Report: Patriots met virtually with potential first-round WR Rondale Moore

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Isaiah Houde
·3 min read
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The New England Patriots have a ton of work ahead of them this offseason and the draft will be more important than it has been in the past two decades.

New England is in a prove-it year after the departure of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s age of 68 is creating a win-now atmosphere. The Patriots have the fourth-most cap space in the NFL and quarterback is the most important position at the moment, but it’s unlikely the Patriots select their signal-caller with the No. 15 overall pick.

Belichick will likely choose a veteran to lead this group, whether it’s Cam Newton or potentially a player like Marcus Mariota. So, the Patriots can use their first-round pick to choose from a selection of skill players or other position groups that need a ton of help.

According to The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Patriots were among a group of teams that met with Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore.

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Moore is 5-foot-8, 180 pound receiver who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash and has an unreal ceiling at the slot position. He was hurt a majority of the past two seasons, which causes questions about his draft stock, but still accrued 178 receptions for 1,915 yards with 14 touchdowns in his three years.

Here’s The Draft Network’s synopsis of Moore.

Rondale Moore should be considered one of the 2021 NFL Draft’s most electric prospects, but he’s also one of the biggest wildcards in the process. When healthy, Moore is a multi-purpose weapon who can break open a football game with any touch of the football; he’s provided run after catch, special teams plays, rushing usage out of the backfield, and vertical receiving over the middle of the field. There isn’t a lot that Moore cannot do. But Moore, for all of his merits and gifts as an athlete, has endured significant durability issues throughout his three years at Purdue, and any NFL team drafting him is effectively doing so based on the play he put on display in 2018 as a true freshman when he arrived on the scene in a big way and embarrassed Ohio State on his way to becoming a household name.

Moore has played in just seven football games over the last two seasons on account of injuries, leaving durability as a major red flag that must be vetted—and even then may be a disqualifier for some when pairing that with his stature. Not dissimilar to how the process treated Colorado’s Laviska Shenault in 2020, Moore may be a victim of his own versatility and medical flags and be pegged as simply an offensive weapon by some teams, watering down his draft-day value. If you could guarantee you’ll get your hands on a fully healthy Moore, you’re getting a game-breaker who may win you a handful of football games by individual efforts in any season—he’s that dynamic. But the tightrope act that whichever team selects him must walk is balancing as big of a role as possible for him without exposing him to the wear and tear that will routinely cut his season short.

Whether or not the Patriots should consider him at No. 15 is hard to tell, but he’d be a great value pick if he drops down to the second round.