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Speed is the one trait that offensive coordinators love to hear about wide receivers. Which receiver looks to be the fastest pass catcher in the 2021 NFL draft? Call him undersized but Purdue receiver, Rondale Moore, is the “home run threat” that can spark an offense to put its foot down. Moore looks like he has Tyreek Hill level speed. If that sounds too good to be true, then watch the game film and judge for yourself.
It will be interesting to see what 40-yard dash time we’ll see out of Moore. He will be the receiver that an offensive coordinator can just point to and say “I’m going to send on a fly route and dare the defense to stop him”. If Moore can consistently win against man and press coverage, he has the chance to become an elite receiver right away. To say Moore has NFL Pro Bowl potential seems like a guarantee. The main issue is his height. He’s only 5’9″ so he will likely face press coverage. The only drawback for a defense is press coverage against Moore may also be a risk as his speed could cause matchup problems against press coverage. A defense wouldn’t dare do that against the 5’10’ Hill so perhaps it’s equally as risky to use that against Moore.
Moore brings more than just purely speed. He brings much-needed all-around versatility. He’s a special team, jet sweep, and fly route nightmare all in one. Although most teams prefer taller and more balanced receivers, Moore isn’t the receiver that teams should pass up in the first round without worrying about it. With all that speed and versatility, it would be an absolute mistake if no team drafts him in the first round. Call him a late first-round pick if necessary. However, it would be way too shocking to see him available in the second round.
It would be nice to see what he can do with underneath passes and in the slot. It’s obvious what Moore can do down the field. Perhaps teams can be creative and use Moore on five-yard passes and screens. Moore would then have the opportunity to use his quick acceleration to gain 10 or more yards per play.
Although his height may seem like the biggest concern, it’s actually his injury history. He missed most of the 2019 season with a hamstring injury and three games in 2020 with a lower-body injury. Team doctors must evaluate him carefully to make sure he will be healthy and stay healthy.
Late first round: Moore doesn’t seem like an early first-round selection since receivers like Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, LSU’s JeMarr Chase, and Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman will be off the board before him. However, Moore looks like a late first-round steal which teams like Green Bay among others may get a deep threat and the best kick returner in this NFL draft.