WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Rondale Moore is headed to the desert. With the 49th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Purdue's top prospect in the second round.
There was never a doubt about Moore's explosiveness. He ran an unofficial 4.29-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 42.5-inch vertical jump at Purdue's Pro Day. Yet what had NFL organizations hesitant in the first round was his lack of career production and a 5-foot-7 frame.
Moore spent three seasons with the Boilermakers, including a monstrous freshman season where he totaled a program-record 2,215 all-purpose yards. He caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 213 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
After being named a first-team All-American and the recipient of the Paul Hornung Award recipient as the nation’s most versatile player, Moore only played seven games in the last two seasons.
He caught just 64 passes for 657 yards and two touchdowns in that span.
Despite the potential downsides, the Cardinals are getting a player who is lightning quick and can play in multiple spots in an offensive formation.
"Rondale Moore can fly," NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah said after Moore was selected. "You can use him on some of these gadget plays, you get him on the fly sweeps and jet sweeps. The run after catch, not only is he fast, but he is sturdy and strong. Once he breaks tackles and gets out in the open field, he's gone."
He'll join a position group that features All-Pro pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and — barring retirement — future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
With all those names for quarterback Kyler Murray to pass to, coach Kliff Kingsbury can safely move Moore to the outside, in the slot, out of the backfield or send him deep on kickoff and punt returns.
"What I love about him is all the different ways he can affect the game," college football analyst Joel Klatt said. "Handing it to him out of the backfield, he can get his production on special teams."
Stories Related to the NFL Draft
- DAY 2 DRAFT TRACKER: Seven Big Ten athletes were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft with many left on the board. More will hear their names called in the second and third rounds Friday night. CLICK HERE
- ROUND 1 DRAFT TRACKER: The Big Ten Conference is full of talent heading to the NFL this season, headlined by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. CLICK HERE
- BOILERMAKERS' DRAFT RANKINGS: Purdue football has a number of players eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, and Rondale Moore is likely to hear his name first. But teammates Derrick Barnes, Tyler Coyle and Lorenzo Neal may be selected later in the draft. CLICK HERE
- RONDALE MOORE DRAFT ANALYSIS: Sports Illustrated's college football expert Jim Mora shared his analysis of the Boilermakers' explosive wide receiver ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. CLICK HERE