According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the Indianapolis Colts will select Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore with the 25th overall pick in his ‘Way-Too-Early’ 2021 NFL Mock Draft:
25. Indianapolis Colts — WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
The Colts may be an early mock draft favorite to draft a quarterback, but Jacob Eason had a potential-starter grade on my 2020 draft board and shouldn’t be counted out from winning the job in 2021 once Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett are no longer under contract.
Whether it’s one of the aforementioned veteran players or Eason, they’ll need more help at receiver even after the Colts drafted a big target in Michael Pittman Jr. Purdue’s Rondale Moore is a burner with elite yards-after-catch ability. While he may be undersized (5’9”, 180 lbs), he offers a skill set that teams will be hard-pressed to bypass in Round 1.
Of course, the underlying good news here is that the Colts went from having the 13th overall pick in 2020 (or at least to trading it away) to the 25th overall pick in 2021—meaning next year’s squad is a really good to elite football team with this offseason’s improvements.
The 5’9”, 180 pound sophomore wide receiver caught 29 receptions for 387 receiving yards (13.3 ypr. avg.) and 2 touchdown receptions during 4 starts in 2019—as he was limited all season by a hamstring injury.
However, as a true freshman in 2018, Moore exploded onto the scene for the Boilermakers, catching 114 receptions for 1,258 receiving yards (11.0 ypr. avg.) and 12 touchdown receptions, as well as had 21 carries for 213 rushing yards (10.1 ypc. avg.) and 2 rushing touchdowns during 13 starts—earning AP First-Team All-American (all-purpose back), First-Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and the Paul Hornung Award.
If fully healthy, the New Albany, Indiana native could be “in the Heisman Trophy conversation” for this upcoming season (per ESPN’s Anthony Treash):
5. Rondale Moore, Purdue
Moore was a dark-horse Heisman candidate entering the 2019 season, but injuries sadly limited him to only four games. His true freshman campaign in 2018 is too good to ignore and easily places him among the five best wide receivers in college football. In 2018, Moore was the most valuable Power 5 wide receiver in the country. His usage was rather unique with the Boilermakers that year — most of his targets came underneath the coverage on screens, quick slants and outs. On balls thrown 9 or fewer yards downfield, Moore saw over 20 more targets than anyone else (118 in total) and was one of two receivers to produce a receiving grade above 90.0. Moore broke a tackle on over a third of these catches and averaged 7.5 yards after the catch per reception. Even after the injury-ruined year, Moore could be in the Heisman conversation in 2020.
Moore is simply one of the most electric players in college football with the ball in his hands, as he’s fast, compact and strong, and incredibly explosive.
If the Colts were to select Moore in 2021, it could quite possibly be because they’re looking for a long-term successor to then 31 year old wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who’s a free agent after 2020—as another playmaker in their wide receiver corps.
Moore would hopefully join the veteran Hilton (*re-signed*), as well as some talented youngsters such as Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell among others in the Colts revamped wide receiver room.
Still, even though it’s indeed ‘way-too-early’ to make such projections, it is interesting food for thought for the Colts in the future—especially regarding a local star who happens to play in ‘their own backyard’ in West Lafayette, Indiana.