One of the best wide receivers coming out of the Big Ten Conference this year has caught the attention of the Green Bay Packers.
According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, former Purdue wideout and potential 2021 first-round pick Rondale Moore is scheduled to meet virtually with both the Packers and Tennessee Titans in March after a jam-packed February saw him meet with at least 10 possible NFL suitors.
Moore could possibly be a fit for the Packers’ No. 29 overall selection in the first round. The Draft Network rates him as the 32rd-best overall prospect in the 2021 class and the seventh-best wide receiver, but concerns about his durability and stature (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) could see him slip deeper into the second depending on how quickly wideouts come off the board in April’s draft.
When healthy, Moore is a multifaceted weapon who can snap into a playmaker whenever the ball is in his hands. He became the Big Ten’s first-ever true freshman to be named a consensus All-American back in 2018 after catching 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Boilermakers, but injuries kept his production low over his final two seasons and have made his draft stock difficult to nail down for 2021.
Moore is the first wide receiver reported to have (or have scheduled) a virtual pre-draft meeting with the Packers this offseason, but their name has come up with numerous other prospects, showing a bigger emphasis on defensive talent.
The Packers have also met with North Caroline State defensive lineman Alim McNeill, Notre Dame edge rusher Daelin Hayes, Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State cornerback Thomas Graham Jr., Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt and Miami tight end Brevin Jordan.
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Moore a Dream Prospect for Packers?
Let’s start with the downsides: After becoming a breakout All-American in 2018, Moore struggled to stay on the field over his sophomore and junior campaigns and added just 64 more receptions in his final two years with the Boilermakers. He missed the final eight games of Purdue’s 2019 season with a season-ending knee injury and also underwent finger surgery in the offseason. Then, after initially opting out of 2020 before eventually changing his mind, Moore missed half of the shortened season with a lower leg injury.
Beyond his injuries, there are also questions about whether Moore’s overall stature will allow him to be the same explosive player at the NFL level. Players like Tyreek Hill (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) have defied expectations for smaller-bodied receivers, but it only adds to the hesitation when the prospect also has doubts about durability.
And yet, Moore could also be a dreamboat prospect for Matt LaFleur and the Packers considering his ridiculously high ceiling and overall versatility.
Beyond his evident gifts as a pass-catcher, Moore can also be dangerously effective with his legs in terms of creating yards after completions and rushing out of the backfield. He added 213 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 21 carries during his breakout 2018 season with the Boilermakers and often looked more like a running back than wideout in ways he weaponized his lower center of gravity.
Moore created the same problems as a return man for Purdue’s special teams. While he never found the end zone on 42 kickoff returns and 17 punt returns, he finished with career averages of 19.4 yards and 6.9 yards in each category, respectively.
The Packers have a big-bodied receiving corps heading into the 2021 season with Davante Adams (6-1, 215 pounds), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (6-4, 206 pounds) and Allen Lazard (6-5, 214 pounds) at the top of their depth chart, so there could be room for someone like Moore to join the fray. He would also make for a dynamic addition to a rushing room that could be losing its top two backs and a special teams unit seeking a candidate for return responsibilities.