TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sometimes listening to Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, it's difficult to know whether he's excited or not. The inflection in his voice rarely changes, usually staying at a relatively monotone level through wins or losses.
But Kingsbury perked up talking about how the Cardinals' second-round pick in last weekend's draft, wide receiver Rondale Moore, could fit into his offense. There was a detectable level of excitement in his words.
It was clear the third-year head coach was looking forward to scheming for Moore, who in 20 games at Purdue made 178 catches for 1,915 yards and 17 total touchdowns.
"We're going to use him in as many different ways as we can," Kingsbury said. "I mean, you look at the college film. They did a great job. They have a great offensive system. [Purdue] coach [Jeff] Brohm does a tremendous job there of maximizing his personnel and Rondale was able to do a bunch of different things, whether it's handing the ball from the backfield, toss to him on a sweep, go outside or on a fade route, he does it all. And then the return game is really impressive as well.
"So, we're going to move him around and make sure he gets his fair share of touches. And when you watch the film, that's what jumps out more than anything. He's a smaller guy in stature but he's really, really strong and he's really, really explosive so anytime he gets to that first step, it's hard to keep up with."
When Brohm heard the Cardinals took Moore with the No. 49 pick overall, he told the receiver it was the best fit for him in the NFL.
“I don't think he could get on a better team that will maximize his potential and I say that because I do think Kliff is a creative thinker,” Brohm told ESPN. “He's going to think outside the box and he's going to realize, ‘Hey, this guy's kind of a different type of player but he's very dynamic and he's got a lot of great qualities. He may not fit the mold of every slot receiver, outside receiver you’re looking for but with the ball in his hands, he can do some special things."
In Moore, the Cardinals get a 5-foot-7, 181-pound speedster who can do a little bit of everything (he scored 14 touchdowns receiving, three rushing). If that sounds familiar, it's because the Cardinals have two similar receivers: Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella.
What's different about Moore? Both Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim seemed optimistic he can be a game changer for an offense that fell stagnant in the second half of the 2020 season.
"The playmaking ability with a ball in his hands was something that we thought was going to be a huge addition to our receiver room," Keim said.
At Purdue, Brohm used Moore inside and outside, but also liked lining him up in the backfield. Brohm didn’t hand the ball off to him much but liked to throw to him bubble screens off motion and other passes behind the line of scrimmage. The more Brohm could isolate Moore in coverage against linebackers, the bigger the advantage.
“When he's in the backfield, you're able to get off the line of scrimmage a little bit,” Brohm said. “You’re able to get him in space and get the ball in his hands quickly. He's the type of guy that, I think, you have to do that and when you do, he's got a rare combination of quickness and agility and strength.”
Brohm also used Moore to stretch out defenses and, at times, as a decoy. He thinks with the Cardinals, Moore would play slot receiver and get five to eight touches a game.
Moore ran his 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds, jumped 42 inches and did his three-cone drill in 6.6 seconds, all numbers Keim described as "off the chart." Moore forced 30 missed tackles in 2018, his only full season at Purdue, which is the third-most by a wide receiver in the last three seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The ninth-year general manager compared Moore's measurements to Kansas City's Tyreek Hill.
Moore has the potential to have an instant impact on the Cardinals' offense and he's willing to play outside receiver or slot. If Kingsbury lines him up in the backfield to take handoffs, Arizona may not need another running back to complement James Conner and Chase Edmonds.
"Whatever is asked of me, I'll be willing to do," Moore said. "I have a unique skillset that will enable me to win in multiple positions.
"If you need a big play, if you need a short-down play, whatever the case may be, and just being dynamic in the return game -- punt return and kick return."
Moore only returned 42 kicks and 17 punts at Purdue, mostly as a freshman because Brohm didn’t want to risk his star offensive weapon getting hurt.
For Moore to be successful in the NFL, Brohm, who bounced around the league as a quarterback for seven years, said Moore needs to be durable. After a great freshman season, Moore was hampered by hamstring injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons that limited him to eight games over his last two seasons.
“I do think that his injuries were something that he can recover from and learn how to prevent and make sure it doesn't happen again,” Brohm said. “It wasn't anything catastrophic. I think, because of it, he will manage his body even better and be more attuned to, ‘Hey, I'm not gonna let this happen again.’”
Under Kingsbury, Moore will have opportunities to play alongside the likes of receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green. Since Kingsbury took over in 2019, the Cardinals have run 548 plays with four or more receivers. No other team has more than 161 such plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
With Kingsbury's already-creative sense of play design and playcalling, coupled with his relationship with Brohm and interest in Purdue's offense, there may not have been a better situation for Moore.
"I have that much respect for coach Brohm and the offensive mind that he is," Kingsbury said. "Some of the fly sweeps, different things he did in the slot, some of the reverses, the tempo plays where they're handing it to him in the backfield, those are all a part of our offense and things that I think he'll pick up quickly.
"The transition for him will be pretty seamless in the system."