Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Scouting reports of the defensive ends in the 2012 Draft.
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Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Postby Pudge » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:43 pm

North Carolina Junior
40: 4.70e


Has nice athleticism. Shows nice range and ability in pursuit. Plays with a good motor and will chase ballcarriers downfield. Shows ability at times to make the inside counter move against the offensive tackle who sets up too wide. Comfortable playing with his hand on or off the ground. Shows ability to get leverage when working against the tight end and set the edge.


Doesn't have a great first step to really beat most tackles off the edge. Doesn't have any pass rush moves and struggles to disengage from blocks. Tries to juke tackles off the edge and shoot gaps because he doesn't know how to use his hands. If he doesn't win with his first step, he's completely ineffective. Gets too easily knocked and jolted off his rush. Too effectively chipped by undersized backs when coming free off the edge. And has to gather himself to change direction and is more of a straight-line guy. Is not a sound tackler and is a drag-down guy that will duck his head. Struggles at the point of attack because he doesn't really know how to get leverage. Plays with poor recognition and struggles to maintain outside leverage against the run. Backs easily are able to bounce plays outside. Is a run and hit guy that lacks awareness and instincts when defending the run.


Paige-Moss was a highly rated recruit going to UNC, and got opportunities as a sophomore with Robert Quinn being suspended for the entire year. He flashed potnetial, but that potential did not show up as a junior. He played a backup to Coples, coming in on nickel situations and just was an ineffective and average pass rusher. He has the potential to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3, and his upside might be a bit higher in the former scheme. He tore his ACL in the bowl game, and surprisingly opted to come out. Probably because he read his press clippings where he was a highly-rated junior going into the season. He ranted on Twitter against his coaches, and seemingly quit on his team this year after losing his starting job before this season. Got suspended for the bowl game as a junior for getting into a fight, and also got intro trouble before his freshman year for punching a teammate.


(9/3) vs. James Madison: 0.5 stuffs
(9/10) vs. Rutgers: 1 stuff, 1 sack, 1 pressure
(10/22) at Clemson: 1 stuff, 1 key blocked; 1 penalty (offsides)
(11/17) at Virginia Tech: 1 stuff, 1 pressure, 1 PD, 1 key blocked
(12/26) vs. Missouri: no stats


2011: 13 GP/0 GS, 29 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, 0 INTs, 2 PDs, 0 FF, 0 FR
2010: 13/12-49-13.5-7.0-0-1-1-0; 1 blocked kick
2009: 8/0-5-2.0-2.0-0-0-0-0


I think there are serious red flags with Paige-Moss. While he is a talented player, his production as a junior made him look like a late round prospect at best. Had he come back for his senior year and really started to develop more as a pass rusher, he had the upside to be a second day draft pick. I think he's a player that even without the character concerns, a 3-4 team would need to draft him, sit him on the bench for the bulk of his first two or three years, and then hope that he develops. But in truth, that hasn't worked out a ton. The key with him for that to work, will be whether or not he can produce and perform early on special teams. He does have the talent to be a starter down the road, but I don't think he'll be a good enough pass rusher that will make a 3-4 team will commit to him. Despite his size, I don't think he's really physical enough to develop as a down lineman in a 4-3. If he can stick as a reserve on special teams, he can develop like he could have in school. But he's a player that could just as easily be out of the league in three years around the time when you expect him to start to develop. If he's a guy that isn't going to commit to playing on special teams, then he won't find much of a role in the pros. Even if he does develop, you're looking at a guy that is probably only a 3-5 sack guy, and just isn't an instinctual enough run defender to get extended playing time. He might work as a stopgap starter in the event of injury, but it's doubtful any team will truly try to plug him into the starting lineup for extended time.


Paige-Moss could be a body in camp, but he's not going to bring a lot to the table to think he'll make the Falcons roster as a defensive end or outside linebacker, even if the Falcons develop a hybrid scheme. He just isn't a better pass rusher than guys like Cliff Matthews or Stephen Nicholas. He might be able to push for a practice squad position with a strong summer, but because his upside is limited as a defensive end, he wouldn't be able to stick around for more than a year or two. He's mostly a camp body.


Without the character questions, he would at best be a seventh round pick that a team could take a flyer on as a developmental project. But with those, you would be reaching in the seventh round and just wait until he's available on the undrafted market.

1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite

Strength: 5.0
Quickness: 5.5
Pass Rush: 4.0
Point of Attack: 3.0
Recognition: 2.0
Motor: 5.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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