WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The start of the 2021 NFL Draft is inching closer by the day, and with it comes the final rankings for all college athletes eligible to be selected. Pro days, meetings and film have all been taken into account, and some players are seeing their draft stock rise or fall.
ESPN Senior Writer and draft analyst Todd McShay released the rankings for his top 350 players ahead of Thursday's first round, which includes positional rankings, scouting reports and highlights.
In his final draft rankings, McShay rated Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore as the ninth-best wide receiver prospect in this year's draft. Moore is ranked as the 54th-best prospect regardless of position.
After his freshman season with the Boilermakers, Moore appeared to be a future lock for the first round while performing as one of the top wide receivers in the nation. He snatched 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018 while also taking 21 carries for 213 yards and another two scores.
After the 2018 season, Moore was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Big Ten Receiver of the Year. He was also named the recipient of the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player.
However, he followed his eye-grabbing debut season by only appearing in seven games over the past two years due to injury. Moore initially opted out of last season to prepare for the NFL Draft, but returned to the team and registered 35 receptions for 270 yards in three games.
At his pro day, Moore ran an unofficial 4.29-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 42.5-inch vertical jump. But despite being listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds by Purdue Athletics, he was measured at two inches shorter in March.
“I think he’s a third-round talent," Sports Illustrated college football expert Jim Mora said of Moore. "I think second is probably a little high just because of the measurables, I think people worry about that. But third, fourth round you go ahead and take a chance on this guy just because of the talent, because of the intangibles, because of the things he can bring to a team."
Ahead of the start of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, there are now eight wide receivers rated higher than Moore. Whoever drafts the speedy Boilermaker will be selecting a tough, physical athlete but will have to learn to use his skill set effectively at the professional level.
Todd McShay's Top-20 Wide Receivers
- Ja'Marr Chase, LSU (No. 3 overall prospect)
- DeVonta Smith, Alabama (No. 6 overall)
- Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (No. 7 overall)
- Elijah Moore, Mississippi (No. 23 overall)
- Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (No. 29 overall)
- Kadarius Toney, Florida (No. 32 overall)
- Tutu Atwell, Louisville (No. 44 overall)
- Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU (No. 46 overall)
- Rondale Moore, Purdue (No. 54 overall)
- D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (No. 57 overall)
- Anthony Schwartz, Auburn (No. 72 overall)
- Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (No. 75 overall)
- Nico Collins, Michigan (No. 76 overall)
- Amari Rodgers, Clemson (No. 86 overall)
- Shi Smith, South Carolina (No. 89 overall)
- Cade Johnson, South Dakota State (No. 94 overall)
- Dyami Brown, North Carolina (No. 98 overall)
- Sage Surratt, Wake Forest (No. 105 overall)
- Tyler Vaughns, USC (No. 122 overall)
- Osirus Mitchell, Mississippi State (No. 129 overall)
ESPN's Final Evaluation of Rondale Moore
"Moore is an undersized slot receiver with excellent burst and rare top-end speed. He makes defenders miss and has the second gear to pull away when he gets the ball in space. He averaged 10.1 yards per carry in 2018.
He's more of a threat after the catch, but he tracks the ball well and makes some plays downfield. He's an above-average route runner who has the burst to separate from man and settles into pockets working against zone looks. He's a hands catcher, but he's a small target who drops some balls. He's tough over the middle and after the catch."
Stories Related to Purdue Football
- 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
- MOORE, HERMANNS, THIENEMAN HONORED: Three Boilermakers were named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society. CLICK HERE
- LEROY KEYES REMEMBERED: Leroy Keyes was remembered by a public viewing at the Mollenkopf Indoor Facility on Saturday, followed by a private ceremony for invited family, friends and colleagues. CLICK HERE