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Derrick Moore’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2022

The next great Michigan edge?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Championship-Iowa vs Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines have quite the reputation for elite defensive end play, and it has made recruiting the position pretty easy in the Jim Harbaugh era. In the 2022 class, the Wolverines secured three top-100 guys according to the 247Sports composite rankings. One of them is the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Derrick Moore.

The story so far

Moore was heavily recruited out of St. Francis Academy in Baltimore. Harbaugh has made an emphasis on recruiting the area, and it paid off as the Wolverines earned the four-star and No. 49 overall player in the class’ commitment in early January. They beat the likes of Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Florida and several other blue blood programs.

One of the biggest things that pops for Moore is his speed and athleticism. Scouts have adored his ability to get to the quarterback quickly or chase down running backs. However, he needs to continue to add strength to his frame to truly become an elite edge rusher, and he must add more to his repertoire in pass-rushing moves.

There is a reason he had 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss his senior season. Harbaugh and his staff hope Moore can have that sort of production at the next level. Early indication is he could do just that. In the 2021 Under Armour All-American Game, he was named the MVP after recording two sacks.

This is the exact kind of prospect Michigan loves to bring in. There is a very real possibility Moore can be the next in line of guys like Kwity Paye and David Ojabo off the edge. He certainly has the capability to play on either the strong side or the weak side in a three-tech if they decide to have him bulk up.

Outlook for 2022

Michigan has a really crowded edge room again in 2022. At best, Moore is going to be fifth on the depth chart to start the year behind Taylor Upshaw, Mike Morris, Jaylen Harrell and Braiden McGregor. This means we likely won’t see much of him on the field this season.

I would like to see him get in a few blowout games; put him on the field, see what he can do and get him some early experience. I remember watching Aidan Hutchinson early on and knowing he was going to be a really good player for this program (maybe not to the Heisman level he wound up being).

That early experience could be really important for Moore and the future of this room. After the 2022 season, there is a legitimate chance for Moore to crack the starting lineup in competition with McGregor and Harrell. Expect to see him on the field occasionally this season and maybe earn a chance for some more looks as he continues developing into his body and skillset.