While this past college football season was a very challenging one for all players and coaches, for former Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, it has really been a challenging two years.
In addition to COVID-19 shortening Purdue’s season, Moore has dealt with injuries recently as well. The 5-foot-7, 180-pound receiver only played in seven games from 2019-2020, missing time due to knee and hamstring injuries (2019) and a lower-body ailment (2020).
But despite all the setbacks and lack of time on the field, Moore has one message for evaluators who might doubt him entering the draft April 29-May 1.
“Go turn on the tape. I think it speaks for itself,” Moore said on Glenn Clark Radio April 26. “I caught the ball at an extremely high level. I won in a number of ways. … Honestly I think my best football is ahead of me.”
Looking back on the tape from his first year in West Lafayette, Ind., it is clear that Moore has star potential. As a freshman, Moore broke numerous school records, including all-purpose yards in a season (2,215) and all-purpose yards in a game (313). He also tied the program record for most 100-yard receiving games (seven).
A campaign that saw him tally 114 catches, 1,258 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns was good enough to earn him first-team All-America honors, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award and the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player.
Moore believes that achieving such success in one season — and doing it all over the field by running the ball, catching passes and returning kicks — will allow him to stand out in the NFL Draft despite the time he missed during his sophomore and junior seasons.
“Just the learning curve and understanding what’s going on and being able to actually go play outside, play inside and be dynamic in the return game, things like that, I think definitely does separate me,” Moore said, “and hopefully I get a chance to go do all the above at the next level.”
Even in the seven games he was able to play during the last two seasons, Moore still found a way to produce. He racked up 657 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
But for the New Albany, Ind., native, the lessons learned from missing all that game action the past two seasons is something he believes can help him as he prepares to make the transition to the next level.
“I’ve learned so much and realize the importance of mobility and taking care of myself day to day to just make sure I am available when my name is called,” Moore said.
One advantage of being sidelined for so long is the ample time Moore had to work on the mental side of the game. For the self-proclaimed “film junky,” that time off allowed Moore to study hard, something right in his wheelhouse.
Moore said his film-loving ways started during his junior year at Trinity High School (Louisville, Ky.), where his offensive coordinator, Andrew Coverdale, taught him the importance of studying film. Moore helped lead his team to back-to-back Kentucky 6A championships, and he was named 2017 Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year.
As he transitioned to college, Moore spent multiple hours a day watching any game that was on TV, his own game tape, practice tape and one-on-one matchups of himself. Moore even called former Purdue quarterback David Blough at 1 a.m. to ask what he should be running on a particular play, according to the team’s website.
That dedication to the film room, paired with the ample time his injuries have given him to study his craft, is something he believes will make up for any doubts NFL evaluators may have about the projected early-round pick.
“I got to actually see the results when I got on the field and everything slowed down for me,” Moore said. “So I figured if I could learn as much as I could, the game would basically move in slow motion. I felt like I would be able to thrive at a high level.”
Moore made a good case at Purdue’s pro day March 23 that his stock should be on the rise by posting a 4.39 40-yard dash and a 42.5 inch vertical leap. However, he only measured in at 5-foot-7, two inches shorter than his listed height.
Given his athleticism and knowledge of the game, Moore could represent a much-needed weapon for the Ravens. Baltimore currently has a group of young receivers in Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Myles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche and a veteran in Sammy Watkins.
Baltimore could target a new weapon for former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson in the draft, and Moore said joining the Ravens is an intriguing possibility. He is expected to be a second-day pick.
“Yeah, no doubt. That would definitely be cool,” Moore said. “Surround [Jackson] with some great weapons, and I think they’ve got a great thing going over there.”
For more from Moore, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Purdue Athletics