CHARLOTTE – When Torrey Smith showed up at Bank America Stadium for the opening of offseason workouts last month, he wasn't just a wide receiver. He also played scout, encouraging the Panthers' higher-ups to use their first-round draft pick on DJ Moore.
Because they both played their college ball at Maryland, Smith admits he's biased. But what he's seen in Moore sounds a lot like what sold Carolina's real scouts on the team's newest wideout.
"I think the thing that stands out the most is (Moore is) great after the catch," Smith said. "He's very strong. He doesn't run like a typical receiver – more like a running back, honestly. He knows how to get open and he's only going to continue to get better as he gets coached on this level."
Despite having to catch passes from four different quarterbacks in 2017, Moore racked up a school-record 80 receptions and was named Big Ten Receiver of the Year. He also totaled 1,033 receiving yards, becoming the first Maryland wideout to crack 1,000 yards since Smith in 2010.
By trading for Smith in March, the Panthers made a bet that Smith will give them the deep threat they desperately missed last year. But it's not like Moore can't get downfield. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at February's combine. That's faster than Smith's 4.46 in 2011. It also edged out the 4.43 run in 2015 by another former Terrapin, Stefon Diggs, who some have likened to Moore.
Sure, Moore and Diggs both wore No. 1 at Maryland and measured 6-foot at the combine, but that's about where the similarities end.
"They don't move the same," Smith said. "Diggs is like a little jitterbug. DJ's quick and strong."
And about 20 pounds heavier.
The better analogy, Smith believes, is one many have made to former Panthers wideout Steve Smith. Comparing anyone to 89 is usually silly, but he can see it. So can his former Ravens teammate.
"I think you could say (Moore has) that dog in him," Torrey Smith said. "He's quiet, but when he's on that field, you can see it in his play."
Going off first impressions Moore gave the day after he was drafted, he isn't going to remind anyone of Steve Smith off the field. But the Panthers picked Moore for what they hope he can do on it.
His Maryland connection will give him a hand with the rest.
"I got to see him from afar and now I'll be able to help him with his adjustments to becoming a pro," Torrey Smith said. "I'm not letting anybody pick on him, that's for sure.
"I've already thrown that out there – ain't nobody mess with him."