ARLINGTON, Texas. – Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday night. Moore was the first wide receiver drafted at No. 24 overall.
“I’m thrilled to be a Carolina Panther,” said Moore. “When that phone rang and I knew I was being selected, it was a special moment for me and my family. So much hard work and sacrifice from so many went into this becoming a reality. I want to thank God, my family, especially my mom, my coaches and teammates for helping me along this journey. I’m going to enjoy this moment, but can’t wait to get to Carolina to start preparing for the season.”
With Moore’s selection, Maryland has now had a player selected in 22 of the last 24 NFL Drafts. Moore is the 16th player all-time from Maryland selected in the first round and first since fellow wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was picked seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2009.
“The Panthers are getting a special player and person,” said Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited for DJ and his family. I’ve seen firsthand how much hard work he’s put into becoming a great player and teammate. We’re thrilled to have him representing the Terps on Sunday’s.”
Moore, who was named the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year, led the conference with a single-season Maryland record 80 receptions during his junior season. The Philadelphia native was one of just three receivers in the FBS to post at least 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
A 2017 First Team All-Big Ten selection, Moore ranked seventh nationally in total receptions and ended his Maryland career with 146 career catches, a mark that ranks fifth in Maryland history. His 2,027 career receiving yards makes him just the fifth Terp to eclipse the 2,000 career receiving yards plateau. Moore’s eight touchdowns this past season ranks tied for fourth in Maryland’s single-season history and he also ended his Terp career fourth all-time with 17 career touchdown catches.
Maryland has had an outstanding string of pass catchers in the professional ranks over the last 15 years. Prior to Moore, Stefon Diggs was the last Terp wide receiver taken in the draft. He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 and was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team that year.
Vernon Davis was drafted sixth overall in 2006 and has played in 178 games while posting 544 receptions, 7,010 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns. Heyward-Bey completed his ninth NFL season in 2017 and Torrey Smith, who was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft, has won a pair of Super Bowls. The NFL Draft continues on Friday with the second and third rounds. The draft concludes on Saturday with the final four rounds.
What They are Saying...
"He has a catch radius, he can extend those hands. He has length and can track the ball over his shoulder very effectively. He played in bad weather conditions and still was able to be very consistent catching the football. And after the catch, he not only has speed, he has tackle breaking ability. He's a strong, tough runner. And as an added bonus, he has return skills."
--Mel Kiper, NFL Draft Analyst
"He's strong. Has elite speed. Runs great routes and is instinctive. He can read coverage well on movement. This is a great fit."
--Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College GameDay
"The Panthers haven't been able to replace me, until today... DJ Moore will be a Panther for a long, long time."
--Steve Smith, Panthers all-time leading receiver and NFL Network analyst
– Maryland –