Where Richard Rodgers Wins
Despite some pretty bad combine numbers, Rogers is a good straight line athlete for his size. When given a clean release, he shows very good explosion off the line of scrimmage and can hit second gear quickly when getting vertical and gets behind the second level with fluidity and ease. For teams that like to threaten the seams frequently, Rogers is an ideal fit. Rogers shows good yards after the catch with straight-line speed and strength, and it is hard for most to stop his momentum in space once he gets going.
As a blocker, Rogers will not offer much in-line, but is a very effective space blocker, at the second level and when lined up wide against defensive backs. He uses his size and length to his advantage and shows better effort than most slot receiver-type tight ends.
Where Richard Rodgers Needs To Improve
Rodgers is not the type of athlete that you can get creative with. He is vertically explosive off the line but is very stiff from the waist down and struggles to sink and explode in his breaks, or change direction at all really. He has to gear down almost completely when changing direction, and offers little short area quickness or elusiveness. I question if he will ever be able to actually get open in the NFL on anything that is not a vertical route.
Rogers' hands are also very inconsistent. He shows the ability to cleanly catch the ball when not contested, but in one-on-one situations or when contacted at the catch point, he loses focus and becomes wildly inconsistent.
Rodgers has ideal size and vertical ability for a "Move" tight end but his restrictions when running routes and after the catch make me skeptical on him becoming anything more than a role player moving forward, and he is not a fit for all teams.
Grade: 6, Day 3.