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New England Patriots 2017 roster breakdown: #42 SS Kenny Moore II

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Will Moore be the latest undrafted rookie defensive back to have an impact in New England?

With opening day still three months away and the mandatory portion of the initial wave of offseason workouts over, we have entered the more quiet parts of the NFL offseason. However, while the football world seemingly turns slower these days it does not stop.

During workouts and studying sessions, players still have a chance to lay the foundation for their spots on the team. Over the course of the next few months, we will take a look at the men fighting for them on the 2017 New England Patriots. 53 of currently 90 players will be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.

Today, we’ll continue the series with one of the Patriots’ undrafted defensive backs.

Name: Kenny Moore II

Position: Strong safety / Cornerback

Jersey number: 42

Opening day age: 22

Experience: Rookie

Size: 5’9, 180 lbs.

2016 review: Kenny Moore II’s senior season at Division II’s Valdosta State University was the best of his four-year collegiate career. As one of the Blazer’s versatile defensive backs, he appeared in all 11 of his team’s games and finished the season named All-American first team as voted by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

Moore, who only started playing organized football during his senior year at high school, finished the 2016 campaign by setting or tying career highs at almost every major statistical category: He finished the season with 65 tackles – 6.5 of which for loss of yardage –, had five interceptions and eight pass-breakups while also adding a sack.

But despite his productive season and outstanding pro day numbers that would have ranked him in the top for safeties in the 40-yard dash (4.47), 6.86 in the 3-cone drill (6.86), 60-yard shuttle (11.51), broad jump (10’6"), and vertical (40.5"), the small-school product went unselected on draft day.

2017 preview: Following the draft, the Patriots signed seven undrafted defensive backs; among them Kenny Moore II. Not only does the soon-to-be 22-year old face competition from his fellow rookies in order to earn a spot on New England’s roster or practice squad, he also has to beat out returning veterans at the two positions he is best suited to play: strong safety and slot cornerback.

Moore has the athletic abilities to do that. The question, however, is how his play will transition to the NFL considering that he has played against lesser competition throughout his collegiate career. If he is still able to continue his growth as a defensive back, though, he might be able to earn a spot on the Patriots' payroll – particularly because of his athletic upside.

And while Moore faces an uphill battle to beat out players like Jordan Richards or Cyrus Jones for a depth role at defensive back, he appears to be a prime candidate to earn a spot on New England's practice squad. After all, he offers versatility and an intriguing skill-set to work with. A year behind the scenes might therefore benefit him.