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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Amari Rodgers

  • The Draft Network
  • January 2, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - AMARI RODGERS

Amari Rodgers was a factor in 2018 and 2019 but saved his best for last as he hauled in 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns during his final campaign at Clemson in 2020. The veteran of the receiving corps in 2020, Rodgers was the go-to guy for the Tigers’ offense during his last season. Rodgers is a slot receiver that is built like a running back. 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. 

Ideal Role: Primary slot receiver that gets some manufactured touches and opportunities to create in space while providing value with his punt return ability.

Scheme Fit: West Coast, Horizontal Spread.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Notre Dame (2018), Syracuse (2018), NC State (2018), Louisville (2019), Syracuse (2019), Florida State (2019), Boston College (2019), Virginia (2020), Notre Dame (2020), Virginia Tech (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Notre Dame (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Virginia Tech (2020) 

Route Running: Rodgers is outstanding at adjusting his routes against zone coverage and making himself available for the quarterback—he has a natural feel for where coverage is soft and coverage rotation that will leave vacated space to settle down. While he attacked defenses vertically more in 2020, he mostly ran a simple route tree at Clemson featuring speed outs, slants, screens, and comebacks. There is room for technical growth and becoming more deceptive. 

Hands: Rodgers features plucky hands with some impressive moments where he extends for the football and secures it outside of his frame. He doesn’t have great length, so there are challenges finishing through contact in contested situations. Overall, drops were few and far between in college and he should be reliable in the NFL when the catch point isn’t crowded.  

Separation: Rodgers thrived off manufactured touches in college where he got open frequently due to scheme. He does well to attack space against zone coverage and is a modest separator from man coverage. His best moments of separation come on option routes where he is isolated in the slot with a two-way go or when he can bend his route stem working the vertical plane to stack the corner, stay leveraged, and accelerate at the top of routes. 

Release Package: Rodgers worked primarily from the slot for Clemson and hasn’t been tasked much with beating press coverage. He does a good job of varying his tempo with subtle moves to set up his stem. His physicality shows up early in routes and he does well to create initial leverage and position his frame. 

Run After Catch: Clemson gave Rodgers frequent opportunities to catch the ball quickly and create after the reception and he thrived. He’s built like a running back and his physicality, vision, and decisiveness lead to consistent post-catch production. Rodgers has good acceleration and makes timely cuts in space. 

Ball Skills: Rodgers does well to attack the football and work back to it without “waiting” on the football and inviting coverage to the catch point. He knows how to establish his frame at the catch point and force corners to play through him for a chance to break on the football. His vertical tracking skills showed up in 2020 and he made some impressive over the shoulder catches on go routes. Rodgers lacks the length to consistently expand his catch radius but has good body control and spatial awareness. 

Football IQ: Rodgers has good spatial awareness and understanding of where he is on the field. He has a natural feel for the ball in his hands and working to create space for himself. He will need to acclimate to executing an expanded route tree at the next level. 

Versatility: Rodgers worked primarily from the slot at Clemson and that is where he projects best in the NFL. He has plenty of experience as a punt returner with modest production and two muffs in 144 fielded punts for his career. While he had more of a vertical presence in 2020, he is most likely a short to intermediate threat in the NFL.

Competitive Toughness: Rodgers is a physical receiver that brings the fight with the ball in his hands. He competes through contact and is a willing blocker. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the field at all times. Rodgers tore his ACL in March of 2019 and was back on the field in six months. 

Big-Play Ability: Rodgers is more likely to be a chain-mover than a big-play threat in the NFL. With that said, he is capable of ripping off a big gain after the catch and his vertical receiving production increased in 2020. Rodgers has good speed and quickness to complement his physical style of play, which translates well to creating explosive plays at the next level. 

Prospect Comparison: K.J. Osborn (2020 NFL Draft, Minnesota Vikings) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 78.00/100

Joe Marino: 75.50/100

Kyle Crabbs: 81.50/100

Jordan Reid: 81.00/100

Drae Harris: 74.00/100

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