The San Francisco 49ers haven’t followed Phil Dawson’s lead and announced they have a new placekicker yet. But they made public a different free agency acquisition, that of wide receiver Marlon Moore. What was the team’s explanation for signing Moore, you ask? (Just go with me here, even know I’m well aware you most certainly did not ask.):
Moore (6-0, 190) originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2010. In three seasons with the Dolphins, he has played in 29 games (two starts) and tallied 12 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns.
A 25–year-old native of Sacramento, CA, Moore starred collegiately at Fresno State. He finished his career as a Bulldog with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Those aren’t really reasons … instead, the team’s release is more like an underwhelming pro football resume. He’s local, but that’s about it. So what makes him interesting?
1. He was clocked at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash. Even if you don’t think it means anything, admit it, you still look at 40 times. Everyone does. It’s why John Harbaugh did this after watching Manti Te’0:
4.49 doesn’t mean Moore is a track star, but anything under 4.5 is more than respectable.
2. In not much playing time, Moore has a couple touchdowns. What’s more impressive he averages 20.3 yards per catch. Only 12 receptions, but beggars can’t be choosers. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore also dropped two passes in 2012 and three in 2010, the two years where he has had had the bulk of his snaps.
3. Moore caught a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams last year, something the 49ers probably noticed during film study. On this play he runs right by Janoris Jenkins down the left sideline, and safety Craig Dahl was either too late in coming over to help or was a victim of Jenkins completely blowing his assignment. Or both.
Yes, I’m referring to that Craig Dahl. Maybe the 49ers noticed this play when scouting the Rams, or even Dahl specifically.
4. In his conference call with the media, Moore talked about wanting to compete for a job, not just be handed one (he probably has to say that, since the Dolphins didn’t tender him a contract). He also mentioned how he has punt returning experience from his days at Fresno State, and how in the NFL he has been utilized in kickoff coverage and special teams was where he was going to try to make a name for himself with the 49ers. He made five special teams tackles in 2012 according to PFF, and missed three tackles.