Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Pro Day Results:
40-yard dash: 4.29 seconds
3-cone: 6.68 seconds
Moore capped a dominant high school career with a massive 109-1,478-16 senior-season receiving line. He added 537 yards and 7 scores on 50 carries and was named Kentucky’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The 4-star recruit chose Purdue over offers from at least 28 other schools, including Ohio State, Penn State, Georgia and Texas.
Moore didn’t find the D-I level much more difficult than high school, turning in 1 of the most impressive freshman seasons you’ll ever see. He hauled in 11 balls for 109 yards a TD -- and scored a 76-yard rushing TD -- in his debut. He went on to top 100 receiving yards in 7 of 13 outings. Moore caught at least 8 balls in all but 3 games and tallied 11+ grabs 6 times.
His 114 total receptions were tops in the nation. Moore ranked 11th in receiving yards and tied for 8th in TDs. Of course, the market shares were massive: 34.2% of the catches, 31.5% of the yards and 42.9% of the TDs. Strong marks for any WR; elite marks for a freshman.
Moore added 21 carries for 213 yards (10.1 YPC) and 2 TDs in 2018. He also served as Purdue’s primary return man, averaging 20.1 yards on 33 kick returns and 6.8 yards on 12 punts. Moore set a new Purdue record with 2,215 all-purpose yards.
He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten Receiver of the Year and became the 1st true freshman in Big Ten history to be named a consensus All-American.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much of Moore the past 2 years. His 2019 campaign was cut short by a hamstring injury suffered in Purdue’s 4th game. Moore got off to a flying start that year, though, posting 11-124-1 and 13-220-1 receiving lines in his first 2 games. He was held to just 25 scoreless yards by TCU in the 3rd before exiting before halftime of the 4th.
Moore originally decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns but eventually changed his mind. He suffered another hamstring injury late in camp, though, and missed the first 3 games of the abbreviated season. Moore returned for the final 3 and was as busy as ever, catching 15, 7 and 13 balls. He accounted for 39.8% of his team’s receptions and 28.8% of the receiving yards over that stretch.
Courtesy of FF Astronauts
Games watched - Ohio State (2018), Auburn (2018), Nevada (2019), Vanderbilt (2019), Minnesota
Moore plays like a bowling ball. He’s built low to the ground with thick, strong legs to bounce off and run through would-be tacklers.
But it’s his incredible burst, quickness and change-of-direction that makes him such a terror with the ball in his hands.
Moore puts the entire package -- the acceleration, speed, agility and tackle-breaking -- on display on this game-clinching TD vs. Ohio State in his freshman season.
I was also impressed by Moore’s RB-like vision when he got the ball on end arounds and jets sweeps.
Moore benefitted from a lot of manufactured touches at Purdue. But he also flashed the ability to create space on his own with slick route running. He’s nearly impossible to stick with in tight quarters.
And vs. LBs in the slot? No contest. Here’s Moore roasting Malik Harrison, who was a 3rd-round pick of the Ravens this past year.
Moore only saw a handful of deep targets in the 5 games I watched. But he was solid on those opportunities, separating with his 4.3 speed and tracking the ball well.
Two knocks against Moore: He has inconsistent hands, dropping 4-5 balls in the games I watched. And he can get into trouble trying to do too much with the ball in his hands.
There’s a lot to like about Moore’s profile. He turned in a huge season as an 18-year-old true freshman. The tape shows an electric playmaker with the ability to create separation at all 3 levels of the field and perhaps the best after-catch skills in the class.
And Moore is a truly elite athlete. He registered the highest SPARQ score in his 2018 recruiting class, could squat 600 pounds as a freshman and blew up his Pro Day. Moore clocked a 4.29-second 40 time, jumped 42.5 inches and confirmed that agility we see on tape with an 89th percentile 3-cone time.
There are a few concerns, though. It’s fair to question his durability after a pair of hamstring injuries cost him significant time over the past 2 seasons. He ran a limited route tree at Purdue, doing a lot of his damage on screens, jet sweeps and end arounds.
And then there’s his height. At 5’7, Moore is entering nearly uncharted territory. Here are the top 20 receiving seasons in NFL history by WRs 5’7 or shorter:
Richard Johnson is the only WR 5’7 or shorter to reach 1,000 yards -- and he only played 2 more seasons in the league. Andrew Hawkins went for 824 yards more recently but didn’t top 533 yards in any of his other 5 campaigns.
Taylor Gabriel appears 5 times on the list above, enjoying the most sustained success of the short guys. But he’s never been a real fantasy factor, topping out with a 41st-place PPR finish in 2018.
Now, Moore has about 10 pounds on Gabriel, sports a better college resume and possesses more athleticism. He’s clearly the better prospect and a good bet to be the most productive 5’7 WR the league has seen.
Exactly how high his fantasy ceiling extends is a fair question, though. Landing spot will be important here, with a play caller who understands how to maximize Moore’s skill set.