Chicago Bears NFL Draft: The running back everyone is sleeping on

Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Jalin Moore
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Q&A with Jalin Moore

DaWindyCity (DWC): Good morning Jalin — thanks for taking the time to chat with us today.  We really appreciate it.

Jalin Moore (JM): No problem, no problem.

DWC: So what have you been doing to get ready for the NFL Draft?

JM: Right now I’m back at the school and I just finished up my Pro Day. So I’m just trying to keep my body in shape and stay ready with massages and therapy. Just doing some conditioning and drills to help take that next step, stay in shape and stay ready. Staying conditioned is the main priority right now. You know, there are a lot of meetings and going to different places and events so I’m just trying to stay active and keep my conditioning up.

DWC: Where are you with respect to your ankle? Do you feel you’re at 100 percent yet?

JM: Yes absolutely — real close.

DWC: What did you learn from the experience of rehabbing from the ankle injury?

JM: It strengthened me a lot mentally. When everything first happened that was my first time having an injury like that. It gave me a lot of time to myself. But every Saturday watching the team play was tough. It got me right mentally more than anything. Everything got built up and now I’m just ready to let it all go. I’ve been working for months and months and months. Early mornings, late nights. Not being able to go to the Senior Bowl or fully participate at the Combine was tough. There was a lot that went into it so I had to keep myself mentally strong and not let it phase me. I just had to take it day by day really.

DWC: Although you didn’t run the 40-yard dash at your Pro Day, I’ve read that you’ve previously run a 4.37. Is that about where you’re at when at 100 percent?

JM: Yes Sir. I’m right on that or not too far behind now, so I’m going to keep working on that. I’m shooting for better, so I’m just trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger.

DWC: Talk to me a little bit about your Pro Day. How did it go, and did you put out there what you wanted to for the scouts?

JM: Oh yeah, I feel like I did really good. A lot of people just wanted to see me move around and see how I recovered, so that was the main part — showing them I have been taking the rehab process seriously. Another thing they wanted to see was how I move and catch coming out of the backfield. It was just an extra chip on my shoulder. I had to go out there and ball and let it all out. So I just went out there and did what I knew I could do and what I’ve been training to do and it all came together.

DWC: You’ve talked about improving as a pass-catcher. Talk to me about what you’ve been doing to work on that and where do you feel you’re at with it now?

JM: I always work on that. But I knew that was a part of my game I needed to showcase since at App State we didn’t really throw the ball that much. So I knew they would throw a lot of routes at me at my Pro Day, so I was just making sure my routes were still sharp and still crisp. I’ve always been a good catcher, but our offense didn’t have a lot of that in it, so I was just playing my role. But I feel like I’m prepared to line up in different positions – slot, out wide, out of the backfield. I’m an all-down back so I can get that done.

DWC: What would you say are your best traits as a running back?

JM: Definitely pass pro. I’ve definitely worked on that a lot. Making people miss in the open field. I love getting to the second-level and making people miss. And when the opportunity presents itself, I love catching the ball out of the backfield. I know a lot of people didn’t see much of that but I feel like one of the best games to look at was the Penn State game. I was targeted the most in that game, which was the first game of the year. Unfortunately, the injury happened a few games later, but you can get a good idea of what I bring to the passing game just by watching that little bit of film.

DWC: What separates you from other running backs in this class?

JM: My balance. I feel like I have the best balance in this year’s class. There are a lot of really good backs in this class though. But I feel like my balance and my ability and willingness to stick my nose in a block and meet defenders at the line of scrimmage to create a bigger pocket for the quarterback.

DWC: I’ve seen your running style described as “blue collar.” How would you describe your running style?

JM: I would say I’m a balanced back. Everything is balanced and at different times, I can showcase different stuff. I’m also really aggressive with my pass blocking at the line of scrimmage.

DWC: Is there an aspect of your game that you think might be underrated a little bit?

JM: Yeah, catching out of the backfield and being able to create positive yards after the catch. Being able to catch the ball and make a person miss. So that’s one thing I feel might be underrated. Some coaches see it, but there isn’t a lot of film of me doing it so I can understand why a lot of people might be underrating that part of my game. But that’s what I tried to show at my Pro Day for people who didn’t see it.

DWC: What are some of your interests off the field?

JM: I make music and like to spend time with my family — especially spending time with my daughter. I’ve got a beautiful two-year-old daughter.

DWC: Did you get a chance to watch any Chicago Bears games last year?

JM: Yeah, I saw Tarik [Cohen] and how they used him. And Jordan Howard, who just got traded, but I was at Pete Bommarito’s (Bommarito’s Performance Systems) with him, so I chopped it up with him — we were talking. I was asking him about the league. My cousin Jonathan Bullard also plays for the Bears, so I always try to tap in and see what’s going on with them.

DWC: Based on what you saw, how do you think your game fits their offense?

JM: I like it. It’s something similar with the zone runs. I like how they’re straight downhill — stick your foot in the ground and get upfield a lot. I’m already used to that kind of running. And then I saw with Tarik how they got him one on one in the open field. I like what I see and definitely think I fit.

DWC: What do you want NFL general managers to know about you?

JM: They’re going to get everything out of me every day. It’ll be a blessing to be a part of any organization. It’s just a blessing to be on the field so I’m going to give my all to realize my dream of playing in the NFL and doing something I love. Everything I’ve been through is a part of the story and it’s going to keep on building.

DWC: Do you believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe this ankle injury will lead you to the team you’re supposed to be on?

JW: Yeah definitely. I was actually talking about this the other day with my mentor from high school. Everyone wants to go as a top pick, but God writes everyone’s story differently. So if it’s meant for me to go in a certain round because of my ankle then that’s what it is. And with the ankle injury, I have limited hits on my body so I’m fresh. Whatever position they put me in I’m going to roll with it. Whatever team I get on, it’s “go time.”

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DWC: Thanks so much for talking with us Jalin. I wish you the best of luck in the NFL Draft and wherever you end up.

JW: Thanks man I appreciate everything.