The Las Vegas Raiders selected tight end Foster Moreau in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft. Initially, pundits viewed Foster as a complimentary player rather than a vital addition to the Silver and Black’s roster. However, he could be a key contributor this upcoming season.
Foster Moreau’s Red Zone Excellence
Foster Moreau’s rookie season as a Raider showed that his lack of usage in the passing game at the collegiate level, was not due to his lack of talent. During his four-year collegiate tenure at Louisiana State University, Foster was only on the receiving end of six touchdown passes. Last year, he managed to haul in five receiving touchdowns in 13 games. In 2020, he will have the chance to become a premier red zone threat. That will be thanks to the facets listed below:
Top Receiving Ability as a Tight End
Foster Moreau was a steal at TE when he came off the board in this year’s NFL Draft.
— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) September 29, 2019
Foster Moreau’s hands are, arguably, the best on the team.
Best way to describe Foster Moreau leading up to last year’s draft—He will be a better pro than college player. pic.twitter.com/T2BcMYz67e
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 6, 2019
In 2019, he did not drop a single pass. However, he was only targeted an inexcusably low 25 times. In the play below, his knack to find the soft spots in the red zone are another reason why he should see a rise in usage in 2020.
— NFL (@NFL) November 3, 2019
Again, his impeccable ability to work between the hashes in the red zone and then fight for additional yards after the catch make it tough for opposing players to stop.
Foster Moreau with the TD pic.twitter.com/v7PEbuvIuo
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) October 20, 2019
Despite his natural ability to catch a football, Moreau’s forte in blocking should also be another reason to reward him with more reps.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden have a few things in common, but one thing they demand from all of their tight ends is the ability to block. Moreau possesses more than just serviceable ability, he is an impact blocker when run plays follow his lead.
Raiders run toss to RB Josh Jacobs (@iAM_JoshJacobs) for 21 yards. Blocked well, LG Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) and RT Trent Brown (@Trent) work to 2nd level to block the LBs. TE Foster Moreau (@fhmoreau) blocks out opening up big hole.#Raiders #Raidernation pic.twitter.com/BL0BloQSGB
— Ryan Holmes (@Rholm22) November 19, 2019
Even when Moreau ‘misses’ a block in the run game, he still finds a way to make an impact.
Foster Moreau misses a cut block on Ingram and then takes it out on Jaylen Watkins pic.twitter.com/uINCrQJ2XS
— Gipsy's Alt Account (@SGafety) November 9, 2019
His toughness and versatility as a player will make it difficult for Gruden to keep him on the bench for 64% of the offensive snaps again in 2020.
Greater Usage Is Needed
Moreau was only on the field for 36% of offensive snaps for the Silver and Black in 2019. As a player that managed the majority of his receptions (13) and receiving touchdowns (three) in between the hashes, there is no reason why the team cannot find ways to utilize him more in a offense that is stagnant at times, specifically in the red zone. With the additions of Lynn Bowden Jr, Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs III, and Jason Witten this offseason; the middle of the field should have more room to maneuver for the sophomore tight end. That’s where he has proven that he can be more than effective.
Hall of Fame Mentor
Speaking of Jason Witten, Foster Moreau was more than ecstatic when the Raiders announced the signing.
Moreau loves the Witten signing pic.twitter.com/5fc3AwR6TG
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 17, 2020
The team has now added a future Hall of Famer for Moreau to learn the tricks of the trade from. Moreover, The second-year player is more than eager to follow his lead. If Foster has even half the career of Witten’s, the team will be even more thrilled than they already are with their selection of him as a fourth rounder in 2019.
Jon Gruden on Foster Moreau: "He played good football for us and is going to be a big part of the #Raiders future."
— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) December 9, 2019
In 2020, Moreau has the ability to become a red zone matchup nightmare for opposing defenses if given the proper opportunity. Look for him to receive an elevated role and be a difference maker for the Silver and Black in critical red zone scenarios.
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Top Photo: Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat