The 2020 college football season is still a few months away, and whether the season kicks off on time is still anyone’s guess. But that won’t stop NFL draft analysts from producing mock drafts, especially at this time of year when the exercise is helpful in assembling the upper-tier of 2021’s prospects.
In the latest mock draft from Pro Football Network and 247 Sports, Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore makes a surprising appearance in the top 10 picks.
Moore comes off the board at No. 7 to the New York Giants.
The logic behind the selection is, of course, the continued investment in quarterback Daniel Jones. With Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and second-year playmaker Darius Slayton scheduled to be the top three receivers on the depth chart, a player like Moore would add an explosive open-field weapon to an arsenal that’s already pretty impressive.
Remember: running back Saquon Barkley is among the game’s elite offensive players who’s more than just a runner. He’ll factor into the passing game much like Christian McCaffrey does in Carolina, so adding a talent like Moore to what’s already in place in New York would be a pretty scary proposition.
Moore suffered through an injury-plagued 2019 season (hamstring, finger) and appeared in just four games. He ended the year with 29 catches for 387 yards and three touchdowns. He’s expected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2020, assuming he can get back to full health.
Another surprising pick from this mock draft is the Cardinals‘ choice at No. 9, where they select Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth.
There’s no doubt Freiermuth will be in the first-round conversation next April. He possesses all of the traits needed to be a top-32 pick. He’s a very good athlete who has a receiver’s movement skills in an in-line blocker’s body. That’s a great combination that will push him way up the board.
Is Freiermuth talented enough to be a top-10 pick? We saw Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson get selected by the Lions with the eighth overall pick in 2019, so it’s certainly possible for a tight end to find himself in that premier range. I’m just not sure Freiermuth is that special.
For the complete mock draft (which spans two rounds), click here.