Second-Year Scouting Report: Rondale Moore


Rookies get all the attention. They’re the flashy new piece that could be anything. And then a class of rookies comes through and they’re old news, replaced by the next flashy, new thing. But last year’s rookies aren’t gone, and in many cases, they’re going to be even better than the exciting new pieces that are just showing up.


Of course, sometimes they won’t be, and that matters too. So as we head toward training camp, preseason and then the start of the 2022 NFL season, we’re taking a look at last year’s rookie class. What did we think about last year’s rookie class? What worked? What didn’t? And what’s the prognosis for them going forward?

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Coming out of Purdue, Rondale Moore was a classic case of a high-risk, high-reward player. In his freshman season, he put up a ridiculous 114-1,258-12 receiving line to pair with 21 carries for 213 yards. Unfortunately, he missed the majority of his sophomore and junior seasons with a series of lower-body injuries. 

Still, the Cardinals were willing to take a chance on Moore in hopes of pairing his electricity with Kyler Murray’s athleticism. Moore’s rookie season proved to be somewhat of a microcosm of his college career. He exploded onto the scene in his first two career games, then largely disappeared the rest of the season, occasionally popping up to remind everyone how good he can be.

Rondale Moore WR Arizona Cardinals

What Went Right

Despite being fourth on the wide receiver depth chart, Moore hauled in 54 of his 64 targets, good for the highest catch percentage of any receiver with at least 50 targets (83%). Arizona often schemed touches for Moore close to the line of scrimmage, and his ability to make defenders miss – more missed tackles forced per reception than CeeDee Lamb and Ja’Marr Chase – resulted in the third best YAC per reception in the NFL. 

While his spot in the pecking order didn’t allow him to rack up monster targets and reception totals, Moore was getting looks when he was out there. He saw a target on 24% of his routes, good for 18th in the NFL (min. 50 targets) and a higher rate than Deebo Samuel and Keenan Allen.

The speedster flashed his athleticism and potential to be a fantasy star at times, so increased opportunity could allow him to make the leap from gadget guy to consistent fantasy starter. 

What Went Wrong

As noted above, Moore was awesome with the ball in his hands. He just didn’t have it in his hands enough to make an impact every week. He played behind DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green which limited him to only four games of at least a 50% snap share. 

At 5-foot-7, Moore isn’t specializing in end-zone fades or being featured in red-zone packages, either. A player like him needs the ball in the open field in order to break away and score touchdowns, so his part-time role led to just one trip to the end zone in his rookie year and a WR71 finish in half-PPR. 

Well, at least he had all that YAC, right? Right, but yards after the catch were almost 100% necessary for Moore because he wasn’t getting them prior to the catch. He had by far the lowest average depth of target (1.8 yards) among NFL wide receivers with at least 50 targets. He’s a screen savant, but bumping up that ADOT and overall opportunities are necessary for Moore to be fantasy relevant.


Prognosis Entering 2022

So, Moore is great with the ball, but he doesn’t get it enough. If he can get it more, and a bit further down the field sometimes, his ceiling is only limited by his playing time. Luckily for Moore, opportunity has come knocking prior to his second season. 

Starting slot receiver Christian Kirk signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason, and star wideout DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games. The Cardinals traded for Marquise Brown to fill the void left by Hopkins, but the door is still wide open for Moore to establish a bigger role for himself, especially in the slot.

Kirk’s team-high 578 routes (79%) came from the slot. Meanwhile, 77% of Moore’s routes came from the slot, making him the most logical candidate to replace Kirk. Plus, head coach Kliff Kingsbury hasn’t shied away from expressing his desire to utilize the second-year dynamo a lot more in 2022.

For at least the first six games of the season, Moore could be the second receiving option and starting slot receiver on a top-10 scoring offense. As his role expands in the offense, he should see an increase in targets and receptions, and that low ADOT should jump up quite a bit. Even with Hopkins in the fold after game six, Moore has a chance to establish a unique role in the game plan by then.

In the early days of training camp, he’s being drafted outside of the top 50 wide receivers. I absolutely love taking a shot on an electric talent who is tied to a great quarterback at essentially no cost toward the end of drafts. Target Rondale Moore in his sophomore season.

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