Try to pick one play that best encapsulates DJ Moore's rookie season.
It isn’t easy. So many aspects of the receiver’s game are worthy of highlighting.
His 18-yard run on a reverse against the Giants featured perhaps his most unique skill – a rare run-after-catch ability fueled by both speed and power. But he is a receiver first and foremost and a clearly talented one at that, as seen in his remarkable 42-yard grab over/around Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the season finale.
The Panthers brought their first-round draft choice along slowly – he played half the snaps in just three of the Panthers’ first eight games – but he took off fast when he played at least half the snaps in six of the final eight games.
According to Pro Footbal Focus, Moore finished with 427 total yards after the catch. His 7.9 YAC per reception rate was the top mark among wide receivers with at least 30 receptions in 2018.
Carolina had its choice of the first receiver off the board in the first round – Moore or Calvin Ridley. They took Moore at No. 24 and then the Falcons at No. 26 took Ridley, who was a touchdown machine the first month of the season. When the dust settled, however, the numbers were similar (Moore 55 catches for 788 yards vs. Ridley 64 for 821) and favored Moore when you mix in his 172 rushing yards (Ridley had 27). Ridley had a big edge in touchdowns, but Moore’s obvious game-breaking ability should land him in the end zone more in 2019.
Moore and Ridley, incidentally, claimed the two wide receiver spots on the Professional Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.