The Green Bay Packers went into the 2014 NFL Draft with a hole at the tight end position. Jermichael Finley is likely not coming back to Green Bay because of his career-changing neck problem, so the need for a tight end was there. In Finley’s absence in 2013, Andrew Quarless had a good season showing off versatility and athletic ability in Green Bay’s pass-heavy offense. The problem with Quarless is that he is still raw and the Packers may be better off giving someone else the starting job.
In the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Packers reached for California‘s Richard Rodgers, but there is a reason why they drafted him. Although he doesn’t have top-end speed and freakish size, Rodgers is a matchup-nightmare and that will be of great use in Green Bay’s offense. Aaron Rodgers can make all of the tight throws and that will help the California product because of his lack of speed. Perhaps the reason why many teams didn’t like Rodgers coming into the draft was how his weight fluctuated in college.
At 6’4″, 255 pounds, Rodgers has decent size for a tight end. The things I like most about Rodgers are his long arms and his soft hands. Rodgers has the ability to line up outside as a receiver or line up as an in-line tight end. That is becoming a commodity at the tight end position in today’s age of the NFL. Rob Rang of CBSSports compared Rodgers to Garrett Graham of the Houston Texans because of their ability to line up as a joker back. In Green Bay’s offense, Rodgers will likely be used all over the place as a wild card type of player.
Something that bothers me about Rodgers is the fact that he might not even make the team. The Packers signed Colt Lyerla in the undrafted free agent process and his game is a lot like Rodgers’. Both are intriguing players who make their impact on the field by versatility and providing headaches for defenses. The Packers love to run the ball with Eddie Lacy and run-blocking is something Rodgers excels in. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Rodgers as the Week 1 starter next year.