The Oakland Raiders may have found a top-notch long-term starter at tight end in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Armed with three first-round selections, the Oakland Raiders had one of the most interesting and exciting showings in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Raiders threw everybody for a loop when they took Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the fourth pick and then followed that up with Alabama running back Joshua Jacobs at number 24 and Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram at number 27.
Add in the Raiders snagging Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen with the eighth pick of the second round and it is clear that the Raiders were able to find some impressive talent at the top of the draft. That being said, what they were able to do in the middle rounds was arguably more impressive.
There was a lot to like about what the Raiders did in the middle rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft, but snagging LSU tight end Foster Moreau late in the fourth round stands out the most to me.
Moreau never put up big-time numbers at LSU. He finished his senior season with 22 receptions for 272 yards and two touchdowns and had similar production as a junior (24/278/3). That being said, he was a tremendous run-blocking tight end who was a full-time two-year starter, a team captain as a senior and wore the coveted No.18 jersey for the Tigers. Simply put, this guy was one of the most important players on the 2018 LSU football team.
Moreau’s immediate value will come as a blocker. He understands how to get in position to make a consistent block, shows tremendous technique and consistently finishes his blocks with power. He has ideal footwork as a run blocker and shows impeccable hand placement and overall hand usage. Make no mistake about it, Moreau comes into the league as a good blocking tight end at the start.
On top of that, I think Moreau has a bit of untapped potential as a receiver. First of all, he is a better athlete than he is given credit for. I mean, just look at his athletic testing numbers compared to other players at the position:
Based on his testing, Moreau has solid size for the tight end position and moves extremely well. His quickness and athleticism stand out and he certainly has good overall speed as well. Honestly, this also checks out on tape.
There were many times where Moreau was able to shake free of the defense and his quarterback simply was not able to get him the ball. He shows impressive overall route running ability and has the legitimate speed to stretch the middle of the field. If LSU was not such a run-heavy offense, I strongly believe that Moreau would have put up better numbers and would likely have been a higher draft pick.
As it stands, the Oakland Raiders may have just fell into an incredible mid-round value at the tight end position. We know that Moreau is a high-character leader who can block, but if he can capitalize on this athletic upside and become a dynamic pass catcher, the sky is truly the limit.
The first round picks are great, but snagging Foster Moreau in the fourth round could easily end up being the best pick made by the Oakland Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft.