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Rondale Moore - NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Series features prominent 2021 NFL Draft prospects with film analysis and scouting insights. I have experience working in college football and have been studying the NFL Draft for over 15 years. My analysis is based on film study and analytics.

A common misconception about the NFL Draft is that the college and pro games are very similar. They are not. Besides the obvious difference in speed and skill level, a college field has different hash mark distances and different rules. There are specific schemes and plays that NFL teams copy from college and vice versa. But the differences between the two are understated in NFL Draft coverage. There's a reason many highly-productive college players are not considered legitimate professionals.

To that end, scouting prospects is not about evaluating college performance, it’s about projecting traits that translate to the next level. This is not limited to just physical traits. There are certain football traits that are evident in college film and will translate to the pro game. For example, a wide receiver being able to get in and out of breaks efficiently will not change from college to pro. On the flip side, an edge rusher who got most of his sacks due to hustle or missed offensive line assignments may not have shown translatable traits on film. We will continue our draft coverage this year with Purdue WR Rondale Moore.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Rondale Moore: Profile

Rondale Moore stands just 5-7, 181, but don't mistake his lack of size for a lack of strength. Moore can squat 600 pounds, ran an unofficial 4.29 40 at his pro day, and jumped 42.5 inches on his vertical. On the field, he put up arguably the best freshman WR season of all time, tallying 114 catches for 1258 receiving yards and 14 total scores in 2018. His signature moment came against Ohio State. He was a human highlight reel in that upset win over the Buckeyes, dominating Ohio State CB Shaun Wade in the slot as a diminutive true freshman.

The main issue with Moore is that he has only played seven games since his magical 2018 campaign. Moore has missed time due to hamstring and "lower body" injuries the past two years, appearing in just seven games. Although he's currently healthy, durability is a legitimate concern for a player without ideal size. His size is also a concern based on precedent, as there haven't been many successful pro-WRs under 5-8. Moore is flashy and exciting, but his transition to the league may not be as seamless as some may suggest. He does not possess elite WR-specific traits, may only be a slot, and his game is more Percy Harvin than it is Tyreek Hill or Steve Smith.


Human Joystick

Rondale Moore has elite play speed, quickness, and burst. He's an explosive athlete with the ability to bounce off would-be tacklers and use his low center of gravity and elusiveness to eat up yards after the catch. He did not run a wide variety of routes and received a ton of touches on end arounds, jet sweeps, and perimeter screens. In the clip below, you can see why.

More Moore fun below. His ability to make guys miss surely translates. You can't teach the stuff he's able to do after the catch.

Aside from the occasional vertical route, Moore mostly ran slants, outs, shallows, and screens. He has the twitch and athleticism to run any slot route, however. The clip below shows him catch a slant, break two tackles, and win with speed to the house.

Moore can spin through contact, has a deadly dead leg, and a quick inside juke that college defenders simply didn't have an answer for. His run-after-catch trait is as special as it gets. And while his size isn't ideal, that low center of gravity can be a strength, as his balance, the most underrated physical trait in scouting, is outstanding.

In terms of pure receiving, Moore has flashes that show a natural ability to track the ball. On film, there are instances of catches in traffic, a nice back-shoulder seam catch, and coming down with deep balls. In the clip below, he shows body control and ball-tracking.

It's worth noting that Moore barely wins the route against off-coverage. But as they say, "if you're even, you're leavin'."  The ball is placed outside, and Moore reacts late with a great adjustment and some hand-fighting for good measure.



You don't catch 178 passes at the NCAA level without at least decent hands. Rondale Moore is adept at tracking the football, made a bunch of impressive catches in traffic, and generally plucks the ball well, transitioning to a runner without losing speed.  However, it wouldn't be fair to overlook the many reps in which he either drops or double-catches a pass or punt return.

Small players usually don't have the biggest hands, and that can lead to drops, especially against freakish NFL defenders. The clip below shows Moore drop a slant thrown a tick behind him. Of course, he has separation on Wade, and it's possible he simply took his eye off the ball on this one rep. Most drops are a result of receivers shifting their eyes to look for where to run, rather than looking the ball into their hands.

Unfortunately, drops and double-catches were a pattern for Moore. He had three drops against Vanderbilt, including the clip below.

The clip below shows a bad double-catch, followed by Moore doing what he does best. Insert Jalen Ramsey into that picture and there's a wholly different result.

Lastly, another double-catch, this time against Auburn.

Moore also made a bunch of questionable decisions as a punt returner. He struggled to field the ball at times, didn't always line up correctly (could be a coaching mistake), muffed a scoop attempt, and generally didn't look overly comfortable. Some scouting reports may list return ability as an added positive. To me, he has a lot to work on before an NFL Special Teams Coordinator would give him that job.

Moore also may be exclusively a slot WR at the NFL level. He did not run a lot of routes as an outside receiver at Purdue, and when he did, it was mostly straight verticals. While he showed the ability to track the ball well, he did not win those boundary vertical routes convincingly on many occasions against lesser athletes, despite his speed advantage. It's hard to envision lining up a 5-7 WR against Stephon Gilmore and expecting him to win matchups on the outside. Some NFL teams may project him as a gadget guy with the ability to develop into a full-time slot. Is that player worth a first-round pick? Perhaps not, especially given the added size and availability concerns.


NFL Outlook

Rondale Moore is a special talent, but his film is not flawless. While his skill set is tantalizing as a do-it-all weapon, it's important to remember how much better NFL defenses are at limiting big plays. Moore's playmaking will translate at times, but when the defensive scheme is sound, it's fair to wonder if a 5-7 inside receiver can consistently win 1-on-1 matchups. I love his run-after-catch ability as much as the next guy, but I have concerns about his transition to the pro game, in addition to questions about if he can stay on the field.

Overall, he has a chance to go in the first round due to the upside, but it would not shock me to see him slip into the draft's second day. Playmakers with his skill set don't grow on trees, and discounting a player whose main weakness is an arbitrary size threshold is probably not a good idea.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more prospect profiles and other NFL Draft content.

Read past Prospect Profiles here:

Trevor Lawrence - QB, Clemson

Trey Lance - QB, North Dakota State

Justin Fields - QB, Ohio State

Zach Wilson - QB, BYU

Mac Jones - QB, Alabama

Kyle Pitts - TE, Florida

DeVonta Smith - WR, Alabama

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