Purdue is one of the most consistent programs in producing NFL-caliber players. Since 2000, however, the team has only produced two first-round picks in Ryan Kerrigan and Anthony Spencer. The Boilermakers haven’t produced a first-round pick at wide receiver since Larry Burton in 1975. Wide receiver Rondale Moore will look to break that trend for Purdue in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rondale Moore NFL Draft Profile
Weight: 180 pounds
Position: Wide Receiver
Rondale Moore had a level of NFL Draft pedigree right from the outset of his college journey. He was one of the most heavily recruited wide receivers in the 2018 class, despite being ranked 41st on 24/7 Sports Composite Rankings and being Rivals’ 100-ranked receiver. The 4-star receiver had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, and Purdue, among many others. Moore was the No. 1 player in Kentucky across every ranking and won the 2017 Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year. He was also named the 2017 Paul Hornung Award for Best Player in the state of Kentucky.
As a senior, Moore posted a Trinity high school record of 104 receptions for 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns. Meanwhile, his rushing ability accounted for 537 yards and seven touchdowns on 50 carries in 2017. He also returned two punts for touchdowns as a senior. His playmaking helped Trinity finish undefeated.
Moore skips Texas, goes to Purdue
The wide receiver originally committed to the University of Texas before flipping to Purdue after Jeff Brohm joined the team. When he was asked why he chose Purdue, Moore said it was just the right place for him.
“At the end of the day, Purdue was where my heart was, and that was where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be surrounded by day by day,” said Moore. “The culture we were building. I wanted to leave a legacy. I wanted the chance to play early and everything. So just all the little things that mattered to me the most that I wrote down on a piece of paper, they were checking everything off.”
Moore exploded onto the scene as a true freshman, including a breakout performance in a stunning upset over the Ohio State Buckeyes. From that moment on, Rondale Moore’s draft stock hit its high and hasn’t gone back since. Coming off of a season-ending leg injury last year, Moore will look to solidify his first-round draft potential.
Another frustrating outing for Rondale Moore against Nebraska and another injury
Early on in Purdue’s game against Nebraska, Rondale Moore went off to the locker room with an undisclosed injury. Moore later returned to the game and continued to play, albeit seemingly more constrained. Moore finished the outing with 13 receptions for 78 yards and one run for seven yards but remained without a touchdown. Nebraska did a good job of limiting Moore’s yards after the catch and kept him restrained, but again, Moore did get hurt in the opening minutes of the first quarter.
Moore was targeted beyond “deep” just once against Nebraska, and it went for 19 yards. Take away that long reception, and Moore had 12 catches for 59 yards with an average depth of target of 3-4 yards. It’s hard to say if this is an indictment of the offensive scheme or a reflection on Moore’s ability to be a consistent outside threat at receiver, but it seems like those questions will not be answered until Moore gets into the NFL.
Rondale Moore has more red flags as an NFL Draft prospect than one might expect
I have many question marks about Moore and his ability to win downfield and his strength in tight coverage. Sports Info Solutions has Moore with 92.2% of his yards this season gained after the catch. That number doesn’t feel sustainable at the NFL level. Moore hasn’t answered questions about his ability to separate off tight-press coverage, where he isn’t blowing past a cornerback untouched. Add in a slight frame and injuries, and there are more red flags than people talk about in the mainstream.
In other news regarding his eligibility, Moore was announced with the senior class on Purdue’s senior day, despite having eligibility remaining. That should just about ice the cake for Moore’s career at Purdue, with just one more game against Indiana left next week.
Odd coaching decision blanks Rondale Moore versus Rutgers
Rondale Moore looked like himself against Minnesota two weeks ago but didn’t have much of an outing against Rutgers. The speedster still hauled in seven catches for 76 yards but had no touchdowns. The play-calling didn’t seem to feature the Purdue wide receiver as much as it had in previous games, despite Moore still playing at a high level. Rutgers did an admirable job corralling him, considering what Moore can do as a game-wrecker, but he still broke a few long gains when he was given the opportunity. He was neglected throughout the second half.
The game tape reveals more of the same from Moore this week, making coach Brohm’s play-calling even more puzzling. Moore was physical and broke several tackles when he had the ball but wasn’t featured enough to mount a stellar outing. Many Purdue fans call for Moore to opt out for the rest of the season, as the Boilermakers have gone 0-2 since his return.
Rondale Moore returns to the field and promptly dazzles to help keep his NFL Draft stock high
Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore made his long-awaited return this season against Minnesota on Friday, finishing with 15 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown run in his first game back from injury. After only playing four games last year, Moore will likely play the last four games of the season. Playing is the right call for him, as teams will want to see if he retained that explosiveness and quickness after his injury.
The Minnesota defense would agree that he certainly still has that juice, as he was all over the field for Purdue. Moore was making defenders miss with his quickness and elusiveness in the open field. His touchdown came on a wide receiver sweep where he just flat-out beat every defender to the corner with his explosiveness. He made the first defender miss and then rocketed forward into the end zone. Moore is the “human joystick” stereotype we often hear, and he excels in the open field.
Moore averaged almost 14 yards after the catch per reception against Minnesota. Yards after the catch is where Moore excels, and it’s what his game is primarily predicated on. Teams and scouts want to see him add a vertical element to his game that hasn’t quite been there so far, and it wasn’t on display against Minnesota. If he shows that consistently over the last few games for the Boilermakers, Moore just might put himself back into the first-round conversation.
It isn’t easy to gauge those abilities because Purdue isn’t going to make him stop what’s working. He wins games with his elusiveness and yards after catch ability — why would the Boilermakers need to change? Rondale Moore will be a difficult evaluation for scouts moving forward in the NFL Draft process without those additional elements as a receiver.
Still no Rondale Moore at the midseason point of the season
The Purdue Boilermakers are sitting at 2-1 in the middle of their shortened season. Wide receiver Rondale Moore has still not played a snap for the team. He has dressed and traveled with the team, which suggests it isn’t COVID-19 related.
The team has remained pretty tight-lipped about the situation, although rumors are floating around that Moore is looking for injury insurance coverage before he plays. Moore is still recovering from an injury suffered last season that caused him to miss eight games. With four games left on the schedule, time is running out for Moore to take the field at any point in the 2020 season.
Currently, this situation has to have knocked Rondale Moore down NFL Draft boards. Scouts wanted to see Moore become a more complete player and develop his downfield ability. The durability knocks considering his rather small frame are going to show up on several scouting reports. If protocols are similar to last year, medical reports will be critical in the draft process. We saw numerous players with a few durability issues avalanche down boards last year because of it. It’s hard to see Moore going in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at this stage of the game.
What to expect from Rondale Moore in 2020
Turn on any Rondale Moore game, and you’ll find a Swiss-Army knife wide receiver. He dazzles through defenders and explodes downhill. Moore is more reminiscent of a scatback than a true wide receiver. But he will blow past the cornerback when you least expect it. While he doesn’t have the true deep speed of a Jaylen Waddle, Moore has plenty of speed to get through the secondary. He’s one of the quickest wide receivers in college football, which is why his ability after-the-catch is so incredibly effective.
Moore will have to prove he’s more than a YAC receiver in 2020, however. Almost 70% of his total yardage came after the catch. 120 of his targets came in the short distance under 10 yards. Teams will want to see him win downfield and separate more. Moore’s drops (13 in 17 games) are also concerning. This season will be about seeing Rondale Moore turn from an elusive, explosive gadget player to a true, well-rounded electrifying NFL playmaker that is worthy of a high pick in next year’s draft.
Moore is also coming off of a leg injury that took him out of the last eight games of the 2019 season. With his game being based primarily on his quickness, this injury could harm his performance. It’s a question scouts will be looking to have answered. The Purdue wide receiver is rather small for a receiver. His durability will be a question mark until he can fully prove his health.
Rondale Moore absent to open the season for Purdue
Moore did not play in Purdue’s season opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Sadly, he will not be taking the field for this week’s game against Illinois either. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said Moore would play “whenever he’s ready to play,” which doesn’t sound like an exciting quote for Moore’s availability in the near future. The Boilermakers have upcoming games against Wisconsin and Minnesota, and they will need the spark that Moore provides to help them win those key conference games. NFL teams will be intrigued to see his durability, which is a concern due to his small size, but will have to wait longer to see him this season.
Rondale Moore’s best NFL Draft fits
Moore is the type of playmaker any NFL team will want on their team. His speed and elusiveness in the open field will bring him a ton of YAC at the NFL level. However, he’s a limited player in the fact that he’s best in a slot-role. He isn’t a proven deep-threat, nor has he displayed an aptitude for contested situations. It’s best to give him free releases and let him work upfield with the ball in his hands.
Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore would fit in well with teams searching for an explosive playmaker. He’s a wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft that teams can deploy in a variety of ways. While the 49ers likely won’t be searching for another receiver in the first round, Moore’s fit with Shanahan would be devastating. That said, teams like the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, and the Jacksonville Jaguars would be good fits for Moore and his skillset.