Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears receiver Richard Rodgers (11) is tackled by Washington State Cougars linebacker Cyrus Coen (42) at Memorial Stadium. Washington State defeated California 44-22. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft: Pack Takes TE Richard Rodgers At No. 98

With their compensatory third-round pick in the NFL Draft Friday night, the Green Bay Packers selected California tight end Richard Rodgers.

The Packers were awarded the pick after losing free agents Greg Jennings and Erik Walden after the 2012 season.

Rodgers, 6-foot-4 and 257 pounds, had 39 catches for 608 yards and a touchdown last season for the Golden Bears. He’s got tight end size, but his speed (4.87 40-yard dash at the combine) is not what you’d hope for from a tight end.

He was a legacy at Cal; his father, Richard, made the final lateral on the infamous touchdown return against Stanford in 1982—known simply as “The Play”—and is now the special teams coordinator for the Panthers, so he comes from a football background.

Rodgers won’t have the same big-play ability as Jermichael Finley; he has the speed to get down the seam, but can’t run away from linebackers in man coverage and isn’t much of a threat to run after the catch.

His ball skills aren’t great, either. He traps a lot of passes with his body as opposed to catching the football with his hands and has shown a tendency to look away from the ball looking to make something happen after the catch, leading to silly drops.

Scouts, Inc., ranked Rodgers at No. 221 overall.

Then again, the Packers had good luck the last time they picked a guy named Rodgers from Cal.

Tags: Green Bay Packers Richard Rodgers

  • Peter Maiz

    This Rodgers is, by any standard, the worst pick of the draft by any team. Why TT is willing to play this kind of game is beyond me. Why have wasted a draft pick on the most mediocre TE of the draft? If there is a logical explanation, someone let me know. Was it the kid’s agent that influenced this pick? And this kid is supposed to replace Finley? What a laugh.

    • Phil Watson

      A Rodgers from Cal … could be worse. Nah, this is a pretty bad pick at first glance.

  • Whitney Bardell

    That’s because there no check and balance in Green Bay whatever TT wants he gets and the fans get the same thing every year, disappointment. Rodgers and thornton could be undrafted rookie free agents. We all know that’s all TT love to pick. 2 good picks and 2 wastes. He did give Brad Jones starter money and thought md Jennings and Jaron McMillian was starters to its not shocking at all

    • Phil Watson

      Thornton I could see, sort of, but Rodgers was not just a reach … it was a hamstring-pulling reach. That kid would have still been on the board late in the 7th round.