The Green Bay Packers moved up in Round 3 from pick 92 to pick 85 to select Clemson wide receiver — and weapon — Amari Rodgers. Here are a few initial thoughts on the selection.
– After staying put in Round 1, a trade-up on Day 2 felt inevitable for Brian Gutekunst. The Packers entered the day with nine picks and some uncertainty around the mid to late-round options due to the lack of information that teams have this year. Green Bay moving up seemed like only a matter of time.
– Rodgers is a four-year player, but 2020 was his big season, recording 99 targets, over 1,000 yards, and seven touchdowns as Clemson’s primary slot receiver.
– A majority of his touches came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, according to PFF ($$).
– Rodgers is a big play waiting to happen, averaging 8.0 YAC this past season, the 19th most out of all receivers in college football. This ability will be a nice added element to the Packers’ offense.
– This addition is such a good fit for the Green Bay Packers and what LaFleur wants to run. Rodgers gives them a true slot receiver, something that they haven’t had since the days of Randall Cobb, and someone who can fill that gadget role as well. Another missing piece from last season.
– Rodgers is going to thrive in this offense as the motion man, on jet sweeps, and other designed touches. Basically, just get him the ball in space — which LaFleur is very good at — and let him do the rest.
– From an athletic testing standpoint, this pick is very against the grain for the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers scored a 5.37 on the RAS scale, well below the 8.0 threshold that Gutekunst has stuck to. However, you can’t deny his fit in this offense, and I imagine that Rodgers was a guy that LaFleur was pounding the table for.
– Rodgers has been compared to Randall Cobb on a few occasions this offseason, and during his Pro-Day, even he made the comparison:
"“I definitely see myself as a Randall Cobb-type of player being used in the slot, jet sweeps, and the return game as well.”"
– While the Cobb comparisons are valid, Rodgers is bigger, measuring in at about 6’0″ and weighing 212 pounds. As Joe Marino of The Draft Network put it, Rodgers “is a slot receiver that is built like a running back.”
– I try to stay fairly even keel when it comes to draft picks early on, but this selection feels like a steal and a home run. As I’ve said, Rodgers is a terrific fit for this offense, and in what was already the top-scoring unit in football last season, they will get an added element that they didn’t have a year ago.
– In addition to what Rodgers brings to this offense, he can provide the special teams unit with a boost as well as a return man–something that Green Bay desperately needs. Rodgers has 68 career punt return attempts with one touchdown and averaging 7.8 yards per return.
– Lastly, here is what else Marino had to say in his pre-draft report on Rodgers:
"“He thrived with manufactured touches and then using his physicality, burst, vision, and decisiveness to work after the catch. As his production increased as a senior, so did his role in the offense. 2020 saw Rodgers produce more down the field in addition to his work in the short to intermediate areas of the field. He has reliable hands, plays a physical brand of football, and is a good athlete.When it comes to identifying areas of growth for Rodgers, developing his route tree and finding more consistency when challenged at the catch point stand out. Rodgers lacks length and struggles to extend his catch radius which creates some limitations. Rodgers has a chance to be a featured slot receiver in the NFL for an offense predicated on timing.”"