Examining How TE Richard Rodgers Fits With the Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers will likely not re-sign Jermichael Finley, and that was made clear when the Packers drafted Richard Rodgers out of California in the third round. The Packers also brought in Colt Lyerla, who was once one of the most productive players in all of college. Although drafting Rodgers in the third was seen by many as a reach, the Packers had a need at the tight end position and Rodgers has the makings of becoming a starting-level tight end.
The funny thing about Rodgers and Lyerla is that they are perhaps the most perplexing tight ends in this year’s draft. At 6-foot-4, 257-pounds, Rodgers has decent size for a tight end, but he is actually rather slow. At the NFL Scouting Combine, the California product ran a 4.87 40-yard dash. Rodgers has a similar skill set to Eric Ebron, but the latter is the better player because of his speed. Rodgers is athletic in the open field and he will make you miss, but his speed off the line of scrimmage is concerning to say the very least.
Another thing that is bad about Rodgers is that he isn’t that strong, which will keep him from becoming a good extra blocker in the running game. As Packer fans saw in 2013, Mike McCarthy is now running the ball a lot more with the presence of Eddie Lacy. That being said, Rodgers will need a ton of coaching before he comes into those run-heavy schemes. Rob Rang compared Rodgers to Garrett Graham in terms of their athleticism and versatility. This pick was extremely questionable to me because there were tight ends like Crockett Gillmore and Arthur Lynch still available. However, time will tell if this pick was a reach or not.