Ahh defensive backs. Corners, safeties, linebacker safety hybrids… some of the most entertaining guys on the field. The highlight plays of a safety jumping on a deep route, picking it off and heading back in the other direction are right up there with my favourite plays to watch. It’s beautiful, every single time. As we head into this years draft, there’s a few first round corners, but only one safety who could have his name called on day one. Time to take a look at Trevon Moehrig.
Before we start – you pronounce it ‘Meh-rig’ (y) You’re welcome!
So Trevon Moehrig, or as he’s also known, Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, has played football in his home city since his whole life so far. Born in the district of Spring Branch, Texas, he played high school football at Smithson Valley High School. Moehrig played corner and running back in college, and was recruited as one of the up and coming corners in the class of 2018. Also worth noting, he ran track in high school too, which often means these guys can run with the best of them.
He was ranked the 4th overall corner in the state of Texas, and the 19th in the country. Offers came in from major schools across the country, such as Baylor, Georgia, Ole Miss & Texas A&M, so the four star recruit had a few options at his disposal when it came to making a commitment. As it turned out, Moehrig chose his local school, and committed to Texas Christian University, better known as TCU. This was a huge commitment for TCU, beating out some of the bigger schools to land Moehrig, and it certainly worked out exactly as they’d hoped…
When he arrived at TCU and joined up with the team, Moehrig transitioned into a safety role. He got the opportunity to start twice in his freshman season, against two big opponents in Oklahoma and Baylor. In his very first start Moehrig totalled 7 tackles against the Sooners, and then added an interception when they faced Baylor in his second start. He did however make the majority of his contributions on special teams that year, and was voted Special Teams MVP for the season.
In 2019 and 2020, he took off. Moehrig became a commander in the secondary. Part of a very talented group. Jeff Gladney was drafted in the first round in 2020 by the Minnesota Vikings, and Moehrigs’ safety team mate, Ar’Darius Washington, is also going to hear his name called in this years draft. But Trevon is the stand out. He’s going to be the first safety off the board, and his stock has been rising over the last few weeks as teams realise his potential at the next level.
Moehrigs’ sophomore season in 2019 led him into a starting role. He transitioned from special teams, and a contributor, to a full time free safety. He allowed two catches all season while playing in coverage and contesting, while fetching 4 interceptions and 11 pass break ups. His tackling contribution (62), was second on the team, and two of those resulted in forced fumbles. On top of that, a fumble recovery against Texas Tech with the game at 33-31 closed out the win. What’s great to see is his track days on display when he gets the ball in his hands. One of his interceptions he took back 58 yards, which is something not all safeties have the legs or athleticism for, so the athlete in Moehrig is something NFL teams are certainly going to be keen on.
Moehrig was graded the highest safety by Pro Football Focus in 2019, and recorded the third best season for a safety in the PFF college football era. He was also named in the first team all Big-12, a roster that recognises the best players at each position in TCU’s division.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Trevon Moehrig was graded the best returning safety in the country, and naturally, lived up to it, as here we find ourselves talking about him as the best safety available in this years draft. While he might have recorded only two picks, he still managed 9 pass deflections, and 47 tackles. His performance and command of the defence earned him the Jim Thorpe award in 2020, which is awarded to the nations top defensive back. An honor previously awarded to the likes of Eric Berry, Patrick Peterson, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. He was also recognised as a first ream All-American by ESPN that same season.
His run defence does need to improve a little, but he recognises a play and accelerates to the ball very well. You can see in his game that he can put a foot in the ground and burst to the action. When you then consider his ball skills, tracking and coverage, he’s got many a highlight in him at the next level.
He’s a bigger safety, listed at 6″2 208 pounds, and will fit nicely as a starting free safety in the NFL. He reminds me of a Justin Simmons type player, who can command the deep end of the field with his speed and athleticism. Ideally he’ll play single high safety, add coverage support, and sweep sideline to sideline down the field, as opposed to spending too much time coming down hill or playing in the box. He’s the type of safety to appear out of nowhere 20+ yards downfield and take the ball out of the air. You’ll need to be careful throwing deep when he’s around.
There’s a good chance you hear his name called on day one. If not, he’ll be a steal in the early to mid second round. If he goes on day one he’ll be a luxury pick for a playoff team in the 20s. He’s a perfect fit for the Titans, who are rebuilding their secondary after clearing house this off season. They pick at 22, and we could easily see him land there. If not, the Ravens are a dark horse to pick him, as are the Minnesota Vikings.
To be most successful you’ll want to pair him with a box safety type, so that Moehrig can be left to play single high in cover 1, cover 3 scenarios. I like his size, length, athleticism and big play ability on the back end, and I’d feel comfortable letting my second safety roam around in the box, knowing I have a great deep coverage guy on the back end.
If he’s still available on day two, it’s a free for all. He’ll only drop so far before a team see’s him on the board and goes all in. He could be an early second round selection for somebody like Carolina or Jacksonville.