ASHBURN, Va. — Morgan Moses stood out because of his beard, because of his height and because he was the rough equivalent of a traveler who’s back home after living in a place where they drive on the left side of the road.
Oh, yeah, he also was the only person on the field with plans to skedaddle to Charlottesville so he could march in his graduation ceremony Sunday at the University of Virginia — with a degree in anthropology, no less.
The Washington Redskins’ third-round draft pick — perhaps the most important short-term selection the club made last week — lined up at right tackle Saturday during rookie camp.
That’s the position where he can make a push to be a first-year starter, but it means shifting to the opposite side of the line after playing left tackle during his senior year in college.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been there. … Just getting that feeling back,” Moses said. “One thing about me, I’m ambidextrous, so being able to adapt to both sides is something I’ve been able to do throughout my college career.”
“I can’t write with both hands,” he said. “I can shoot with both hands on the basketball court. But that’s about it, basically.”
OK, so he might have been overselling that bit.
Nevertheless, the 6-foot-6 Moses did play both tackle positions with the Cavaliers.
With two-time Pro Bowl player Trent Williams at left tackle, the opportunity with the Redskins lies on the right, where Tyler Polumbus has been more or less serviceable during his two-plus years as a starter.
“Morgan, he’s got a ways to go,” coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s moving over to right tackle, and just introducing him to the outside zone, the way we want the protections, it’s going to take him some time. We’re happy with his progress, and he’s got a major, major upside with his size.”
Morgan was one of five dozen or so players at the camp, which included the eight draft picks and plenty of undrafted players trying to make an impression. Morgan got to go head-to-head in some blocking drills against the Redskins’ top selection, second-round linebacker Trent Murphy from Stanford.
Though he was drafted earlier, Murphy will likely have to wait longer for a chance to start. He’s on the depth chart behind Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, who have both been to the Pro Bowl.
“Every moment or day, you’re getting better or you’re getting worse, and I don’t have any room to get any worse,” said Murphy, offering a modest first self-assessment. “So I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Moses stands to be the local-guy-makes-good story from this year’s rookie class. He went to high school in Richmond — where the Redskins hold training camp — and Charlottesville isn’t far down the road. His thick beard has become somewhat of a trademark.
Moses made good on a promise to get a Redskins emblem to wear on his mortarboard at graduation. As for the anthropology degree, he said he pursued it because he wanted to become “the next Indiana Jones.”
“All I need is the hat,” he said, “and I’ll be ready to go.”
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