Washington football has multiple first round picks in ther defensive backfield, but today we’re highlighting an Oregon Duck legacy, who chose to play in purple and gold, and looks amazing doing it
Washington football has placed some excellent defensive backs in the NFL over the last few seasons. We can look at Budda Baker, Kevin King, Byron Murphy, the list goes on and on… every year that the Huskies lose a few members of the defensive backfield to the NFL, the national media thinks that’ll be the end of the UW defense. And this group of corners might be the best group Washington has ever had.
Say what you want about Keith Taylor, the junior has played very well this season, and had his hands full during his matchup with former Freshman All-American tight end Matt Bushman. The two pass interference calls weren’t really his fault, as both passes were uncatchable, and the interception that slipped through his fingers came at the end of a very odd sequence of events. He’ll be better next week against USC, and he’ll lock down Amon Ra St. Brown or Michael Pittman Jr., whichever has the ill fortune of lining up across from him.
But, this article isn’t about Taylor, it’s about Elijah Molden. Molden showed off some incredible ball skills against BYU, he was credited with four passes defended, and a forced fumble. He showed off excellent form tackling, and great strength, laying some big hits on the BYU receivers.
And while he almost pulled off an incredible, one-handed interception in the end zone, his most impressive play of the night, to me at least, came when he was lined up against Bushman in man coverage. The 5’10, 190 Molden pressed him off the line, and kept a strong, clean press all the way down the field, not allowing the 6’5, 245 pound Bushman to even truly get into his break and the ball ends up three yards in front of him.
Molden deserves to be heavily considered in the first round of the NFL Draft, whether he decides to come out as a junior, or a senior. He has the athleticism, strength, and coverage skills to make an immediate impact at the NFL level. He reminds me a lot of Jaire Alexander, the way he’s able to press off the line, turn and run with a receiver, hit, and track the ball in the air.
Alexander is a very similar size, 5’10, 196, and was able to be the 15th pick in the draft. He’s been able to succeed both in the slot and at cornerback at the NFL level, and Molden can follow in those footsteps very easily.