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Report: Colts Had a Recent Virtual Meeting with Purdue WR Rondale Moore Before the NFL Draft

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NCAA Football: Purdue at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

According to The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Indianapolis Colts are among the teams that had a recent virtual meeting with prized Purdue wideout Rondale Moore before this late April’s NFL Draft:

The 5’9”, 180 pound Boilermakers wideout caught 35 receptions for 270 receiving yards (7.7 ypr. avg.), as well as 6 carries for 32 rushing yards (5.3 ypr. avg.) and a rushing touchdown during 3 starts in 2020—having initially opted out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

He appeared in only 4 games in 2019, as he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

However, during his freshman season for Purdue in 2018, Moore was a collegiate superstar.

He recorded 114 receptions for 1,258 receiving yards (11.0 ypr. avg.) and 12 touchdown receptions—while also amassing 213 rushing yards on 21 carries (10.1 ypr. avg.) and 2 rushing touchdowns in 13 starts.

He also had 33 kick returns for 662 total kick return yards (20.1 ypr. avg.).

He earned the Paul Hornung Award and was named a consensus All-American, First-Team All-Big Ten member, and the Big Ten Freshman of the Year among his others honors that special season.

For what it’s worth, PFF has ranked Moore as an NFL prospect that the site likes more than scouts and the media:

WR RONDALE MOORE, PURDUE

PFF Big Board Rank: 21

The discrepancy with Moore is primarily due to his absence over the last few years. He has hardly played since his true freshman season in 2018; he appeared in just four games in 2019 and three games in 2020.

Still, what a healthy Moore did in his first year on campus is too good to ignore, as it was one of the three most valuable seasons we have recorded by a true freshman non-quarterback in the seven years of PFF College’s existence.

Moore is a freak athletically. He clocked a 4.33-second 40 coming out of high school to go with a 42.7-inch vertical and 4.01-second short shuttle. Since his arrival in Lafayette, videos posted to social media show the 5-foot-9, 180-pound receiver benching over 400 pounds and squatting over 600. That elite-level explosiveness and strength will make him one of the most dangerous after-the-catch weapons in the NFL early in his professional career. He broke an astonishing 37 tackles back in 2018 alone, which still stands as the PFF record for most broken tackles after the catch by a Power 5 receiver in a single season.

There may be some concerns about his playing time as well as his limited route tree and schemed production at Purdue, but this uber-athlete is worth betting on early.

Here’s what others are saying:

The Colts could use another explosive playmaker at wide receiver, as longtime veteran T.Y. Hilton is set to become a free agent and should transition into more of a complementary role going forward—even if re-signed by Indianapolis.

As a big-play threat, Moore is an undersized wideout, most natural in the slot, who excels in space and after the catch where he can utilize his elite speed, burst, and elusiveness.

In playing style, he’s somewhat similar to Colts’ 2019 second round pick, Parris Campbell, who’s been severely limited by injuries to start his early pro career.

Selecting Moore early on in the draft could show that the Colts aren’t necessarily penciling in Campbell for a pivotal role given his lingering durability concerns—even if Indianapolis would be foolish to completely write him off yet.

As such, Moore would provide new Colts quarterback Carson Wentz an explosive wideout who tracks the ball well, plays fearless over the middle of the field, and can make plays downfield—as well as a versatile ‘gadget weapon’ on screens/jet sweeps.

Overall, it would give the Colts offense another game-changer—as Moore is a serious threat to score every time he touches the football.

However, he does come with a limited route tree from Purdue and some of his own durability concerns (although this past season was just a weird year).

Simply put, Moore has been hurt by missing time over the past two seasons, as he hasn’t generated as much buzz as some of the NFL Draft’s other highly touted wideout prospects—because there’s not a whole lot of film to go off of besides his tantalizing freshman year.

That being said, Moore’s widely been projected to go no later than the second round (with the first round still a real possibility)—and the Colts could always use another dynamic playmaker offensively.