Foster Moreau was the Raiders unsung hero in 2019, drafted out of LSU in the fourth round, pick 137.
His collegiate career wasn’t flashy; 30 games, 52 catches, 629 yards, six touchdowns.
He was mostly used as a blocker and that is what caught most eyes in his Pro Day. That, along with his work ethic and physicality made scouts overlook his lack of athleticism and some abilities as a receiver.
Moreau was brought in as pretty much Lee Smith’s replacement. He wasn’t selected to be the receiving tight end but rather to clear room for the running game and protect the quarterback. He has been a solid contributor in blocking, and for that alone, he was worth the draft pick. However, let’s look at the other side of his game.
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Yes, he is a consistent threat, that’s hard to say (or type) for a guy averaging just over two catches a game, but breaking down those catches show the bigger picture:
13 games, seven started, 21 receptions in 25 targets and an 84% catch rate.
Of those 21 passes, five were touchdowns, that’s 23 percent of his catches put points on the board. For comparison purposes, Darren Waller had three touchdowns, Hunter Renfrow had four, both of those guys saw a lot more touches.
Derek Carr threw 21 touchdowns, just under 25% of them went to the rookie tight end known as “just a blocker”.
How about the rest? 14 of those 21 receptions were for first downs. When you combine them both, that is 90% of his receptions were significant plays driving the team down the field. That is a lot for “just a blocker”
While I am completely excited about how well Waller is playing, I am even more enthusiastic about how much more Moreau can, and should do going forward. Both players are locked in on multi-year deals, and with more time, Moreau can become one half of the best tight end tandem in the league. He is in Waller’s shadow right now, but hopefully, the coaching staff will get him more involved. He has been a solid “go-to”, and should continue to be for years to come.
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