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Packers draft Clemson WR Amari Rodgers in 3rd round

Green Bay takes a slot receiver with its highest pick spent on a WR since Davante Adams in 2014
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 9:58 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Green Bay Packers traded up in the third round of the NFL Draft to acquire Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers. Yes, there’s another Rodgers in the neighborhood. Rodgers to Rodgers will be a thing once again if Aaron returns (remember Rodgers threw to TE Richard Rodgers for a few years in the middle of the last decade).

Rodgers, from Clemson, is the Packers’ highest drafted receiver since Davante Adams. He’s 5-9 1/2, but a solid 212 pounds. The son of former NFL quarterback Tee Martin, who is a receivers coach and coached Randall Cobb at Kentucky, is a polished performer already. “I hope everybody on our team and within our building is excited about adding Amari,” General Manager Brian Gutekunst said Friday night. “It’s something we wanted to add for a few years, that guy who can play inside [as a slot WR] and return kicks.”

He wanted him so badly, Gutekunst was trying to trade up to select Rodgers right after selecting C Josh Myers with the 62nd overall selection. It took a little longer than he wanted, but he still was able to select his man.

Last year Rodgers had 77 catches for 1,020 yards and 7 TD’s for Clemson. He returned 9 punts for a 7.1 yard average and return 8 punts for an 8.4 yard average the year before. He had a torn ACL in college in March before his junior year, but only missed one game that season. He is tough, and although his 40-time is not as fast as some of the other smaller slot receivers in the draft at 4.51, it’s hardly a concern. “You can’t run by everybody in this league. You’ve got to be able to take on people, break tackles,” said Gutekunst.

The Packers traded to move up from the 92nd to 85th pick overall to select Rodgers, also giving up one of their 4th round picks, number 135 overall.

Rodgers said he is excited to come to the Packers, especially having a chance to play alongside and learn from Davante Adams. He also fits what Matt LaFleur’s offense needs. “As a gadget guy, being able to get the ball in my hands in anyway possible. I just see myself as one of those guys who can line up anywhere; line up at any position, inside, outside, in the backfield sometimes. Just one of those guys that whenever I get the ball in my hands, I am confident I can make a play. So I am just looking forward to them using me whatever way to help the team, win I will do that.”

Here is Amari Rodgers’ draft profile from NFL.com:

Overview

Compact slot target who thrived at Clemson with his ability to create chunk plays out of short catch-and-runs and take the top off defenses with his speed. Rodgers has a running back’s stout lower body, providing power and balance to break tackles and rumble through contact with the ball in his hands. His ball skills are pretty good, but he can go from magnificent catch to focus drop in a single drive. Rodgers uses speed alterations inside the route and a sudden burst to top speed to create deep separation from coverage. He’s not as effective at separating underneath against tight man coverage and will need to prove himself in that regard.

Strengths

  • Very strong, with compact body type.
  • Came back from ACL tear in 166 days, exemplifying work ethic.
  • Sets up cornerbacks with clever alterations of route speed.
  • Can get to top speed very quickly.
  • Plus ball-tracking and focus to catch the 50-50 ball.
  • Second gear to chase down the deep ball.
  • Natural footwork in adjusting to off-target tosses.
  • Stabs it out of air with sudden hands.
  • Able to slip or break first tackle after catch.
  • Pull-away speed in the open field.
  • Capable of handling punt return duties.
  • Competitive nature is above average.

Weaknesses

  • Needs to prove he can deal with NFL press.
  • Inconsistent early vertical push off the snap.
  • Has a tendency to rush through route fakes.
  • Average foot agility getting in and out of breaks.
  • Shorter arms with some tightness in upper body.
  • Loss of catch concentration at times in 2018 and 2020.
  • Needs to keep working to find softest spots in zone for quarterback.
  • . CLICK HERE to read details of 2nd round pick Josh Myers.

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