After a rookie season in which he played just 59 defensive snaps, the Redskins want to get Fabian Moreau more offseason work with a potential increased role looming.
Shortly after a successful NFL Scouting Combine performance last year, UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau positioned himself to be one of the top defensive backs selected in the 2017 draft.
From a physical standpoint, Moreau checked off all the boxes for a potential game-changing cornerback. He ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash – the second fastest time amongst corners – and the best broad jump number at the positon group at 11-feet, four-inches.
While Moreau was riding high off the Combine, the 23-year-old's stock dropped due to a torn pectoral suffered at his pro day just days after being in Indianapolis. Moreau eventually fell to the third round of the draft before the Redskins selected him with the No. 81-overall pick.
With the Redskins already having Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland manning the outside cornerback roles, it afford Moreau time to rehab his torn pec before serving in a reserve role during his rookie season.
Although he wasn't fully cleared to fully participate in football drills until late in training camp, Moreau eventually took on a key special teams role with spot appearances on defense.
In total, Moreau played just 59 defensive reps, recording 14 tackles and one pass defensed. However, the six-foot, 198 pounder could be in line for a significant increase in playing time for the upcoming season, especially if Breeland departs in free agency.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noted last week while at this year's NFL Scouting Combine that he wants to keep Moreau on the outside even though he played some in the nickel corner role in 2017.
"I'd like to keep Moreau outside for the time being because I think that's where his strength is, but if we have to put him in there and get some work in OTAs, we'll do that and take a look at him there," Gruden said. "But he's got a great skill set to do whatever you want him to do. He's physical and can run really, really fast, so I'm excited to see him with more opportunity and more reps."
On Friday, April 28, 2017, the Washington Redskins selected cornerback Fabian Moreau with the 81st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In December, Gruden was asked if he viewed Moreau as a potential long-term starter for Washington.
"I think next year in the offseason and training camp is going to be a great test for him, but I think he's got the chance to be a true lockdown corner for us," Gruden said. "He's physical. He can run. He's done great on special teams as a flyer, but like you said, he hasn't gotten the opportunity because of Bree and Dunny [Quinton Dunbar] and Josh. His opportunity will come and it will come soon."
During his last extensive game action at cornerback as a senior at UCLA, Moreau recorded 32 tackles with a team-high 10 passes defensed and one forced fumble.
His presence contributed to the Bruins allowing a Pac-12-low 12 passing touchdowns.
He was named an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection by the coaches.