Undrafted but undaunted, former LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss, a steal for Redskins

NCAA Football, Washington Redskins

LSU tied a record with 14 draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft but they would own the record if Thaddeus Moss didn’t go undrafted due to medical concerns.

The recently completed 2020 NFL Draft saw the national champion LSU Tigers have 14 players picked, which tied the record for picks in a single draft, previously set by 2004 Ohio State. Joe Burrow was the No. 1 pick and saw his entire offensive line and his draft-eligible weapons picked, with the exception of tight end Thaddeus Moss, the son of Randy Moss.

Moss went undrafted despite being projected as a Day 3 pick, most likely in Rounds 4 or Round 5, but definitely getting picked with one of the 255 picks over seven rounds across three days.

The first two days passed without Moss getting picked, which wasn’t a surprise, but it was a surprise when Mr. Irrelevant was picked with the final pick and Moss was still on the board.

How could a player with 47 receptions for 570 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the National Championship Game vs. Clemson go undrafted? And how could that player who is the son of a Hall of Famer go undrafted when everyone else on his team got picked?

It’s not about the talent Moss has, rather it’s the injury revealed at the NFL Scouting Combine that revealed a Jones fracture in his right foot that required surgery that left him undrafted. Due to the real-world implications of the coronavirus pandemic, Moss was unable to meet with teams for medical re-checks prior to the draft.

This is part of the reason why some free agents remain unsigned, such as former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton who is on the street and likely to remain there until he can get checked out by prospective team’s doctors.

That left teams unwilling to take the risk on a talented player but one who came with an injury. After transferring from NC State and sitting out his transfer year, Moss missed all of 2018 with a foot injury too. The 2019 season was the first game action he had since 2016 when he had six receptions as a freshman.

The injury to Moss deprived him of being drafted and the memory that comes with that, as well as the commensurate contract, but it turned out to be a blessing for the Washington Redskins.

Moss was the best undrafted player by a safe margin and was one of the first undrafted free agents to sign after the draft concluded. Moss was signed by the Redskins who basically got a free 4th or 5th Round pick with which to mold.

After being a dependable weapon for Joe Burrow and the Bayou Bengals last year, the Redskins are hoping Moss will recover from the Jones fracture that caused him to go undrafted and he can be a security blanket for 2019 first-round pick, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a former Ohio State teammate of Burrow.

Undrafted players don’t always pan out. More often than not, they are cut after training camp or the preseason. If they’re lucky, they’ll be signed to a practice squad. But Moss is not your typical undrafted free agents. He’s a 4th Round talent they got without needing to spend a draft pick.

That’s why Moss went undrafted and why he’s an absolute steal for the Redskins.

Of course, it’s not without some risk. Don’t peg him to be in the Pro Bowl this year. That’s unfair expectations.

The Jones fracture Moss suffered takes six-eight weeks to recover from. By the time it’s time to put lace up the cleats, Moss will be 100 percent and ready to compete for reps at tight end and make his contributions to the Redskins.

Next: 2021 NFL Draft Big Board

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