A self-described physical cornerback, Fabian Moreau is ready to mix it up with some of the NFL's best receivers once he returns from an injury he suffered at his pro day in March.
In the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins were able to land an "ultra-talented" cornerback in UCLA's Fabian Moreau.
From a skill standpoint, Moreau was considered by some draft analysts a first-round talent, but he suffered a torn pectoral during his pro day in March.
Although the injury concerned some teams when looking to draft the six-foot, 206 pounder, the Redskins believe he'll be a playmaker once he's fully healthy again, perhaps as early as September.
"Unfortunately, he hurt his pec at his pro day lifting weights," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "But, he ran a 4.38 [and] 4.35 at the 40 [yard dash] at the Combine. [He's] just really talented. He's an ex-running back. What I saw at the East-West Shrine Game with him in one-on-ones, you could see his change of direction, his ball skills. But speed, I think upside, are the keys to Fabian and we're excited to get him."
A three-star recruit as a running back coming out of high school, Moreau made the switch to the defensive side of the football as he began his college career.
In 51 career games for the Bruins, Moreau recorded 148 tackles with 26 passes defensed and three interceptions.
As a senior in 2016, Moreau started 12 games and recorded 31 tackles along with personal bests in passes defensed (12) and interceptions (two).
While his pec tear will prevent him from getting on the field immediately, once he's out there he'll help a secondary that will face the likes of Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr., not only this year but well beyond.
On Friday, April 28, 2017, the Washington Redskins selected cornerback Fabian Moreau with the 81st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
"He's good at bump-and-run," Gruden said. "I still think he's growing. You know, he's only been playing, like I said, for three years, very similar to what we're going through with [Quinton] Dunbar right here. We got another guy that can really run on the outside, you know, to go with obviously [Josh] Norman and [Bashaud] Breeland and Kendall [Fuller]. You can never have too many guys that are physical and can run. We play obviously a very tough division with Dez Bryant, now we have Alshon Jeffrey and obviously Brandon Marshall and Beckham, so the more guys that can run, cover and hit, the better."
Moreau says he has no issue mixing it up with receivers, either.
"I'm a physical, press corner," Moreau said. "I like to get in the receiver's face. I like to challenge them. I like to make plays, and just be that dog out there helping my team win."
Moreau visited Washington at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., during his pre-draft process.
Now a member of the Redskins, Moreau said being an NFL player is "everything to me," and he won't disappoint those who decided to draft him with the No. 81-overall pick.
"I've been wanting this my whole life," Moreau said. "I'm just ready to contribute, ready to win and ready to be a Redskin."