3DownNation top 100 CFL players: No. 51 REC Kyran Moore, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Photo courtesy: Matt Smith CFL.ca

There are few athletes in pro football with the ability to bring you out of your seat as fast as the man they call ‘Swerve.’

Kyran Moore has only played a year and a half in the Canadian Football League and has been electrifying as a receiver and kick returner. He made life easier for Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson, first as a Moore’s special teams coordinator in 2018 and then as sideline general in 2019.

At just 165 pounds soaking wet, Moore is a little taller than fan favourite Weston Dressler but the two have plenty of physical similarities. They also possess similar skill sets, but faced the discrimination of scouts all over North America due to their small stature.

Moore hasn’t yet achieved the sainthood status that Dressler attained during his eight seasons with the green and white, but at age 24, the youngster has plenty of time to make his mark with Rider Nation.

After growing up near Birmingham, Ala., Moore left home to play his college ball at little-known Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. It was an unexpected encounter with a much more prolific program that would get Moore’s foot in the door with the Riders.

Hurricane season ravaged the 2017 U.S. college football schedule for the University of Central Florida Knights, who play near Orlando. After being forced to cancel several contests throughout the season, the Knights invited Moore’s team to meet in a friendly in late October.

Predictably, Austin Peay State got thumped 73-33 by the much bigger, faster and stronger UCF. However, as fate would have it, the Roughriders had a scout at that game and the undersized Moore caught his eye enough to warrant a tryout with then-Rider general manager Chris Jones.

Thinking Swerve would get overlooked by the NFL due to his lack of size, Jones pounced on his new weapon for then-Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros.

Moore played only 10 games in his rookie season in 2018 but electrified new Mosaic Stadium crowds with two punt return touchdowns to help the Riders finish second in the West Division and earn their first home playoff game in the new park.

In 2019, Moore jelled well with new quarterback Cody Fajardo to finish just four yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark, second on the team to roommate Shaq Evans.

Moore was a big part of getting Dickenson promoted to head coach after 2018 and an even bigger part of helping Fajardo win the West Division’s nomination for Most Outstanding Player and get a new contract from the Riders.

It’s hard to imagine that new Riders’ offensive coordinator Jason Maas isn’t using the pandemic as a chance to draw up different ways to use Moore and his blazing speed to get the offence into championship mode.

Aside from Fajardo, there might not be another player on the roster who Saskatchewan’s championship hopes rely on more heavily than Moore.

3DownNation is unveiling its list of the top 100 active CFL players, a project that will run through December 31, 2020. To read the criteria for player eligibility, click here. The list to date can be found below.

52. SAM Kenny Ladler, Free Agent
53. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
54. SAM Dexter McCoil, Free Agent
55. OL Sean McEwen, Calgary Stampeders
56. REC Eugene Lewis, Montreal Alouettes
57. DB Greg Reid, Montreal Alouettes
58. DL Mike Moore, Edmonton Football Team
59. OL Ryker Mathews, B.C. Lions
60. DB Tunde Adeleke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
61. LB Jameer Thurman, Free Agent
62. QB Matt Nichols, Toronto Argonauts
63. DB Jamar Wall, Calgary Stampeders
64. DB Loucheiz Purifoy, Saskatchewan Roughriders
65. REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions
66. OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
67. OL SirVincent Rogers, Edmonton Football Team
68. QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Free Agent
69. DB/RET Frankie Williams, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
70. DB T.J. Lee, B.C. Lions
71. QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
72. SAM Anthony Cioffi, Free Agent
73. DB Shaquille Richardson, Toronto Argonauts
74. REC Kamar Jorden, Calgary Stampeders
75. OL Darius Ciraco, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
76. REC Jalen Saunders, Free Agent
77. QB Dane Evans, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
78. REC Brad Sinopoli, Ottawa Redblacks
79. RET Janarion Grant, Free Agent
80. DE Avery Ellis, Ottawa Redblacks
81. DE Cordarro Law, Calgary Stampeders
82. DB Brandon Alexander, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
83. OL Jermarcus Hardrick, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
84. DB Branden Dozier, Free Agent
85. SAM Otha Foster, Saskatchewan Roughriders
86. DB Antoine Pruneau, Ottawa Redblacks
87. RB John White, B.C. Lions
88. LB Avery Williams, Ottawa Redblacks
89. LB Jovan Santos-Knox, Free Agent
90. DB Richard Leonard, Calgary Stampeders
91. REC Armanti Edwards, Edmonton Football Team
92. RB C.J. Gable, Free Agent
93. DT Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
94. REC S.J. Green, Free Agent
95. DB Mike Edem, Saskatchewan Roughriders
96. DE John Bowman, Montreal Alouettes
97. DB Taylor Loffler, Montreal Alouettes
98. QB Nick Arbuckle, Ottawa Redblacks
99. ST Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
100. DE Chris Casher, B.C. Lions

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.