Colts: Rondale Moore’s Pro Day makes it hard for Chris Ballard to overlook him in draft
By Jerry Trotta
For as much criticism Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has received for exercising caution in free agency thus far, he’ll have a perfect opportunity to silence his critics once the draft rolls around next month.
In just four years, Ballard has already proven to be a master when it comes to evaluating talent and getting tremendous value with his selections. For context, Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. were all taken in the second round.
As things stand, the Colts still have a glaring need at wide receiver, though the latest free agency buzz indicates that could change in due time. However, regardless of whether Ballard addresses the WR position on the open market, he should still look to the draft for potential reinforcements.
Given that Indy still has a vacancy at left tackle, you can all but cross of the possibility of them drafting a wideout with the No. 21 overall pick. With that in mind, we wouldn’t rule out Ballard pouncing on a receiver in either one of the second or third rounds.
Speaking of which, if the 51-year-old GM plays his cards right, Purdue stud Rondale Moore, who absolutely showed out at his Pro Day, could fall right into his lap. That, of course, is assuming another team doesn’t jump the gun and drafts Moore earlier, but hear us out for a moment.
The Colts better not overlook Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore after his electrifying Pro Day.
Leading up to his Pro Day, much was made about Moore’s height, and he actually measured in smaller (5-foot-7, 180 pounds ) than what scouts had initially listed him as. In truly compelling fashion, however, the former Boilermaker swiftly muzzled his naysayers by running a blistering 4.29 40-yard dash and producing a 42.5-inch (!) vertical jump.
To put those numbers into perspective, they’re superior to what DK Metcalf, who’s widely regarded as the best combine performer in recent memory, posted two years ago in 2019.
Moore’s size (or lack thereof) will always be held against him, but his combination of speed, soft hands, route-running, and ability to take any play to the house leads us to believe he’ll pan out just fine in the NFL. He admittedly dealt with injuries over his final two seasons with Purdue, but you don’t need a large sample size to comprehend the kind of rare talent he is.
Moore can be seen as a smaller, more dynamic version of Tyler Lockett, who’s fresh off his second consecutive 1,000-receiving yard campaign with Seattle. Go take a look at some film and you’ll see the 20-year-old speedster has zero problem adjusting to errant throws or making catches with defenders draped all over him, which you wouldn’t expect for a player his size.
Moore had his work cut out for him in terms of impressing NFL scouts after he was limited to just four games as a sophomore due to injuries and missed all of 2020 (opted out). Then again, his electrifying Pro Day did wonders to remind them why he was the first true freshman consensus All-American in Big Ten history back in 2018.
In the simplest of terms, talents like this don’t come around often, and Moore had better piqued Ballard and the Colts’ interest after he stole the show on Tuesday.