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Rondale Moore Not Just A Vertical Threat

Rookie wide receiver's elusiveness could help offense immediately

WR Rondale Moore at rookie minicamp.
WR Rondale Moore at rookie minicamp.

Rondale Moore has elite straight-line speed, as evidenced by the 4.29-second 40 he ran at Purdue’s Pro Day.

While going deep is part of the rookie wide receiver's game, it's not all of it.

Moore could be featured prominently in the Cardinals' quick passing game this season because of his short-area quickness. In his one full season with the Boilermakers in 2018, Moore forced 37 missed tackles, which was the most by a wide receiver dating back to 2014, per Pro Football Focus.

Cardinals Director of Player Personnel Dru Grigson said Moore's elusiveness was already apparent in rookie minicamp.

"When he hits it straight line, it's unbelievable, but this kid's ability to move laterally – this kid teleports," Grigson said Thursday night on the Big Red Rage. "He doesn't just change directions. It's unbelievable to watch. He's a video game in real life. I heard one of the defensive coaches say the other day: 'This kid looks quick in slow motion.' I'm excited to see him for 17 games for us."

Grigson categorized Moore as "arguably the best run-after-catch guy in this draft," which is something the Cardinals could use.

DeAndre Hopkins and Chase Edmonds evaded their fair share of tackles last season, but overall the short passing game was not as efficient as hoped because it lacked yards after catch.

Moore is expected to be used on jet sweeps, bubble screens and slants to get him the ball quickly and allow him to work.

Chris Vaughn, who has been training Moore since he was a kid, said his protégé has always had a natural knack for making defenders miss.

"A lot of guys have straight-ahead speed, and obviously he is blessed with that, but it's really his change of direction, his acceleration, his deceleration, his space, his footwork," Vaughn said. "It's more impressive, the multi-directional athlete he is. He's a guy that can go backwards, lateral, forward. A lot of people talk about being explosive straight ahead. He's explosive laterally, explosive vertically and can go forward with linear speed. You have a lot of guys that can run but can't sit their hips down. That's the difference with him."

Second-round pick Rondale Moore poses for the camera following his arrival in Arizona.