The Denver Broncos traded back into the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft to select Iowa cornerback Riley Moss with their 83rd overall selection. Moss is a 6’1”, 193-pound cornerback with elite instincts and ball skills who will add some much-needed depth to the Broncos' secondary.
Riley Moss played a total of five seasons at Iowa and was a productive player for their defense. During those five years, Moss played a total of 43 games and totaled 158 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions, 3 defensive touchdowns, 26 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. This past season, he totaled 47 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 interception, 11 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.
#Broncos fans, Riley Moss is a versatile DB with ELITE BALL SKILLS!!— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) April 29, 2023
"I’m extremely athletic and I think that’s played a big role in my ball production. I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time."@R_moss5 x @TheDraftNetwork https://t.co/AjLNAuaYt5
Now he joins a Broncos cornerback room that has All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain II, second-year cornerback Damarri Mathis, and veteran slot corner, K’Waun Williams set as your starters. Moss will add some much-needed depth to this unit while also pushing for playing time and contributing to special teams during his rookie year.
Height: 6’1 | Weight: 192 pounds
Arm Length: 30 inches | Hand size: 9 1⁄2 inches
40-time: 4.45 seconds
Vertical Jump: 39 inches | Broad Jump: 10 foot 7 inches
Age: 23 years old | Experience: Rookie
Broncos cornerback Riley Moss’s 2023 outlook
Heading into training camp, Moss will be pushing to be the team's fourth cornerback behind the starting three while also contributing to special teams. Anything more will depend on how well he performs this summer during training camp and preseason and of course the health of the corners ahead of him on the depth chart.
After the conclusion of day two of the draft, Broncos head coach Sean Payton had some high praise for Moss. He told reporters that Moss is a prototype at corner and that loved his make-up after spending a lot of time on him during the pre-draft process.
I don’t know how much film we watched, but we picked and tugged and hosed down and looked at every tape. He was in [for a Top-30 visit]. All the numbers, prototype—we loved the make-up. We spent as much time on this player because this was one of these players that we felt like in the very beginning was going to be one of these decisions.
Broncos General Manager George Payton echoed Payton’s thoughts about Moss’s make-up and continued to say that he “aced” the offseason.
“We had him in here on a visit. We loved the makeup. He aced the offseason, the Senior Bowl and the combine, and then we brought him in on a visit. The coaches met with him. They Zoomed, and we spent a lot a lot of time with this player. We feel really good about the trade.”
When you’re in a division that has Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert and in the quarterback-heavy AFC, you are going to need as many talented cornerbacks as you can get. So, I think we will see Moss play on defense a good bit this year, and hopefully, play well for the Broncos.
Veteran cornerback K’Waun Williams has also never played a full season during his career, and is coming off a season where he missed three games for the Broncos. So, it is safe to assume that the soon-to-be 32-year-old corner will miss at least a few games this upcoming season, so Moss will be counted on.
Moss will get a lot of attention because he is a white cornerback, but his talent and ball skills should not be overlooked. I am excited to see how he looks and I think he could be a solid contributor for the Broncos defense this upcoming season.
One concern I do have is that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph typically runs a man-heavy defense while Moss projects better as a zone corner. So, it will be interesting to see how that works out or if Joseph will change up his defense a bit.
At the end of the day, I am excited to see what Moss can do for the Broncos this upcoming season. He is a talented player who will hopefully be a key contributor to their defense this season.