Boston College football cornerbacks Isaac Yiadom and Kamrin Moore received a total of six offers in high school—half of which were to play in the FCS. BC was only the Power Five school to take a chance on the defensive backs. But once they got their foot in the door, they made the most of the opportunity. Four years later, the duo is on its way to the NFL.
Separated by three rounds and 90 picks, Yiadom and Moore were selected a day apart. On Friday night, the Denver Broncos—who nabbed former BC safety Justin Simmons in the same round of the 2016 Draft—snagged Yiadom with the second-to-last pick of Day Two. Then, about 18 hours later, the New Orleans Saints took Moore with the 189th overall pick, making him the fourth BC defensive back selected in the NFL Draft in the past three years—the others being Yiadom, John Johnson III (Los Angeles Rams) and Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos).
Coupled with Harold Landry, who fell to the Tennessee Titans early in the second round, Yiadom and Moore round out the Eagles’ 2018 draft class. The selections mark the fifth-consecutive year that BC has had multiple players picked in the same draft.
Yiadom burst onto the national scene this year, especially toward the end of the regular season. After starting a combined 15 games over the course of his first three years on the Heights, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound corner played with the first-team defense each and every week of the 2017 season. Yiadom recorded 53 tackles, doubling his junior year total, all while picking off two passes and breaking up seven more.
Renowned for his physicality, particularly when jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage, as well as his versatility, having played countless snaps on special teams throughout his collegiate career, the Worcester, Mass. native watched his draft stock rise in January. At one point winning three-consecutive one-on-one reps when defending the downfield fade, Yiadom’s name popped up in Senior Bowl practice reports time and time again. Along with a decent combine performance, the senior’s play—both leading up to and in the honorary game—was enough to warrant a third-round pick, at least as far as the Denver Broncos were concerned.
Considering the Broncos traded All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams last month, it made sense for Denver to address the position. In all likelihood, Yiadom will have a chance to compete with Tramaine Brock for limited first-team reps this offseason. Regardless, there’s no question whether he’ll see the field, due to the fact that he’s an adept special teamer.
Yiadom got to watch Day Three, knowing he already had a new home. On the other hand, his partner in crime had to sweat out the festivities until the sixth round.
Right off the bat, Moore will add depth to a New Orleans secondary that clocked out as the 15th-best pass defense in the league last season. The senior, who served as one of BC’s team captains this past year, is a little hip-tight, but as hard-hitting as it gets. During his three years a starter, Moore earned the reputation as an aggressive defensive back, often driving his body into receivers at the catch point. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound corner tallied 50 tackles and nine pass breakups in 2017—both career highs, even though he missed the last three games of the year with a shoulder injury. When all was said and done, he capped off the season with the second-highest Pro Football Focus coverage grade among all ACC cornerbacks in the 2018 draft class.
Like Yiadom, Moore will get some looks on special teams. All things considered, his fiery demeanor and finishing ability should be enough to secure a roster spot.
With Will Harris and Lukas Denis on the backend, Yiadom and Moore lined the corners of a BC secondary that ranked 22nd in yards allowed and 12th in interceptions last season. The two went hand-in-hand, frequently shutting down their respective receivers. Perhaps their chemistry was best exemplified at Louisville on Oct. 14.
Tied at 42, Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson dropped back and fired a pass to Jaylen Smith, but before long, Hamp Cheevers poked the ball loose. Immediately, Moore scooped up the rock and sprinted 11 yards to the Louisville 39, only to fumble. Following his classmate the whole way, Yiadom recovered the ball, setting up a game-winning Colton Lichtenberg field goal—one that jumpstarted the Eagles’ 5-1 regular season finish.
The cornerback tandem has been joined at the hip the past four years. Now they’ll have to learn to play apart from each other at the highest level.
Featured Images by Celine Lim and Julia Hopkins / Heights Staff and Heights Senior Staff