The last time Fresno State had a quarterback and wide receiver selected in the same NFL Draft? Derek Carr and Davante Adams in 2012. Although Jake Haener and Jalen Moreno-Cropper may never reach those heights, they should hear their names called in the 2023 NFL Draft. But when does Moreno-Cropper’s scouting report project him to come off the board?
Jalen Moreno-Cropper NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Fresno State
- Year: Senior
The oldest of five children, Moreno-Cropper isn’t just an impressive college football prospect — he’s proving to his siblings that, while difficult, you can make your dreams come true. Raised in Parlier, Calif., Fresno State was always a car ride away.
But before Moreno-Cropper landed on the Bulldogs’ campus, he was shredding high school defenses in their backyard. He played quarterback, running back, and receiver for Sanger High School, helping lead them to the state title game as a sophomore.
As a senior, Moreno-Cropper transferred to Buchanan High School, playing WR and DB primarily. There, he caught 22 passes for a team-high 565 yards and three touchdowns. But that wasn’t all, as Moreno-Cropper also rushed for 179 yards and four scores while snagging two interceptions on defense.
Most recruiting sites listed Moreno-Cropper as a four-star athlete due to his ability to play multiple positions at a high level. He received offers from several high-profile programs, including Oregon, Utah, and Nebraska, and most expected him to sign with the Utes. Yet, there’s no place like home, and Moreno-Cropper committed to Fresno State.
Over the next four years, Moreno-Cropper would cement his name in Bulldogs’ lore alongside Haener. He finished his career with 220 receptions (fifth all-time in school history), 2,701 yards (ninth), and 21 TDs (eighth) in 43 games played (34 starts). He also recorded the second-most consecutive games with a catch (37) and tied for the ninth-most 100-yard receiving contests (eight).
However, his highs didn’t come without devasting lows. Jalen added the “Moreno” to his last name to honor his late grandfather, who passed away from COVID in 2020, saying, “He was one of the biggest influences on my life … I will continue to live through his name.”
And honor him he did, as Moreno-Cropper served as Fresno State’s No. 1 receiver the last two years, completely taking over games at times (see: UCLA 2021). He earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine, catching PFN Lead NFL Draft Analyst Tony Pauline’s eye during the all-star game practices:
“Jalen Moreno-Cropper displayed himself as both a lethal underneath receiver and legitimate downfield threat today.”
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Jalen Moreno-Cropper
Strengths: Reliable pass catcher who was incredibly productive at Fresno State the past two seasons. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, extremely quick, and uses his hands to separate from defenders. Outstanding route runner who fires into breaks, then stays low on exit, and separates from defenders.
Tracks the pass in the air, displays a sense of timing, and looks the ball into his hands. Shows good route discipline, adjusts to the errant throw, and extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame. Displays quick footwork when the ball is in his hands and creates yardage. Shows a great sense of awareness. Plays with balance as well as body control.
Weaknesses: Not a stout receiver. Unnecessarily lets the pass get inside him at times. Doesn’t show himself to be a true vertical threat despite his 40 time.
Overall: Moreno-Cropper really stepped up his game the last two seasons and combines quick route running with next-level hands. He needs space to work and would be best in the slot or backed off the line of scrimmage, and comes with return possibilities.
Jalen Moreno-Cropper Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 172 pounds
- Arm Size: 30 1/8″
- Hand Size: 8 7/8″
- Bench Press: 13 reps*
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.4 seconds
- Vertical Jump: 32″*
- Broad Jump: 10’1″
- Three-Cone: 7.06*
- Short Shuttle: 4.27*
Note: Numbers marked with an (*) are from Fresno State’s Pro Day.
Fresno State WR Jalen Moreno-Cropper Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Cropper ranks 199th overall as the WR29 and holds a sixth-round grade. That seems to be where most media pundits and draft analysts predict the Fresno State star to land. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moreno-Cropper sneaks into the early-to-mid Day 3 range.
He’s a thin receiver with average-at-best explosion and agility testing numbers, but Moreno-Cropper translates well as a slot receiver that can threaten defenses vertically.
He understands how to get open and make himself available for his QB, can generate yards after the catch, and has easy acceleration as a route runner. Plus, Moreno-Cropper can add value as a kick returner — something he did in high school and his first two seasons for the Bulldogs. He’s no Davante Adams, but Moreno-Cropper could be the best WR drafted out of Fresno State since the All-Pro.
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