TE RICHARD RODGERS, CALIFORNIA*

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6’4” – 245 lbs. – 4.75e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: 0 – 0 – 0, 1 BK
2012: 20 – 288 – 1 (14.4)
2013: 39 – 608 – 1 (15.6)

OVERVIEW:

Played in all thirteen games as a freshman, coming in off the bench and contributing on special teams (blocked one kick.) Started six of the eleven games he played in as a sophomore while maintaining a modest presence on special-teams units. Started five of eleven games as a junior, finishing third in both receptions and yards.

POSITIVES:

•    Has appeared in twenty-two games over the past two seasons, starting eleven of them.
•    Overall combination of height and bulk is adequate for an H-Back, great for a receiver.
•    Primarily a tight end, but has also lined up in the slot and on some special-teams units.
•    Was employed as an inline option frequently in addition to his responsibilities in the slot.
•    Athletic enough to get to the second level and block linebackers on screens and runs.
•    Fast enough to outrun linebackers down the seam, especially from an inline position.
•    Utilized on routes to all three levels of the field, not just asked to work as a safety valve.
•    Ability to run after the catch is impressive, averaged over fifteen yards per reception.
•    Over the course of his college career, brought in a few acrobatic one-handed grabs.

NEGATIVES:

•    May have benefited by returning to school, playing a full season in the starting lineup.
•    Lack of bulk and strength may force him to abandon many of his inline responsibilities.
•    More inclined to execute cut blocks than to drive defenders off the ball in the run game.
•    Hands tend to get outside as a blocker in attempt to compensate for a lack of strength.
•    Wasn’t much of a factor in the red zone, only scored two touchdowns over his career.
•    Balance needs work, often slips and ends up on the ground, as blocker and on routes.
•    Inconsistent receiver, can make the circus catch but will drop some routine passes.

SUMMARY:

As this year’s group of senior tight ends was somewhat limited in the number of flex tight end options available, Rodgers may have made the right decision in declaring for the draft giving his ability to run routes to different levels of the field, with his speed on seam routes and deep in routes being the most impressive aspects of his game at this point. Although he played extensively as an inline option, he may have relinquish some of those responsibilities at the next level due to his lack of strength and effectiveness as a blocker. With the Bears, he transitioned to more of a slot receiver as the year went on, which is a more realistic pro role. It would have been nice to see him work as more of an H-Back, which he didn’t do much.

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