Congratulations! You've just made the wonderful decision to draft Tony Moeaki! Like most new Moeaki owners, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at Black Heart Gold Pants will try our best to answer any questions you might have.
We drafted Tony Moeaki. That's a good thing, right? It certainly is, just as long as you pay no attention to that giant honking IF: his injury status.
Yeah, what's the deal with all the injuries? First, a quick rundown: During the fourth game of his junior year of 2007, Moeaki simultaneously suffered a dislocated elbow and a broken wrist, injuries similar to what befell Andrew Bogut. The rehab kept him out of action for the rest of the season and spring ball, then in 2008 (his second try at a junior year), he broke his foot during spring practices. That nagged at him for the entire year, causing lingering leg problems and eventually requiring a second off-season surgery. Also, he suffered two concussions during '08.
Then, sure enough, Moeaki missed three games this season with another ankle injury, though the third missed game was Arkansas State; Moeaki probably would have played if it were a Big Ten opponent. He shined from then on, though, displaying his athleticism with two long-YACed touchdowns against Michigan and a gorgeous touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone at Wisconsin. Those are on this highlight reel, but mind the language in the music; I think we caught an effenheimer in there.
So should we expect more injuries? Eh, tough to say. None of his injuries were affecting him terribly by the end of the year, and the only thing on the list of injuries that would be terribly relevant going forward would probably be the concussions, and even then, Tony Mo's not that far out of the norm for the NFL these days (a fact that makes us cringe, but it is what it is, we suppose).
Fine. Let's say he stays healthy. What kind of player do we have? Hoo boy. We realize we're homers here, but there's a reason why Moeaki was so highly regarded coming out of high school. He is not only a superb athlete, but one of the better blocking TEs in the draft. There aren't really any holes in his game (except, of course, whether he can play or not). His routes are crisp, his top end speed is more than adequate, he seals the edge beautifully, and he's a nice guy off the field. If he'd been healthy the whole time, he would have A) graduated last year, and B) probably been drafted a lot higher than 93rd.
So is it fair to compare him to Tony Gonzalez, like we're already doing? Of course not. Tony Gonzalez is this generation's best tight end, and it's not even close. Gonzalez and Moeaki have the same first name, but still. What Moeaki does have is the physical talent to stick around in the NFL for a long time. If, of course, he stays healthy.
And what if he doesn't stay healthy? Well, you can't say nobody warned you.
Will Tony Moeaki be awesome? We'd better hope so, because after his time at Iowa, a successful NFL career would be proof that we do, in fact, live in a just universe.