Some football prospects step into less than ideal situations upon hearing their name called in the NFL Draft. Maybe their new team is in re-building mode or there's not that franchise quarterback to build around.
That's not the case in Green Bay, where a window to the Super Bowl is open as long as Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews are in the prime of their careers, and Virginia offensive lineman Morgan Moses knows it.
"What can I say? They got some great players out there," said Moses at the NFL Combine. "Who wouldn't love to block for Aaron Rodgers? I've met with them, and I had a great meeting with them."
Moses met with the Packers during the Senior Bowl, where general manager Ted Thompson and his team of personnel assistants were busy scouting this year's NFL draft class.
The viewpoint expressed by Moses was not unlike that of running back Eddie Lacy a year ago. Before even being drafted by Green Bay, Lacy could see the advantages of playing in a system where the key pieces were already in place.
"I feel as though (defenses) wouldn't just be able to spread the field out, because they would actually defend the run as well," said Lacy in February of 2013. "If Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback, you're not going to put nine guys in the box, so it kind of balances out."
Lacy ended up being able to experience those advantages first-hand after being taken by the Packers in the second round and becoming the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year by rushing for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Moses, should he follow a similar path, would have the luxury of blocking for Rodgers and Lacy too. The Virginia product is considered by some to be a fringe first-round prospect, however, and as such, is difficult to project as being drafted by the Packers.
With their first-round pick in May's upcoming NFL Draft, the Packers may consider the 21st overall selection to be too high to select a player of Moses' caliber. But on the other hand, if they wait until the 53rd overall selection in the second round, he might already be off the board.
NFL Network Draft analyst Mike Mayock feels as if Moses will be taken somewhere between the 35th to 40th picks, a range falling between the Packers' first two selections.
"He's got some finish; he's got some toughness," said Mayock. "His feet were better than I thought they were going to be. I think he's a starting right tackle in the NFL, but because he's so big and so long, I think there's some teams that will give him a chance at left tackle."
The situation at offensive tackle is a curious one in Green Bay. Head coach Mike McCarthy recently acknowledged the team would be leaving David Bakhtiari at left tackle, where he played his rookie season, and would be returning Bryan Bulaga to right tackle, where he played the first three seasons of his career.
If the Packers feel uncomfortable with Bulaga entering the final season of his contract year or don't like the way Derek Sherrod is recovering from a broken leg suffered in 2011, tackle might be an underrated area of need for the team entering the 2014 season.
As far as Moses is concerned, he played right tackle the majority of his career at Virginia before starting all 12 games his senior season at left tackle. He currently checks in at 6' 6" and 314 lbs.
"The question is going around: left or right?" said Moses. "My ability to play left, right guard and right tackle has definitely helped me out a lot. But I'm going into this process thinking that I'm a left tackle."
In total, Moses stayed largely healthy throughout his college career, starting 43 out of 48 games played. But injury concerns have started to crop up since his days at Virginia ended.
Although it didn't prevent him from playing in the game, Moses experienced a pectoral muscle issue at the Senior Bowl that did prevent him from doing the bench press at both the NFL Combine and his pro day workout.
And according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, Moses also pulled his hamstring while running the 40-yard dash at his pro day.
Despite enduring losing seasons in three out of four years at Virginia, Moses can boast of helping Cavaliers running back Kevin Parks becoming the team's first 1,000 rusher in a season since 2004.
It's Moses' ability to help out in every phase of the game that is making him a valuable commodity.
"(My) biggest strength as a football player, I would have to say flexibility to play multiple positions," said Moses. "But I'm a big body, athletic, I can get out in space. I can dominate in the pass game and the run game. Just being a leader as well, being able to bring players along and help them rise their expectations on the football field."
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
Photo: Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses by Brian Carriveau.
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