Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 NFL Draft: Arthur Moats

Arthur Moats has been a pleasant surprise for the Buffalo Bills as a sixth-round draft pick. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot

Buffalo Bills Draft’s sixth installment of “Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 NFL Draft” takes a look at Arthur Moats.

Round 6, Pick 178 : Arthur Moats, DE/LB, James Madison

Buffalo addressed the defensive side of the ball again in Round 6 of the 2010 NFL draft when they selected Arthur Moats. Moats played in the FCS at James Madison University. He was awarded the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS, in his senior season. Moats received 15 first place votes and had a total of 342 points. It was the largest winning margin in the history of the Buchanan Award at the time.

“It’s really exciting. It’s the top honor you could win, as far as a defensive player individually,” Moats told WHSV after winning the award. “And I just feel I’m solidified now in history.”

Buffalo hoped they had found a diamond in the rough at linebacker for their 3-4 defense.

Moats’ NFL.com draft profile said the following:

 Moats was a productive two-year starter for the James Madison defense. He is a short, compact defensive end who will have to project to outside linebacker at the next level. Moats is a high-motor defender who brings leadership and toughness to a club. He utilizes strong hands and long arms to control defenders and set the edge. He runs well and flashes range in pursuit but can be inconsistent with angles to leverage the ball. Moats is an instinctive pass rusher who shows a variety of moves and counters to beat less athletic blockers. He has enough athleticism to be effective in zone coverage but lacks lateral agility and burst in man coverage schemes. Moats was extremely active in his role with the James Madison defense, but transitioning to a stand-up position in the NFL will be a challenge.

Collegiate Career (Information from JMUSports.com)

Moats played in every game for James Madison as a freshman in 2006. He finished the season with 18 tackles (11 solo) and one fumble recovery.

Moats played in a defensive end rotation in 2007. He started five games during the season and he increased his tackle total to 45 (26 solo) and a fumble recovery. He also registered 6.5 sacks during his sophomore season, which tied him for the team lead and was eighth-best in the Coastal Athletic Association.

When his junior season rolled around, Moats was a full-time starter and his sack total nearly doubled from the previous season. Moats registered 65 total tackles (25 solo), a pass breakup and 11.5 sacks, the second-highest sack total in James Madison school history. Moats registered a total of 15.5 tackles for loss. For his efforts, he was named third-team all-CAA and was a second-team all-Virginia selection by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association.

In 2009, his senior season, Moats was named as one of James Madison’s captains. During his final collegiate season, Moats’ tackle total rose to 90 (42 solo). He registered another pass breakup and fumble recovery as well. Moats almost matched his sack total from his junior season, falling just one-half back with 11 on the season. While Moats did not set a new sack record at James Madison, he did set a record with 23.5 tackles for loss. He was the Colonial Athletic Association’s Defensive Player of the Year and was named first-team all-CAA.

What the Draft Analysts Said Following the 2010 NFL Draft

Mel Kiper of ESPN approved (Insider Subscription Needed) of the Moats pick and kept his feelings short and sweet:

I do like the late addition of Arthur Moats.

Jon Dove graded picks from the 2010 draft’s third day for CBSSports.com. Dove praised the move and gave Buffalo a B+:

 The Bills get a nice fit for their new 3-4 scheme. Moats is a great pass rusher.

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Tags: 2010 NFL Draft, Arthur Moats, Draft Grades, James Madison

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