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2021 NFL draft: TCU S Trevon Moehrig is a high-end ballhawk

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Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, which starts April 29, Yahoo Sports will count down our top 100 overall prospects. We’ll count them down in groups of five for Nos. 100-51, followed by more in-depth reports on our top 50 players, with help from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the right to make changes to players’ grades and evaluations based on injury updates, pro-day workouts or late-arriving information from NFL teams.

Other prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96 | 95-91 | 90-86 | 85-81 | 80-76 | 75-71 | 70-66 | 65-61 | 60-56 | 55-51 | 50. OT Liam Eichenberg | 49. WR Terrace Marshall Jr. | 48. LB Chazz Surratt | 47. EDGE Joe Tryon | 46. OT-OG Alex Leatherwood | 45. CB Asante Samuel Jr. | 44. DL Levi Onwuzurike | 43. LB Jabril Cox | 42. DT Daviyon Nixon | 41. EDGE Ronnie Perkins | 40. LB Nick Bolton | 39. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu | 38. WR Elijah Moore | 37. OT Jalen Mayfield | 36. EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. | 35. CB Elijah Molden | 34. RB Travis Etienne | 33. WR Kadarius Toney | 32. EDGE Jayson Oweh | 31. LB Zaven Collins | 30. DT Christian Barmore | 29. QB Mac Jones | 28. CB Caleb Farley | 27. RB Javonte Williams | 26. C-OG Landon Dickerson | 25. S Trevon Moehrig | 24. CB Greg Newsome II | 23. WR Rashod Bateman | 22. EDGE Greg Rousseau | 21. OT Christian Darrisaw | 20. RB Najee Harris | 19. LB-S Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | 18. EDGE Jaelan Phillips | 17. OT Teven Jenkins | 16. EDGE Kwity Paye | 15. CB Jaycee Horn | 14. OT-OG Rashawn Slater | 13. OG-OT Alijah Vera-Tucker | 12. WR DeVonta Smith | 11. EDGE Azeez Ojulari | 10. CB Patrick Surtain II | 9. OT Penei Sewell | 8. QB Zach Wilson | 7. LB Micah Parsons | 6. QB Trey Lance | 5. WR Jaylen Waddle | 4. QB Justin Fields | 3. WR Ja'Marr Chase | 2. TE Kyle Pitts | 1. QB Trevor Lawrence

Here's how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Here's how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

25. TCU S Trevon Moehrig

6-foot-1, 205 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 6.03 — possible immediate starter

TL;DR scouting report: Playmaking safety who can cover the slot, but a lack of elite speed and quickness might limit his role just a bit

Games watched: Baylor (2020), Iowa State (2020), Oklahoma (2020), Oklahoma State (2020)

The skinny: A 3-star Rivals recruit as an “athlete,” Trevon Moehrig-Woodard (he later dropped the Woodard from his name) shifted from cornerback in high school to safety and played 12 games (starts vs. Baylor and Oklahoma) as a true freshman, making 16 tackles (one for a loss), one interception and was named the team’s Special Teams Player of the Year. In 2019, he logged 62 tackles (1.5 for losses), four interceptions, 11 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one recovery in 12 starts, and was named first-team all-Big 12 (coaches).

As a junior in 2020, Moehrig made 47 tackles (two for losses), two interceptions and nine pass breakups in 10 starts, winning the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back). He was named AP second-team All-America and first-team all-conference. Following the season, he declared early for the 2021 draft.

Upside: Ballhawking safety who has a solid track record — seven INTs, 28 pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 34 career games.

Displays great reaction times when breaking on the ball in midair — plays through the receiver well without excessive contact. Good range to break downhill or cut off routes as a center fielder. High school receiver who is a natural at plucking the ball out of the air.

Good eyes in zone to read the quarterback’s intentions. Can bait passers into throwing into tight windows — especially in the red zone. Times up contact extremely well to knock the ball loose, such as this fine play against Oklahoma (one of three PDs in that game):

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Springy athleticism — basketball and track background. Smooth glider who ran a respectable 4.50 40-yard dash at his pro day. Regularly displayed good recovery speed deep. Looks natural in off coverage and handles changes in direction well.

Good height for the position to survey and scan the field. Nice hand size — 9 3/4 inches. Enough length to disrupt the catch point on 50-50 balls. Nice hitter who arrives with a thud — not a finesse tackler. Arrives looking to send a message, or better yet dislodge the ball. Good tackling form to drive through the ball carrier. Takes good angles on run fits.

Handled multiple duties — as a Cover 4 split safety, a slot defender, up in the box, even a few snaps as an outside corner. Rarely was given over-the-top help when covering slot receivers. Stays patient in his backpedal and transitions well.

Team captain as a junior who earned a lot of respect in the program — handled a lot of the pre-snap communication as the secondary’s traffic cop. Self-confident player who handled a lot of responsibilities in a complex defense. Considered to have plus football intelligence and instincts. Interviewed well with NFL scouts.

Weight room worker who reportedly can squat 600 pounds and power clean 420. Versatile, polished player with few major weaknesses. Made steady improvements with each successive season. Strong special teams work in 2018 and figures to man those units in the NFL.

Downside: Bit of a lean, wiry frame. Came in shorter and lighter than expected at his pro day and measured with short arms (30 5/8 inches) and wingspan (73 3/8 inches). Might be too small to handle dime linebacker duties — lacks the bulk to thrive full time up close to the line of scrimmage. Durability wasn’t an issue in college, but depending on his role, it could be a longer-term worry.

Turned in middling numbers in the vertical jump (33 inches), bench press (14 reps) and short shuttle (4.19 seconds) and didn’t perform the broad jump or 3-cone drill at his slightly disappointing pro day, citing back tightness. Might not have the sideline-to-sideline range to be a single-high safety full time — short strider.

Took a few false steps in coverage and can put himself in shaky positions. Doesn’t possess the top-end speed to play consistently without cleaner technique. Occasionally overshoots his angle to the ball and lacks the rare recovery ability to atone for it. Can be a little stiff in the hips his transitions.

Tackling is overall solid, but he can come in blindly with a shoulder or fail to wrap up, missing his marks in space. Wasn’t as effective a run defender when playing up closer to the line. Barely ever asked to blitz — only one rush attempt the past two seasons, per PFF.

Best-suited destination: A deep safety (ideally Cover 2 and Cover 4) who can match up with longer receivers or tight ends in the slot and be a playmaking backend defender. His lack of elite speed and quickness might slim down his duties from what he did in college. But his special teams background makes him a four-down option who will appeal more to teams that put heavier emphasis on using starters on their punt and kick units.

Did you know: Moehrig’s younger sister, Tanyse, plays volleyball at Texas Lutheran.

Player comp: Has some similar traits to Justin Simmons and Jessie Bates.

Expected draft range: Somewhere between Nos. 20 and 40 overall

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