Name: Dale Moss.
College: South Dakota State.
Position: Wide receiver.
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 220 pounds.
40 time: 4.39.
Scout Dave-Te' Thomas' grade: 5.2.
Career highlights: Moss played football only as a senior, catching 61 passes for 949 yards and six touchdowns. In games he started, he averaged 6.78 catches for 105.44 yards. Incredibly for someone who hadn't played football since high school, Moss dropped just one of the 97 passes thrown his direction. Moss elected to play basketball at South Dakota State. He started 26 games during his first three seasons before starting all 31 contests as a senior, when he averaged 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds while generally defending the opposition's best player.
Dale Moss is cooking.
And we're not talking about his 40-yard and three-cone times — at least not yet, anyway.
We're talking about cooking. As in food.
"When I was out of high school, I applied to the French Culinary Institute in New York as a backup plan and got accepted," Moss told Packer Report last week.
While he wasn't taking classes or playing basketball or football at South Dakota State, Moss worked at BraVo's restaurant in Brookings, S.D. He worked mostly as a server, though he kept a keen eye on the workings of the kitchen because he'd like to open an upscale restaurant/lounge.
"I watch Food Network more than I watch ‘SportsCenter,'" Moss said.
That culinary career might have to wait because, at the risk of overstatement, Moss offers more upside than any player in the draft.
And the Green Bay Packers got him for an undrafted free agent signing bonus of $5,000.
As a senior, Moss was an all-state football player at Brandon Valley (S.D.) High School but was South Dakota's basketball player of the year. Moss wound up choosing basketball over football at South Dakota State. A periodic starter his first three seasons, Moss moved into the starting lineup full-time as a senior.
The 2010-11 basketball season ended on March 7, and Moss was with the football team for spring practice about a month later.
"In spring, I wanted to be an all-conference receiver. That was my goal," Moss said. "I knew I'd have to work, but if there's one thing I felt comfortable doing, it was going up and making plays on the ball. After the summer, I had a good fall camp. The third game of the year, I started, and started having a good year. By about the sixth game, I was like, ‘All right, I might have a shot (at the NFL) when it's all said and done.'"
Then came the offseason, and Moss wowed scouts. First was the East-West Shrine Game, when Moss repeatedly proved he wasn't overmatched against big-school defensive backs. Next was his pro day. As if 6-foot-3 3/8 isn't inviting enough, Moss ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. His vertical jump was 41 1/2 inches. His three-cone time — which demonstrates his ability to quickly get into cuts and explode out of them — was 6.32 seconds. Not only was that the fastest of anyone at this year's Scouting Combine but faster than anyone has run in the history of the Combine.
Surprisingly, Moss went undrafted, which was good news for Green Bay, which had shown a lot of interest in him throughout the predraft process, according to a source.
On Day 3 of the draft, the Packers remained in contact and were honest with Moss.
"They had some other needs that they needed to fill so they weren't going to take a receiver in the draft, but if I was available in free agency, I was someone that they definitely wanted to get," Moss said.
Moss had other opportunities but he pounced on the Packers' offer. Why, considering the Packers return their top five receivers from last year, plus Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, both of whom saw their practice-squad salaries quadrupled last season to entice them to stay on the practice squad after getting opportunities to land on the 53-man rosters of the Vikings and Buccaneers, respectively?
"A big reason is undrafted rookies have had a lot of success making their roster," Moss said. "They didn't take a receiver in the draft, which, usually, when a team takes a receiver in the draft, that's less of a chance of getting a spot. Also, they have a great receiving corps, and if it's a situation where I have to sit out for a little bit, they have a great group of veterans that I can learn from. Potentially, some contracts are going to be up so that gives me a shot to get on that roster and play."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.