Cornerback Kenny Moore II is the definition of a trailblazer. He has blazed a trail for many unknown talents who desire to, not only make a NFL team, but be effective. After testing through the NFL Regional Combine, Moore II’s journey has finally paid off as he signed a four-year extension with the Indianapolis Colts.
According to reports, Moore II will make $30 million, however, the maximum value can be more than $36 million. The Division II great from Valdosta State is the latest RC pioneer since Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who also was a Division II standout, to sign a mega deal.
“Kenny personifies the characteristics that we look for in a Colt with his leadership, tenacity and work ethic,” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard, according to Colts.com. “We are happy for Kenny and his family. He has done the right things and deserves this. We also appreciate the hard work by Buddy Baker and his team in getting this deal done.”
Moore II had a stellar career at Valdosta State, where he was a First-Team All-American. He played in 46 games during his four-year collegiate career, where he amassed 171 tackles, including two sacks, a forced fumble, 11 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 30 passes defensed.
Moore II did not stop there.
The 5-9, 180-pound defensive back attended the 2017 New Orleans-held NFL Regional Combine, and there, he was flat out brilliant. So, brilliant that the New England Patriots signed Moore II shortly after the 2017 NFL Draft. Despite showcasing potential in the NFL, the Patriots waived Moore II during the final cuts for the 53-man roster.
Then, the Colts claimed Moore II, and history is continuing to be made.
“He (Moore II) is a mighty guy and he’s really good. He’s great energy. He can do multiple things, which is great,” stated Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. “But the most important thing he possesses is his attitude. In terms of his character and his attitude — that’s what he possesses and, man, that’s infectious. When you talk about a guy that you want to stand there and say, ‘Hey, this is what we are looking for in terms of attitude, character and the way in which we want our guys to play,’ you can point to that.”
During his rookie campaign, Moore II performed in all 16 games, but finished the last five contests as a starter. Following a strong showing in 2017, Moore II became a full-time starter and served notice, especially in the game against the Buffalo Bills in Week Seven when he laid running back LeSean McCoy on his back, causing him to miss the rest of the game.
Moore II compiled 76 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed and a forced fumble. And it carried over into the playoffs where he terrorized Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson for a huge sack, interception and tremendous pressure and sacked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the league’s MVP, twice.
The Colts have the best secondary in the NFL – they are physical, fast, smart, discipline and sound tacklers.
Moore II was the second effective player from the NFL Regional Combine stage that the Patriots had in their camp, initially, and waived to eventually find success somewhere else.
The Patriots drafted linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill in the sixth round (208th-overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, but waived him during the 53-man roster cuts, and the Philadelphia Eagles claimed him. Grugier-Hill is one of the Eagles’ defensive captains and went on the defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Knowing and respecting the Patriots’ greatness, the Colts will have to go through the reigning Super Bowl champions, and having Moore locked in for the next four seasons, another RC pioneer may haunt them.