According to Darius Butler on ‘Good Morning Football’, the Indianapolis Colts’ Kenny Moore II is the NFL’s top slot cornerback—with high praise given from one former Horseshoe slot defensive back to his old teammate:
.@DariusJButler's Top 5 Current Slot Defenders!— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) June 14, 2022
Who would you add to this list? pic.twitter.com/lqskJrSbr6
Specifically, having relatively recently played the slot cornerback position for the Colts, Butler noted the challenges regarding the modern requirements of the position:
“Being a slot defender, you’ve got to be versatile,” Butler said on ‘Good Morning Football’. “You’ve got to be able to do multiple things. Man-to-man. Zone. Play against the run. Blitz. You’ve got to be smart because you have to communicate with everyone. You’ve got to communicate with guys on the front. The guys behind you. The guys to your left. The guys to your right. You’ve got to be physical because you’re not only covering those guys on an island, but you’ve got to be able to fill up B-gap or C-gap and tackle one of these tough running backs in the game.”
“So it’s a lot of things you have to do. You kind of have to be a coach on the field as well—if you’re a good slot defender at least.”
However, only Moore II reached the mountaintop of Butler’s list, as the slot cornerback king:
“To top this list, there can only be one, and that’s Kenny Moore, down there in Indy,” Butler added. “One of my former teammates, I was with him as a young guy. I would say I taught him everything he knows, but that would be a lie.”
“Because he could do something that I could never do, and that’s blitz, get to the quarterback, make more tackles in the run game, but he also turns the ball over at a high clip at the slot defender position. Eleven interceptions in the last four years. That’s almost double the guy that’s at #2 (Tyrann Mathieu, regarding the most interceptions from the slot from 2018-21). That’s a household name, that’s the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu, so Kenny Moore tops this list.”
“And Chris Ballard, I’ve been talking about Jim Irsay, Chris Ballard, I’ve been in people’s pockets, and that’s against the law in the locker room, but pay this man! Pay this man Kenny Moore!”
It only reiterates a popular sentiment shared in league circles, as PFF also recently ranked Kenny Moore II as the top slot cornerback in the league. While Los Angeles Rams’ reigning Super Bowl MVP, Cooper Kupp, called Moore one of his toughest matchups from 2021.
Publicly unhappy with his current Colts contract and having at least briefly, ‘held out’ of OTAs—while being noncommittal to the team’s upcoming training camp, Moore may be looking for any extra leverage he can to help renegotiate his salary for greater pay.
That being said, it’s unclear—and arguably even unlikely, that the Colts are willing to engage in such talks—with two years still left on Moore’s deal, and their salary cap allocation for this upcoming season already mapped out.
However, that doesn’t take away that Moore is one of the game’s best at a challenging slot position that requires a lot of versatility and nuance—receiving a lot of well-earned national recognition right now.