Instant Reaction: Grading the Elijah Moore trade for the Browns
In the end, the Cleveland Browns did trade back from pick 42 moving back to pick 74 and acquiring former second-round pick Elijah Moore from the New York Jets. Fans had been waiting and hoping to see a move at the position that would make the team faster and more dynamic and they got their wish.
Being able to move back 32 picks and pick up a player with two more years on a rookie contract that fit a big need is a savvy front-office move. Moore isn’t a finished product but has loads of potential and really fun tape despite never playing with good quarterback play. Let’s break it all down and grade the trade for the Browns.
Elijah Moore was plagued by poor quarterback play in his two seasons with the Jets and produced better when Zach Wilson wasn’t on the field. With a lot of other high draft picks and signings on the roster, it seemed like at times he was underutilized after being such a high draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The best aspect of Moore’s production stats he had two drops his rookie year on 74 targets and zero drops this past season on 59 targets despite erratic quarterback play. Overall Moore averages 12.3 yards per reception with 984 yards and six career touchdowns.
Lots of upside and some risks due to his small size but absolutely the speed and dynamic playmaker type the team needed.
Production Grade: C+
Elijah Moore being missed when open in 2022.
Buy stock in this man before it's too late pic.twitter.com/wCLPeHWRLD
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 19, 2023
The financials and trade compensation
The Browns got Moore with two more years left on his rookie contract without giving up much. They get pick 74 in the third round back from the Jets and fill a major need without giving up much financially or asset-wise. Moore’s cap hits for the next two seasons are nearly nothing at 1.47 million this season and 1.87 million in 2024.
You have more than enough time to evaluate Moore in person to decide if you want to extend him while having so much flexibility going into this April’s draft.
Financials and Trade Compensation Grade: A
The fit for the team makes perfect sense, last season Moore played nearly 50/50 in the slot (49.6%) and out wide (50.2%). The Browns do not have a true burner they can rely on or someone who is a natural slot playmaker. Getting both of those solved with a player that has NFL experience and the tremendous upside is a home run.
Moore’s threat to burn teams deep will create underneath opportunities for the tight ends as well as Amari Cooper. Moore knows how to create separation to give an easy target for Watson and can truly help this offense take it to another level if he stays healthy and continues to improve.
Fit Grade: A
A little taste of the things Elijah Moore brings this offense… love him in the slot. Quick feet. pic.twitter.com/MRWKLINrTm
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) March 22, 2023
The overall grade
The Browns are counting on Moore to take another step forward as a player but his usage and poor quarterback play held him back in New York. He has quick feet and he accelerates so quickly firing off the line of scrimmage and hitting his top speed in a blink of an eye.
He’s an impressive route runner that understands how to use his speed with good body control to create impressive amounts of separation. The threat of him as a jet sweep player adds an element that Kevin Stefanski has shown he would love to have in his offense.
The size does cause concern but this is a pretty low-risk high reward move that is the icing on the cake of a successful offseason so far.
Overall Grade: B+
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