1) Introduction: Rodgers was the second of two third-round picks by the Packers in 2014. He gained more playing time as the season went on and was a regular contributor by playoff time. He will compete for a starting spot in 2015.
- Age: 23
- Born: 1/22/92 in Martinez, CA
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 257
- College: Cal Berkeley
- Rookie Year: 2014
- NFL Experience: 1 year
3) Expectations coming into the season: Many were scratching their heads when Rodgers was drafted in the third round of last year’s draft. The Packers needed a tight end, but Rodgers wasn’t listed that high on many other NFL boards. He came in expected to quickly learn his craft behind Andrew Quarless and hopefully give the Packers a new wrinkle with a second tight end on offense.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: All three of Rodgers’ touchdown catches were his highlights. His first against the Minnesota Vikings came on a two-yard pass that was heaved clear across the field when Rodgers was left alone in the end zone. His early touchdown on a seam route against the New England Patriots a week later established an early lead that the Packers would never relinquish. And lastly, his grab of a perfectly-thrown ball by Aaron Rodgers against the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round was almost as good as the throw itself. Rodgers had some key catches in a week 17 win against the Detroit Lions to help seal the first-round bye. Rodgers’ low-light came in week three when his terrible blocking against the Lions earned him a seat on the bench. In week one against the Seattle Seahawks, Rodgers was caught out of position and tangled up with offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga was injured on the play and gave way to Derek Sherrod, who was torched on the right side the rest of the night.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Rodgers turned it up in the second half of the season and became part of the rotation at tight end with Quarless. He made some big plays late in the year when the lights were brightest and on the biggest stage.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Rodgers had the big touchdown against the Cowboys and added in four catches against the Seahawks in the NFC championship game.
7) Intangibles: Rodgers caught everything in sight this season. Steady hands and a solid approach to the game. Willing to learn and be coached. With as much as Rodgers gave the Packers this season, there is a lot of hope that he can make a jump in year two and really elevate his game.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(B+) Level of expectations met during the season
(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(A-) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: B+——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone:
11 thoughts on “Richard Rodgers 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades”
Great hands to go with a great attitude. He will be the best TE we have had in the last couple of decades.
His ceiling is a good #2 TE, IMHO, who is likely to have a long NFL career. I think we will see a jump in his blocking and in the trust Aaron Rodgers shows in him.
Looking forward to seeing what he can do once he learns how to create separation to go with his hands. He caught everything thrown his way late in the season but usually had someone attached to his hip. Want to see what he can do with some space as he had the highest YAC of college TEs in the 2014 draft and had combine numbers similar to Finleys.
Inability to create separation was one of the comments in his draft profile. It is due to a lack of explosiveness and hips in and out of his breaks. He can get better at it. There is an upper limit.
Smh you guys are afraid to be critical. John Kuhn replaced Rodgers in the 2 back set because Rodgers couldn’t lead block. Not to mention his abysmal in line blocking.
A good tight end with average speed and really reliable hands. Rodgers put on 20 lbs after the combine but needs the offseason to make it functional strength.
Rodgers doesn’t have the same ceiling as Finley. However, this offense doesn’t need a dynamic TE. If Rodgers can become a reliable in line blocker and 3rd down pass catcher he will exceed his potential.
I said all this because I don’t want to read all next season how we need a dynamic TE when the offense stalls out against a good defense. Rodgers isn’t that guy.
I sure am glad Rodgers doesn’t have the same ceiling as Finley, because then his upside would stall at 35 catches, 450 yards and 4 touchdowns per season.
Finley’s career averages – all filler, no beef. Dynamic, my @$$.
I hope Aaron is wrong but time will tell. I had heard that Aaron Rodgers said he has the best hands on the team. He is bigger than Finley so I can imagine him becoming a great player. One the forgotten miscues against Seattle was Quarless’ drop of a pass that would’ve been a first down. If that had been Rodgers would he have caught it? Would that have been enough to …. well you know…
Aside from his blocking he did have a good year but I hope he makes the jump in the blocking aspect of his game this year. If he does then he could turn out to be one of the better TE’s the team has had
Agreed he did have a good rookie year. Rodgers just won’t have this “jump” we expect when he becomes a “matchup nightmare” for defensive coordinators.
Rodgers is a good player that can become Bubba Franks reliable.
I agree with the expectations grade. The other grades are grossly inflated. RR has fine hands, pedestrian speed (4.87 forty doesn’t wow anyone and there is no doubt in my mind that Quarless is faster), lacks explosiveness in and out of his breaks (7.23 3-cone drill), and is not remotely elusive after the catch. He has tight hips. His blocking was pretty bad and he needs to get stronger (16 reps). On the upside, he has a good first step, looks like a hard worker who is eager to improve, and he did improve his blocking, but he was still looking north at average. The NFL game did not look too big for him. He showed good concentration. He played 45% of the offensive snaps, but even that was by default rather than earned (Perillo and Ryan Taylor each played 1% of offensive snaps, and Bostick got 3%). Had Bostick been anything like what was expected, RR would have fought Quarless for snaps, and RR would not have been asked to do things, like block, that he clearly was not yet ready to do in the NFL. Opposing defenses sometimes just ignored him, especially early in the season.
He caught 20 passes on 30 targets for 225 yds and a 11.3 average. That is pretty good production for a rookie, but coupled with horrendous and later in the season merely bad blocking, contributions on the field has to be at best a C-.
RR added 5 receptions on 6 targets for 48 yards and a 9.6 average and a TD in the postseason. That is good pass catching, and blocking was still below average. I’d give him a B or B- in postseason. Overall grade C+.
R. Rodgers has a lot of upside to come but he will never keep Defensive coordinators up at night as a threat to their defenses. The Packers need a true threat down the middle of the field to complete their passing offense. As for Rodgers he has great hands and he can be an excellent #2 TE, especially if can improve his run blocking which was bad at best and non-existent at worst during his rookie season. I probably would have given him a B but I have no problem with the B+. Thanks, Since ’61
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