Risk or reward? That’s a question teams have to ask themselves throughout the draft process. How do teams weigh their individual appetite for risk, and how heavily do they weigh a prospects’ ability to impact their team on the field?
Purdue receiver Rondale Moore has the quickness, agility, and all-around explosive athleticism to be a game changing (or breaking) player. He exploded onto the scene as a true freshman in 2018, but he also has a significant injury history which has limited him to four games in 2019 and just three games played in 2020. Just how soon will teams take a chance on a player with that kind of injury history? Will some team be captivated by Moore’s potential and take a chance early on, or will he slide in the draft and wind up being one of the draft’s steals?
It’s well established that the New York Giants need wide receiver help, as well as more playmakers on their offense. Could Moore be a player they look at, even if they add a receiver in free agency or in the first round?
Prospect: Rondale Moore
Games Played: 20
Yards (YPC): 1915 (10.8 per catch)
Yards (YPC): 248 (8.3 per carry)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 17 (14 receiving, 3 rushing)
Games Played: 3
Yards (YPC): 270 (7.7 per catch)
Yards (YPC): 32 yards (5.3 per carry)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 1 (1 rushing)
Best: Speed, quickness, agility, explosiveness, hands, versatility, run after catch
Worst: Injury history
Projection: An important offensive weapon in a Spread, Air Raid, or West Coast offense.
Rondale Moore is a quick, agile, and explosively athletic receiving prospect from Purdue University.
Moore typically aligned as a slot receiver as well as occasionally playing out of the backfield in Purdue’s offense. He was primarily used in the short and intermediate areas of the field, with the offense using a number of passing concepts designed to create opportunities for him to get the ball in space.
Moore wastes no time or effort getting into his routes. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage, able to accelerate to top speed in a couple strides. However, he does a good job of throttling that speed, varying his tempo to throw off defenders’ timing. Moore does a good job of pressing his stems vertically, forcing defenders to respect his speed and allowing him to create separation with sharp breaks. He is also able to draw defensive pass interference calls, using his speed and agility to overwhelm defenders and can force panic grabs. Moore has very quick feet to go with explosive acceleration, allowing him to quickly make sharp cuts and carry his speed throughout his routes — or stop quickly and explode in a new direction.
Moore was also frequently put in motion prior to the snap, both as a misdirection element to the play, often running opposite the play side, as well as a ball carrier on jet sweeps. Moore shows similar vision, contact balance, explosiveness, and creativity as a pseudo-running back as he does in run-after-catch situations as a receiver.
Moore is an unpolished route runner who’s routes can be imprecise at times, and doesn’t have the most diverse route tree. He could also improve his ball tracking and adjustments to the ball down the field. The biggest issue with Moore is his health and sizable injury history. He missed most of the 2019 season with a hamstring injury and all but three games of the 2020 season to an unspecified “lower body” injury. He also had surgery on a finger between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Overall Grade: 7.9 - This prospect has explosive athletic traits but significant injury concerns.
Rondale Moore projects best as a starting offensive weapon in an offense based on principles from Spread, Air Raid, or West Coast offenses.
Moore could certainly have success in a traditional slot receiver role, but teams will get the most out of him by manufacturing touches. Moore could incorporated into the running game as a backfield player or off of jet sweeps, as an extension of the running game on toss plays or on screens and mesh concepts. He is also useful in misdirection schemes, and will have particular appeal to teams which like to sequence their plays and build off of misdirection.
Moore likely won’t be a true wide receiver at the NFL level. He wasn’t used as an outside receiver in the tape viewed, only aligning there before going into pre-snap motion. Teams will also want to pay careful attention to Moore’s medical reports. He has only played seven games in the last two seasons with two significant lower body injuries and a hand surgery over that time. Teams will need to weigh how likely Moore is to miss time, as well as if injuries will eventually impact his exceptional athleticism.
Some teams could easily have a first-round grade on Moore due to his explosiveness and versatility. Others could have him as a later Day 2 value due to his injury considerations.