Winner: SF 49ers Defensive Back Tarvarius Moore
I could spend this entire blurb just linking to articles about how defensive back Tarvarius Moore should get more playing time, how he’s a good free safety, why he should make the field, and so much more. And I’m not alone in the fascination of Moore.
Rangy, freakishly athletic, and a ball hawk to boot, the SF 49ers drafted Moore in the third round to be a prototypical Cover 3 cornerback, and when necessity merged with logic, they moved him back to his natural position of free safety.
Before the 2019 draft, I tagged Moore as the primary reason to not draft a safety because I thought he had the same talent as the players entering at that position. Of course, he got early snaps in the season as starting safety Jimmie Ward was hurt and played at an average level, with his pass coverage on the plus compared to his tackling as a stark negative.
That said, Moore had a great game in the Super Bowl, and there was positive momentum building up to this spot start, where Moore excelled. With six tackles, all of which were physical and tone-setting, as well as no real missed plays and a fantastic play on cornerback Emmanuel Moseley’s interception.
Let’s take a quick look at what actually happened:
Though the broadcast angle isn’t perfect, Moore clearly broke off the dig as Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was about to air it out and push upfield, causing Newton to adjust his throw to the right of the receiver, where there was no play to be made except for Moseley.
That’s just one of the ways a deep safety can impact the game.
Ward is going to stay the starter, but Moore has clearly made the case for more snaps in the future. Big-nickel formations, any type of three-safety sets, clearly Moore makes the team better when he plays.