9

May

Packers 2014 NFL Draft – Third Round Pick: Richard Rodgers, TE, Cal-Berkeley

Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers  TE, Cal – Berkeley

With their third-round pick (98th overall, compensatory) in the 2014 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Richard Rodgers, TE, Cal-Berkeley

PLAYER DETAILS: 

Richard Rodgers, TE, Cal-Berkeley  6’4″, 245 lbs

CAREER NOTES: 

Father, Richard Sr., was involved in “The Play” in the 1982 Cal-Stanford game. . . also played basketball as a Massachusetts prep. . .recruited as a tight end. . .Started 6-of-11 games played in ’12 and caught 20 balls for 288 yards (14.4-yard average) and a touchdown. . .2013: missed time recovering from a torn labrum, played 11 games and pulled in 39-608-1 (15.6)

COMBINE:

4.87 40 yard dash, 16 reps on the bench, 31.5-inch vertical, 9 foot, 8-inch broad jump

NFL.com draft profile 

SCOUTING REPORT (NFL.com and CBSSports.com): 

Strengths: Lanky athlete who has proven the ability to manipulate his weight to fit his team’s offensive scheme. Very good initial quickness for the position, demonstrating the ability to beat defenders upfield with his burst or to gain the advantage while blocking, including on cut-blocks. Long arms and soft hands. Gathers in passes quickly and secures the football. Good agility and straight-line speed for the position. Good balance and body control. Dependable short-to-intermediate receiver. Can snatch throws off his body and make contested grabs. Has potential as a move blocker. Showed dedication and discipline re-shaping his body as a junior.

Weaknesses: Tight hips. Average speed and suddenness — dull in/out of breaks and struggles to separate vs. more explosive safeties. Unrefined route runner.  Started just 11 games in three seasons. Possesses the ability to make the incredible catch but will drop the occasional easy pass and struggles in traffic. Lacks the bulk and strength to hold up as an in-line blocker in the NFL. A bit finesse in his play, relying more on his athleticism than physicality. Gets to the second level quickly but rather than latching on to control opponents, Richard extends his arms and stops his feet, allowing defenders to break free easily from his blocks.

COMMENTARY:

The tight end position was certainly going to be addressed earlier than later in this draft.  Jermichael Finley still has not been medically cleared following his severe neck injury last season and no timetable is set for him to return.  The Packers appear to be proceeding as if Finley won’t be back.

With several top tight ends already gone and with the Houston Texans having nabbed Iowa’s C.J.  Fiedorowicz, who the Packers were rumored to have been looking at, Packers general manager Ted Thompson tried his luck on another guy named Rodgers.  If Richard can play anywhere near the level that his namesake and Packers quarterback Aaron has, the Packers will be patting themselves on the back for this pick for many years to come.

Rodgers has the measurables and can certainly create some mismatches when in the slot against smaller corners.  He isn’t the deep threat that Finley could be, at times, but Rodgers appears to be valuable in short yardage.  Think goal line.  If he can hang onto the ball, which has been an issue with Rodgers at times, he can find his way onto the field this season and be a complement to Andrew Quarless.

Rodgers will need to hone on his blocking skills and that is the one area that may prevent him from seeing more time in his rookie season.

VIDEO:

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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48 Responses to “Packers 2014 NFL Draft – Third Round Pick: Richard Rodgers, TE, Cal-Berkeley”

  1. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    NFL Draft Report:

    Despite being recruited as a tight end at California, Rodgers was often used in motion, also seeing time in the slot, but he made quite an impact creating mismatches vs. smaller cornerbacks when aligned at the flank. After seeing nothing more than special team action during his first season with the Bears, he went on to catch 59 passes for 896 yards (15.19 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns during the course of his final twenty-two college contests.

    One of three true freshmen to letter for California in 2011, Rodgers was listed third on the depth chart at tight end, but his only statistics came with the special team units. He blocked a kick vs. Presbyterian and had a 5-yard kickoff return vs. Arizona State. As a sophomore, he switched from jersey #82 to #11 and started six games, grabbing twenty passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. He was hampered a bit early in the year by a right foot sprain that forced him to sit out the Ohio State clash.

    Prior to the 2013 season, Rodgers said goodbye to Red Vines and hello to a new position.
    “I told him you will not play a down if you don’t (lose weight) because you’re slow and fat and out of shape and you can’t play,” Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said of Rodgers. “He wants to play.” So Rodgers, who played tight end for the Bears in 2012, dropped 33 pounds to find a home in an offense that doesn’t typically feature his position.

    After ballooning to 278 in the offseason while recovering from shoulder and foot injuries, Rodgers cut out his biggest dietary vice. “I have a big sweet tooth. I like Red Vines a lot,” he said. “That was my problem.” Now healthy and trim at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, the junior competed for playing time at one of the two inside slot positions in Cal’s four-receiver alignment. “He’s a natural,” Franklin said. “He’s born to be that — the new prototype that you see in the NFL now.”

    Touted by former coach Jeff Tedford as potentially one of the nation’s elite tight ends, Rodgers said he wasn’t worried to discover new coach Sonny Dykes’ Bear Raid offense doesn’t include the position. “I played receiver in high school,” he said. Dykes said the Bears had big plans for Rodgers.

    “We’re playing around with Rodgers a little bit, maybe let him carry the ball some in short-yardage situations,” Dykes said during 2013 August camp. “He’s had a good camp and he’s a big, strong guy, so we’re trying to figure out ways to get him the ball.” Rodgers would start five more times as a junior, connecting on 39 receptions for 608 yards (15.59 ypc) and a score. He carried seven times out of the backfield and chipped in with a pair of solo tackles in eleven contests, sitting out the USC clash with a thumb sprain.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    • AL, thanks for all the meaningful insite you provide.i love your site and all the talent you have writing on here….but the trolls that comment on here are really really CLUELESS

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Since '61 says:

    Not one of the top 4 or 5 TEs that I was hoping for, but will provide some depth at TE and could develop into a solid starter. I grade this pick at a B-. Time will tell. Thanks, Since ’61

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Sven says:

      I like the picks in the Second and third. Rodgers seemed like the best tightend available, in the range of BPA. It sounds like he has had time as both a blocking and receiving TE.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. BradHTX says:

    A second Rodgers out of Cal? What’s not to like?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    • Savage57 says:

      At first glance, just a bunch of guys.

      Think about it for a second, though. The same guy and his staff that finds dudes like Jolly, Sitton, Starks, Lang, Bahk, Hyde, Tramon, Sheilds, Jordy, Randall, Eddie et al can’t be that bad at this.

      Look at those names. How many haters even knew they existed the year they were picked?

      It’s gonna be OK.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    ….. Must not act like Cow…. Must not act like Cow…

    Reminds self that TT has forgotten more about football than I’ll ever know….

    Tries to forget how we missed Nicklas/CJF/C. Jones and T Brooks for another undersized 5 Technique and a slow-ass TE….

    …Must not act like Cow…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

  5. Mojo says:

    Ted got the 4th through 7th rounds out of the way early tonight. He must need his rest tomorrow.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  6. packett says:

    Barrow and Skov on the board for these 3rd rd picks????? Thornton wouldn’t be there a round later? Or 5th rd? TT seems to bask in being odd as can be.
    Either make a move in 2nd round to get AS-J or draft in late round and focus on ILB.

    Two big holes yet: ILB, C.
    Meanwhile DT and TE haven’t really been upgraded.

    I don’t see this pick replacing previous talent at TE.

    Now, I hope to see one certain TE heal, and TT re-sign, or we’ll see another year of eroding general team talent.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  7. jh9 says:

    TT must have seen film on him that I didn’t see. When I watched Rogers play, he didn’t seem to me to be better than Quarless or Bostick. I wanted a TE in this draft. I watched films of all the major TEs including Rogers and I came to the conclusion that if we couldn’t get one of the top five TEs, we wouldn’t be getting a TE better than the ones we already have.

    I hate being negative, but I think TT reached here and we wasted a pick. There were some outstanding CBs and Cs available when we made this selection. We should/could have drafted someone better. Someone who could have really improved the play of the Packers this year.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  8. Cow42 says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

    • Pete Kliman says:

      I think he was a bit shocked how all the teams reached for some of those picks.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Bag o donuts 52 says:

    Good pick Ted you fruitcake! Can’t catch it, block or run! Centers, TE’s and ILB’s well within reach. This one has the makings of his worst draft yet…and that’s not easily accomplished in light of his abysmal track record lately. In Ted we trust my ass!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  10. DJ Buttplay says:

    I must remind myself never to read message boards filled with knee-jerk retard comments.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

    • Nick Perry says:

      I understand you’re upset with some of the comments but to use the word “Retard” to describe those posters is a bit out of line. For example perhaps some of us have nephews or co-workers with children that are autistic. I just find the word cruel and offensive.
      With that said Mr. Bag o Donuts 52 has been here lately spewing his negativity. He’s not worth the acknowledgement, just ignore him he’ll go away.
      I’m not thrilled with either of the 3rd round picks, but I’m trusting Ted on this one. If for no other reason than the Packers are tied for most victories in the NFL since 2009 and a SB title.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • SchenySchen says:

      Agreed. The stupidity and knee-jerk reactions are tough to sit through. I understand not jumping for joy at every pick but the unqualified bashing from people sitting on the couch at home with a Blatz in one hand and a Hot pocket in the other always amazes me. (not that there’s anything wrong with a cold Blatz mind you).

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      • Charlie says:

        Need a little education. Which comments are stupid? What constitutes knee-jerk (anything after 8:44AM?)? Sports message board with people who have opinions – what’s the beef?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  11. QOTSA1 says:

    I can’t say I’m thrilled with either of the 3rd round picks. They both seem like pretty big reaches in the 3rd.

    Thompson has a history of overdrafting a player and sometimes it works out (Nick Collins) and sometimes it doesn’t (Jerron McMillian). Time will tell how these turn out.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  12. GBPDAN says:

    I know we won’t know how these picks will turn out for 2-3 years , and they may all be good picks. But, I’m puzzled. The last 3 picks seemed like they could have been pick in a later round. None of these guys excite me…not even a little bit. As i watched other teams moving around the Draft and picking quality prospects, I was wondering what TT was doing. Then I saw our war room and realized he feel asleep today. When they showed our war room yesterday, it was alive with excitement after Dix fell to us. Today it looked dead. The staff looked lethargic after each pick. And it also looked like someone needed to change TTs adult diaper.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  13. Wow. Underwhelmed for 3rd round picks in a very, very deep draft. At least 5 players on my board at #98 who could help GB in year one. It sounds like Rodgers can’t block, isn’t fast in a straight line, isn’t sudden, not a good route runner, and won’t see the field in year 1, to say the least. Does he have soft hands or the dropsies? Maybe both, huh? Did he run the 4.87 40 at 278 pounds or at 245? Thanks for Jersey Al’s comment, but it made me like Rodgers less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • SchenySchen says:

      “at least 5 players on my board at #98 who could help GB in year one” — is that a joke? we’re all supposed to hope that the Packers take people on Thegreatrynoldo’s board now? Get a grip on reality and understand how silly that is. You make that statement as if you know that the players drafted can’t help the Pack in year one. Maybe they will and perhaps they won’t but that statement is so ridiculously arrogant, I can hardly believe you actually typed it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. GBPDAN says:

    Although Bryan Fischer at the NFL website gave the Packers his top grade ‘passed with flying colors’ along with Houston, Minnesota, St Louis, and a couple of other teams. So maybe I’m being to harsh on TT. Fischer did admit that he wasn’t sure about Rodgers, though.

    But then again, do we value Fischers opinion?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • marpag says:

      And again after that, do we value the opinion of internet message board posters who haven’t truly studied a draft, ever?

      For every “what the &$^@^% is TT doing” there is another guy who likes it. Let’s see what happens with these guys. All of this “instant grading” crap is meaningless… and frankly, a bit wearisome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • packett says:

        we’re not grading really. We just think he could have picked up these players in later rounds. We aren’t grading the players that TT passed on. We’re relying a bit on the deep scouting by pros. Not that they might not be wrong…but that’s what I’m relying on for my comments. Of course, we’ll see after the 53 squad is in place.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        • Dobber says:

          Sorry Packett, I meant to give you thumbs-up on this one but clicked the wrong link.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • Oppy says:

          This is something I think needs to be talked about.

          The “Pros” we, the public, rely on for “deep scouting.”

          The first thing many fans need to fully understand about these draft gurus who are paid by ESPN, CBS, NFL.com, etc and so forth, is that while they are clearly more widely versed and immersed in scouting collegiate football players than say, the average football fan- for whatever reason, they aren’t being paid by any of the 32 NFL franchises to scout talent- teams who spend serious money to pay dozens of people to scout talent, full time, year around.

          Let’s go ahead and leave a little room here for the possibility that maybe one or two of these draft guru guys are actually so in tune with a certain school or conference that an NFL team actually contracts them to do some scouting for them.. If they were to be supplying information to NFL teams for money, do you think it would be a wise choice for them to share those deep insights with the general public at no cost whatsoever?

          Lastly, we’ve all seen and heard pro scouts giving vastly different assessments of the same player. It’s still not a science, never will be. Scouting and assessing veteran NFL talent is still difficult and these are guys who are physically and technically matured. Young college players? The science stops at measurements and production in games. From that point on, it is ALL SPECULATION.

          Will they stay healthy? Can their bodies continue to get stronger, more explosive, quicker? Can their minds continue to grasp and implement ever more complex offenses and defenses, and the reads and checks that must be diagnosed and applied instantly? Most importantly, will they still be able to compete when instead of being surrounded by inferior talent to their own, every single player on the field is a top caliber football player?

          I guess the point I’m trying to drive home is that us fans tend to get upset when teams make picks that don’t “follow the numbers” in all the mock drafts that these part-time talent evaluators put together. That’s ridiculous.

          That’s not to say NFL teams don’t make mistakes, but they clearly have much more access to a wider array of quality, confirmed information for basing their assessment of players on than we, the public, will ever have.

          Its okay to disagree, it’s okay to question, it’s fine to be skeptical and unhappy.. but the number of fans who throw their hands up and go on about about the success or failure of one pick compared to another or an entire draft’s validity before these kids even get into town and hit the practice field is simply ignorant and ridiculous.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

          • Oppy says:

            Oh, one more thing.

            What’s with all the people who yell, “Look, here’s TT doing what he always does- eroding the talent of this team with another shit draft.”

            I see this all over the place.

            I always want to ask these people how it’s possible that TT destroys the talent on the team with his drafts, but the talent level that is being whittled away was built…by TT through the draft?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  15. Chad Lundberg says:

    Not enthused about this pick. And I thought our TE’s were fine. Not great, but fine.

    As long as Ha Ha works out and fixes the Safety position, we should be fine. But a wasted pick regardless IMO.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • SchenySchen says:

      Chad, since you feel it was a “wasted pick”, was there another player you had in mind for that spot? What contributions are you projecting for that player next year?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Chad Lundberg says:

        How somebody on defense? Just somebody who can get to the passer or stop the run? Not someone who will contribute to an already heavy offense while our defense still struggles.

        But hey, I guess if he becomes the next Tom Crabtree he’s worth it right?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. GBPDAN says:

    I think Rodgers needs to drop back down to 24 rather then play at 260. He can’t block, so why carry the weight

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. GBPDAN says:

    240lb rather than 260lb is what I meant

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Tarynfor12 says:

    Like I said..”I saw Thompson at Wal-Mart and was leery with what he bought”

    http://i.walmartimag…050_500X500.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. jtmax says:

    Never heard of this kid either. Another surprise by TT but he knows something we don’t. I watch film and I see a mean blocker. He puts guys on the ground. He has good anticipation on the ball. With SF and Hawks mugging our receivers, TT might be going for physical and tenacious guys who can fight for the ball with Adams and Rodgers here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. GBPDAN says:

    I guess I’m frustrated because the two 3rd Rd picks are projects and probably will not be contributing this year. But, they both have potential. Rodgers is only a JR. draft entry and hopefully will develop into a serviceable weapon and Thornton looks like he could be a Daniels type player. I don’t like that Thornton played against lower competition.

    It just doesn’t seem like these two players are going to be the game changers this team needs

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • marpag says:

      If any GM in the league were truly convinced that these guys were going to be “game changers,” how would they still be available in the third round?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Shavager says:

    Personally I thought Thompson would’ve taken CJ Fiedorowicz with the Adams pick, a TE prospect who could be starting at one point this season, make the WR pick in 3rd round. They need BEEF on D-line since Raji and Guiton are only signed for this year but seems like ILB would’ve gotten a look before the WR pick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Ed Schoenfeld says:

      Jordy and Cobb are both free agents next year, Boykin will be an RFA, and Myles White and Dorsey both finished the year on IR.

      You always need the next good ball catcher.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Dobber says:

    Same kinds of comments about reaching and the like were made after last year’s draft, and it seems to have turned out just fine.

    We all have something invested in this team and many of us have preferences with regard to players and style of play. I have no problem with people saying they would’ve rather seen a specific player taken at this point, but “a horrible pick” says nothing.

    That said, I’m scratching my head as well, and after CJF went off the board I would have been inclined to let the TE position ride and look for a developmental/ST player for TE depth late (Marcel Jensen? Crockett Gillmore, who I liked, went off the board right after Rodgers). Could have been a good spot to speculate on a Christian Jones, Pierre Desir or Keith McGill, who will likely come off the board fast in rd. 4.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. SchenySchen says:

    I too thought that Desir was going to get picked at #98. Wondered about Gilmore as well but it may be that the Packers feel Rodgers has more upside. — I mentioned in an earlier post, that the draft is about what kind of player a draftee will become, not what kind of player they are today. The Packers may feel that Rodgers, because of his size, may have more ability to develop into a better all-around TE than Gilmore. GoPack

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Maybe sometime G. Bay ought to have TT on a show after the draft & explain why he drafted each of these guys when he did. Since the team is owned by the shareholders (which I’m sure most of you are) your voice should be heard about management.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. NYPACKER says:

    Rodgers pick is a little puzzling. he ran the 5th slowest 40 time of all TE’s at the combine & was second to last in bench reps. Slow & weak is no way to be an NFL player:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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