COVERING ALL THINGS SILVER AND BLACK

Can Denarius Moore be This Season's Raiders Surprise?

Fifth-round draft choice from Tennessee has been one of the stars of training camp so far.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Denarius Moore of the Oakland Raiders catches a pass over DeMarcus Van Dyke during practice at the Oakland Raiders training facility on Aug. 5, 2011 in Napa.

    Is Denarius Moore this season’s Jacoby Ford?

    Last year, Ford, a fourth-round draft choice, gave the Raiders an electric jolt, scoring seven touchdowns as a receiver and returner. This year, Moore – an unheralded fifth-round pick from Tennessee – is drawing similar raves, just days into camp.

    The Bay Area News Group’s Jerry McDonald says Moore has been “a daily revelation.”

    He’s been so good catching practice passes, in fact, that when he didn’t look amazing it was worth a tweet from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vittorio Tafur Monday: “Denarius Moore is human, has not looked good returning punts.”

    But as a receiver, Moore has been catching almost everything thrown his way – a surprise considering the knock on him in college was he had “inconsistent hands.”

    Last week, when the Chronicle reported Moore dominated starting corner Stanford Routt in one practice, Raiders coach Hue Jackson was effusive with his praise.

    “Wow! He’s a tremendous player,” Jackson told the Chronicle. “I mean, when you look around, every time you look up, there’s No. 17 making a play.”

    Still, Moore, who signed a $2.2 million, four-year deal, has yet to play a game. Though his numbers were good his senior year for the Vols – 47 catches, 981 yards, nine TDs – College Football News cited Moore’s tendency to “disappear” in some games.

    With the receiving corps thinned by injuries, Moore should get plenty of chances to prove what he can do, starting Thursday night vs. Arizona.