The Arizona Cardinals selected Purdue's Rondale Moore in the second round with the No. 49 overall selection Friday, adding a diminutive but explosive wide receiver to the offensive weapons surrounding ascendant quarterback Kyler Murray.
The pick could suggest what the club expects to hear from 11-time Pro Bowler WR Larry Fitzgerald on his football future, as the 17-year veteran is thought to be considering retirement.
Moore's size (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) has generated doubters throughout his football career, but his 4.3 speed and open-field moves thoroughly negated that disadvantage at the college level. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Moore to Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett, and believes he can win an NFL role as a return man, as well. Injuries and early draft entry limited his college career to just 20 games.
His freshman year, his only healthy season at Purdue, he led the nation with 114 catches. The Boilermakers' short passing game held down his average (11 ypc), but he nevertheless scored 12 touchdowns and added 213 rushing yards on 21 attempts. Also a primary return man for Purdue that year, Moore was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and became the first freshman winner of the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player.
"Not only is he fast, he is sturdy and strong," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on the draft broadcast.
Moore established himself as Purdue's best player, and one of the most explosive players in the Big Ten Conference, from his very first college game. Against Northwestern as a freshman in 2018, he broke a school record in his college debut with 313 all-purpose yards. Less than two months later, he led a stunning Purdue upset over then-No. 2-ranked Ohio State, 49-20, with 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches.