bud Sasser in the sixth round in 2015.
Moore was the 15th wide receiver taken in the draft, but he had no complaints about his destination. He joins a Green Bay offense in need of an impact wide receiver. Oh, and he gets to catch passes from two-time NFL MVP and future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I mean, me playing receiver catching balls from one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League, I can’t ask for a better situation,” Moore said. “Even being able to build a relationship with someone like him, being able to catch the ball from him and trust and know where the ball is where it needs to be without me even asking, that’s a great feeling, a great opportunity. Not a lot of people get to say they have the opportunity I have. I’m thankful for it.”
After taking a pre-draft visit to the Packers headquarters earlier this month, Moore said he felt a mutual connection with the coaching staff and woke up Saturday hoping they’d be the team that calls him. Moore also visited the Chiefs and Texans leading up to the draft.
“With the draft you never know,” he said. “No one knows. All I could do was pray and hope they selected me. I woke up this morning, I said a prayer to God asking him to allow me to get drafted, give me the strength and patience and whatever I needed for today. I looked up and the Packers drafted me, which is exactly where I wanted to be. I loved it.”
Moore was asked about his habit to drop easy passes - NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock mentioned it during the draft broadcast - but Moore said he’s moved past those problems after working on his catching skills the last few months.
“It’s something I work on every time I work on my craft,” Moore said. “It’s just a small hiccup.”
“I thought he had a little too many drops from a consistent hand perspective, but when you talk body type, look at the movement skills for a guy that big,” Mayock said. “He does have some upside.”
“The drops were in traffic when he worked the middle of the field,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah added. “I thought he tracked the ball really well outside.”
This marks the 14th consecutive year Mizzou has had a player taken in the draft. During that 14-year streak, this is the deepest the draft has gone until the first Missouri player came off the board.
Moore finished his career with 158 receptions, seventh-most in team history, for 2,477 yards, which ranks fourth all-time at Mizzou, trailing only Danario Alexander, Justin Gage and Chase Coffman. Only Coffman, Alexander and Jeremy Maclin caught more touchdowns than Moore’s 21.
He’s the first Mizzou player taken by the franchise since offensive lineman Craig Heimburger in 1999 and the 11th player overall drafted by the Packers.
Green Bay returns each of its two leading pass-catchers from last year, outside receiver Davante Adams and slot receiver Randall Cobb but recently released Pro Bowl veteran Jordan Nelson, who has since signed with Oakland. Moore could be groomed to replace Nelson on the outside. The Packers drafted two more receivers in later rounds, South Florida’s Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown.