Despite drafting a wide receiver in the first and second round of the past two drafts, the position remains a need for the San Francisco 49ers. On Tuesday morning, Alabama held its pro day. There were about a dozen general managers on hand, but John Lynch wasn’t one of them.
Does that mean the team isn’t interested in QB Mac Jones, or is this a smokescreen? Wide receivers Devonta Smith and Jalen Waddle didn’t work out. Both wideouts are expected to go in the top-15 of the draft.
I wouldn’t rule any position out for any team, as the unexpected happens every year. With that in mind, the Niners taking a receiver at No. 12 would be a shocker.
The 49ers brass were in attendance at Purdue’s pro day on Tuesday, where WR Rondale Moore wowed during his workout by running a 4.29 40-yard dash unofficially, with a 42” vertical and a 3-cone time of 6.65. Each of those numbers would put Moore in the 90-percentiles.
None of this is surprising, as I interviewed Moore earlier this month, and he said he would test this well:
Moore also measured at 5’7”, which would cause him to fall in the NFL draft. As would Moore’s lengthy injury history. Moore suffered a leg injury in 2019 that caused him to miss eight games. Moore missed time due to a hyperextended knee and a hamstring injury during his time at Purdue as well.
In the interview above, I asked what Moore’s response is when asked about his extensive injury. Here’s what he said:
I tell them exactly what happened. ‘19 was a freak injury. Probably could’ve torn my ACL. It was a Grade 1, not a Grade 2. It was a strain. No knees, or anything like that, so I was blessed. Process just took a long time to get back simply because it was elongated.
The second hamstring I had I missed maybe nine practices. It was a two-week deal. Grade 1 as well. My load was pretty high. It didn’t come down. I didn’t do a great job of monitoring myself. Grade 1 as well.
Both of which have healed. I didn’t have any surgeries. Both have healed. On that tip, those don’t come from me being irresponsible as a player or a person. It won’t come from me getting a lack of sleep or I’m out partying or putting this or that in my body. Those aren’t really concerning to me and I don’t think they should be concerning to a team.
Jas just went over the Niners depth chart. Richie James isn’t preventing the team from investing in a player like Moore, who profiles as a slot-only receiver at 5’7” 180 pounds, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s not strong:
Didn’t bench today, but here’s 24 for those of you wondering. pic.twitter.com/SI3paBjRy9— Rondale Moore (@moore_rondale) March 23, 2021
Weight room strength is one thing, but you can see Moore consistently run through tackles during his college career. Whether it was against Ohio State or Northwestern, Moore created for himself.
Per Sports Info Solutions, Moore averaged 7.1 yards after the catch this past season and only had one drop. He was also used as a running back at times, which would give the Niners that much more versatility.
If Moore falls to the second round, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kyle Shanahan select the speedy receiver. Moore is one of the best scheme fits at receiver in this draft for the 49ers.