We all know Carolina Panthers wideout D.J. Moore possesses a ton of talent. We saw it first-hand on the field in 2018 as the rookie made leaping catches, quick cuts, and showcased his speed. I personally believe that he will be extremely successful in 2019. It’s one thing to take my opinion at face value. However, when Arizona Cardinals wideout and former Pittsburgh Panthers great Larry Fitzgerald says something, you have to take notice.
Fitzgerald in his own right has had a great career. Just last season at the age of 35, Fitzgerald caught 69 passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns. Averaging 10.6 yards per catch, a 37-yard grab was his longest of the season. Although those statistics may not be impressive, the fact that Fitzgerald is still balling at the age of 35 is impressive. In my humble opinion, he has been one of the most consistent wide receivers in the game year in and year out.
Moore certainly gave the Carolina Panthers and their fans a nice preview of what may be to come. He caught 55 passes for 788 yards and two touchdowns. He certainly made general manager Marty Hurney look good as drafting a wide receiver with a first-round pick is considered risky in most football circles. However, it was no secret that the Carolina Panthers needed a big-play weapon, and they got one.
The fact that Fitzgerald recognizes Moore could be a tremendous player and that he is in line for a big second year makes me very excited. It’s not too often that a surefire Hall of Famer offers such high praise like this. At the very least, maybe the rest of the league will begin to take notice. With all the successful rookies that entered the league in 2018, I feel like Moore flew under the radar a little bit. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It allowed him to get his feet under him in relative peace. However, now the league is beginning to take notice.
Fitzgerald’s comments certainly carry a lot of weight to them as the offseason continues. I’m very excited to see what Moore will be able to do in the preseason minicamps which are only a couple months away. Hopefully, he does not suffer a sophomore slump. With the departure of Devin Funchess, he and Curtis Samuel need to make a concerted effort to step up and be the impact playmakers for the offense.