Round 3 – [Pick 34]: Richard Rodgers, TE
Tight end Richard Rodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports photograph
With the neck injury sustained by Jermichael Finley during the season, TE immediately became one of the worst positions on the Green Bay roster. So with one of their two supplemental draft picks, the Packers chose Rodgers. It was another pick regarded as a reach, but since it not only filled a need but brought some strong potential for the future it was deemed worth the risk by Thompson and Co.
In college, Rodgers showed off skills as a short-to-intermediate pass-catcher, but he had to do so last year miscast more as a receiver under a new coach. Because of that, there has been sentiment that he will be able to be much better as a professional.
To go with the short-to-intermediate prowess, he also has shown skills at catching the ball in traffic. He is not a very refined player at the moment however, so that could work against him. It also won’t make it easy that he will have a large amount of competition for snaps; in addition to Rodgers, Green Bay also has Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, Brandon Bostick and Colt Lyerla, each of whom brings their own talents to the table and will be competing for coveting playing time at TE.
Despite ending last season as a seemingly empty position, there are all of a sudden many potential options for the Packers at TE, and that will make for some good competition and strong depth. In terms of Rodgers, from what I’ve read it has been him who’s stood out the most of any of the TEs during the offseason work.
I expect him to keep making a strong impact through training camp, but while he works on his blocking I believe someone like Quarless or Bostick will get the starter reps. As with Clinton-Dix, once he proves himself more to the coaches and gains their trust, we’ll see him move up the depth chart. I see him ending the year as the Packers’ top TE, with a subsequent boost to his stats happening in the last half of the year.
35 RECs, 550 yds, 4 TDs