Freed from the grip on him by the covid-19 pandemic, Skyy Moore put on a show for West Michigan fans, NFL scouts and – although they didn’t appreciate it – the Pitt’s defensive players en route to hearing his name called by the Kansas City Chiefs Friday night in the second round (54th overall) of the NFL Draft.
The Chiefs traded the No. 50 pick to the New England Patriots and fell four spots to nab Moore, who could help Kansas City replace wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs also landed a fifth-round pick in the deal.
Moore, a Shady Side Academy graduate and New Kensington native, caught 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
“Honestly, I feel like I can come in and fill that same role, but bring my own twist to it,” Moore told Kansas City reporters on a conference call. “The Chiefs are the best organization to complement my style of play.”
Held to 25 catches in six games of a covid-shortened season in 2020, he recovered to earn his second All-Mid-American conference first-team spot in 2021. Two years earlier, he was the first MAC freshman wide receiver named first-team all-league since 2014.
For Moore, the 2021 Pitt game — a 44-41 win at Western Michigan — was the first of seven in which he reached triple figures in receiving distance. He caught 11 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown while helping Pitt lose at Heinz Field.
His best game came later when he caught 12 passes for 206 yards and four touchdowns on Nov. 23 at Northern Illinois.
From now on, he will catch passes from a quarterback in Patrick Mahomes considered one of the best – if not the best – in the NFL.
“He’s the best quarterback in football,” Moore told Kansas City reporters. “It’s a blessing. There are 32 teams and I’m paired with the best quarterback in football.
Shady Side Academy coach Chuck Dinardo said he was proud of Moore’s high school accomplishments because they weren’t based solely on athletic ability.
“You could see it coming, but not talent, but work ethic,” Dinardo said. “He had quite ambitious goals growing up and his habits matched his goals. The best part about Skyy is that he’s not one of those guys who won the genetic lottery. He did all of this despite it.
Moore did not play wide receiver at Shady Side Academy. He was a quarterback and cornerback and formed a productive pass-catching combination with wide receiver and best friend Dino Tomlin, son of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
“He was the quarterback because I had to give him the ball that way,” Dinardo said.
Dinardo’s only regret in Shady Side’s 2018 10-1 season came when Moore broke his ankle in a playoff win over Serra Catholic.
“We probably would have run the table and won it all,” Dinardo said.
“That would have been something special to see.”
Moore, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, is the second New Kensington resident drafted by the NFL in the past 10 years.
It follows Colorado wide receiver Toney Clemons, chosen by the Steelers in the seventh round in 2012. Valley graduates and Pitt products Bill Callahan (Steelers, 1986), Greg Meisner (Rams, 1981) and Benjie Pryor (Bengals, 1981) also had their name called draft day.
Additionally, three New Kensington residents were drafted in the 1940s: Ralph Fritz (Steelers, 1941), Tom Rodgers (Boston Yanks, 1947) and Sam Tamburo (New York Bulldogs, 1949).