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Terps WR D.J. Moore holds center stage at pro day

Maryland receiver D.J. Moore standing with his mother Cookie Ridley after his pro day. (Photo, Stephen Pimpo Jr./ABC7)

Wide receiver D.J. Moore was the main attraction for NFL scouts and coaches at the University of Maryland’s pro day.

In a wide receiver class full of uncertainty, the 6-foot, 215-pound Moore might just be the best of the bunch.

“[NFL scouts] tell me I’m a great player and [that] my ceiling is so high,” Moore says.

The hype for the All-Big Ten pass catcher continues to grow after a career where brutal quarterback luck (four starters in one season, eight quarterbacks over three seasons) and minimal team success (13-24 over three years) prevented his 80-catch, 1033-yard, eight-touchdown 2017 season from getting more attention. But a stellar week at the NFL Scouting Combine catapulted him up draft boards.

And his stock is still on the rise.

“Redskins [fans] have started [tweeting at me] since I seen that 13th pick,” Moore said in reference to a recent mock draft by NFL.com’s Chad Reuter that had Moore going to Washington at 13th overall.

A reliable receiver with speed, run-after-catch ability and a knack for creating separation, Moore has been compared to Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate, fellow Terp Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry and Dez Bryant.

When the draft process started he was widely viewed by many evaluators as a second or third-round pick. But the physical display he put on at the NFL Scouting Combine had legendary NFL talent evaluator Gil Brandt and others touting the Terrapin as possibly the best receiver in the draft.

Moore ran a blazing 4.42-second 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 39 inches (second best of any receiver at the Combine) and broad jumped 11 feet.

His Combine numbers were so good that all he did at his pro day was catch passes (of which, he did not drop any) and display his improved route running.

“It just showed that I got quicker out of my breaks,” Moore said of his performance.

And the moment does not seem too big for Moore, who answered nearly every question about his rising draft stock with an infectious smile.

“On the inside it feels great, but on the outside you still gotta be humble and work hard on and off the field just to get better at your craft,” he told reporters.

That attitude and Moore’s overall character is another factor endearing him to NFL teams, with coaches like Maryland’s own D.J. Durkin praising him for the presence he brings to a locker room.

“He’s been like that the majority of his life, just humble,” said his mother Cookie Ridley, who was their at the pro day wearing her son’s jersey.

Moore told reporters he has visits scheduled with the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots in the coming weeks. He added that he probably will not sleep the night before the NFL Draft on April 26. But no matter what happens that night, Ridley says her son will do what he has always done.

“You’ll still see that same smile that you always see,” she said.

Her reaction on the other hand?

“He’ll just have his smile on," Ridley said with a smile of her own. "I’ll be excited.”

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