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NFL Draft

Rondale Moore: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • March 23, 2021
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If you’re looking for the most electric wide receiver prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, Purdue’s Rondale Moore can give you a strong case. An exciting playmaker, Moore’s jump-off-the-screen skill set was constantly on display on Saturdays. Moore leaves the Boilermakers for the next level after accounting for more than 2,000 total yards and 17 touchdowns in just 20 career games.

Viewed by many as one of the top receivers in this draft, Moore recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about why his game-breaking ability will translate to the next level, how he’s gotten into the best shape of his life throughout this process, how he chooses to attack different cornerbacks, and what fans can expect from him in his rookie season.

JM: You’ve been an all-purpose weapon since your days at Trinity High School. You were already a dangerous playmaker with the ball in your hands. While a lot of guys go through position changes at that age, you’ve been honing the same skill set for years. How does that give you an advantage as you prepare to enter the NFL?

RM: I think you hit the nail on the head. Continuing to work every day and being versatile while expanding my knowledge of the game has all played a part in me becoming a better receiver. 

For me personally, playing in coach Brohm’s offense helped me tremendously. I had to be a quick learner to survive in that offense. The game slowed down for me. Continuing to work on my craft as a complete receiver, it’s all been a part of my process.

JM: You leave Purdue as one of the most prolific receivers in school history. I don’t have enough time to round off all of the accolades. You truly left the program in a better state than you found it in. How do you reflect on your time there?

RM: I had a great time at Purdue. I say it all the time. I left Purdue as a better man and as a better football player. I made some friendships and connections that will last me a lifetime.

I had an opportunity to intern with a guy that played the game alongside Drew Brees in the early 2000s. He’s now a CEO of a staffing firm in Indianapolis. I got to intern there and it was a terrific experience.

I’ve made so many friends throughout the years. These are people that will be in my wedding one day.

On the football side of things, I’m about to be granted the opportunity to play in the NFL which has been another lifelong dream of mine. Purdue was great. I truly can’t complain.

JM: I love that. You racked up 313 yards against Northwestern in your collegiate debut. Talk about announcing yourself to the world. Do you remember what it was like being in the zone for that game?

RM: Yeah, I really do. It was a lot of fun. I had a lot of confidence going into that game. We did a great job preparing for it. The coaches put me in a terrific position to go out there and know exactly what I was doing. The scout team did a great job that week of familiarizing us with the looks we were going to get. I knew what was coming when I was getting the ball because I had already seen the looks in practice. We had a great scheme.

That night was special for me and I remember a lot of it.

JM: That was a crazy way to make your debut. One of the things that jump out at me about your game is what you’re able to make happen after the catch. What you do as a ball-carrier is truly special. Everybody in the nation is familiar with how dangerous you are with the ball in your hands. How did you develop that aspect of your game?

RM: A lot of that just comes from strength. That’s the honest truth. That’s at least one aspect of it. I have the mentality necessary to pick up extra yards. Mix in some instincts and some God-given ability, that also helps (laughs).

Going out there and being comfortable and prepared are the two most important aspects. I always had the confidence of my coaches and teammates. They allowed me to go out there and play loose. I always had a lot of fun playing for Purdue.

JM: Do you have a favorite route to run?

RM: A slant against press coverage. There’s a variety of ways I can spin a defender around. There are a plethora of releases you can take. For me, that’s the route that really shows off my craft and my ability to move. You can embarrass a defender with that, and that’s a lot of fun to do as a receiver (laughs).

JM: I love that (laughs). Where are you health-wise right now?

RM: Right now? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being that I feel great, I’m an 11 right now.

JM: That’s what we wanted to hear. No limitations, no rehab?

RM: Nothing at all. I didn’t have any surgeries or anything like that.

JM: That’s great news. Because you’re such a unique playmaker, I’m curious which players you admired growing up. Do you model your game after anybody in particular?

RM: There are some guys I admired growing up. Tavon Austin for sure. You know what’s crazy? When it comes full circle and you get a chance to meet your idols and they text you or call you, you eventually become friends and whatnot, it’s so crazy to look back.

Tavon Austin was a guy that I used to watch in high school a lot. Christian McCaffrey is another one. As I got older, Tyreek Hill is a name that comes to mind currently. I enjoy watching Stefon Diggs as well. Keenan Allen is a phenomenal route-runner. Guys like that come to mind.

JM: Tavon was electric. Have you heard from him?

RM: I actually have, yeah. I won a few awards as a freshman in high school and I got a Facetime call from him one day. I couldn’t believe it. We’ve kept in touch ever since.

JM: What’s your favorite part of playing the wide receiver position?

RM: As a receiver, I live for the money downs. To move the chains on those important downs is such an exciting part of the game for me. Making those big plays, there’s nothing better than that. 

Catching the ball 20 or more yards down the field, moving the chains on third-and-short, making those types of plays when it counts is everything. I love making the plays that bring some energy to our team. 

Making a big play when it counts is the most exciting part for me.

JM: You’re going to hear the word “undersized” thrown around a lot in association with your name. You’ve probably dealt with that your entire life and you’ve been proving people wrong your entire life. How do you typically respond to the undersized label?

RM: I think up to this point, I’ve never been held back or limited in any aspect of my game due to my size. I have trained my entire life to equip myself with some tools and I pull them out of my toolbox whenever it’s time to go use them.

I’ve always continued to grind and work at my craft. If you do that every day, you will figure out ways to win. That’s what I’ve always done. At that point, it doesn’t matter if you’re 6-foot-5 or 5-foot-10. The name of the game is to get open and catch the ball, and that’s what I’m always going to do.

JM: There’s no doubt about that. If you could catch a pass from any quarterback in the NFL, who would you choose and why?

RM: Right now, how can I not say Tom Brady? That’s the GOAT right there. You can’t go against him right now. He just proved it again. What he’s doing at his age is unreal. To catch a pass from him, that would be crazy.

JM: That’s a fair choice. We’ve reached the virtual part of the draft now. You’re in the middle of having your team meetings via Zoom and telephone. How is that process going for you so far, and which teams have you met with?

RM: It’s going great for me so far. I’ve spoken with so many different teams and people. I’ve spoken with Washington, the 49ers, Seahawks, Saints, Broncos, Colts, Patriots, Jaguars, Jets, and Chargers. Just to name a few (laughs).

I’ve spoken with a lot of people. Once we hit March, it’ll ramp and I’ll start to hop on the phone with some of the decision-makers and it’ll get a lot more interesting at that point [writer’s note: this interview was completed on 2/24]. 

I already have several meetings set up for the month of March. I know the Titans and Packers are on my list. I can’t wait to get into some football on these calls. The process is treating me well so far.

JM: That’s wonderful. There’s so much interest in you and it’s easy to see why on tape. The combine was canceled, but you’re still going to get a Pro Day. What are you most looking forward to about that?

RM: I can’t wait to get out there and run some routes. If that’s going to be a question mark, it’ll be important for me to go out there and show everybody what I’m capable of. I’m excited to go out there and move around. I’m gonna catch the football at a high level and show what I can do.

JM: Playing at Purdue afforded you the opportunity to go up against some of the best competition college football had to offer. Who are some of the best cornerbacks you’ve ever squared off with?

RM: There’s been a few. If I had to rank a guy that was the best one in my eyes, I would probably go with Jeff Gladney. In the scheme he played in at TCU, they really allowed him to thrive and be great. They played a lot of two-man when he was there. He’s a longer guy and he’s incredibly strong. I thought he was the best of the bunch.

JM: He’s a good one. I don’t ask this question to every receiver I speak with, but I feel like you have such an appreciation for releases and route-running in general that I’m curious to hear your thoughts. How do you approach a bigger, more physical corner in coverage differently than you do a smaller, shiftier one that can match your speed and keep up with your movements?

RM: I think it’s important to figure out how he moves. A lot of that comes from your film study earlier in the week. That’s when I figure out his tendencies and what he doesn’t do well. 

I’m always looking for what makes a cornerback uncomfortable in coverage. Whether that means I get closer to him and outside of him so he doesn’t put his hands on me, maybe he can’t run or maybe he doesn’t transition well out of his breaks. 

A lot of different things like that go into it. I think a lot of it comes from what you identified on tape earlier in the week. That’s where you can spot his tendencies and maybe identify an area of weakness in his game. 

I don’t think it’s so much about whether or not he’s a bigger guy or a smaller guy, but more so about what he does and doesn’t do well.

JM: That’s a terrific answer. I’m going to end things on that note. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Rondale. I feel like you’ve given our readers a peek into the mind of one of the most electric playmakers in this draft class and I thank you for that.

In closing, what kind of impact is Rondale Moore going to make at the next level?

RM: I think my production will remain what it’s been. I’m not going to slow down. I’m gonna be the same player that I was in high school and college. My workload will stay the same. My mentality will stay the same. I’m just excited to go compete.

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