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    NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers
    A look at the situation facing the former Tennessee WR.
    Russ Lande
    February 15, 2013

    As NFL teams pore over 2012 Tennessee Volunteers film to evaluate quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Paterson, you can be sure they are also taking a close look at the 2011 film. They likely want to see what Justin Hunter looked like prior to his knee injury and also want to evaluate Da’Rick Rogers against SEC competition as opposed to his play at Tennessee Tech this season. While Cordarrelle Patterson will be a top 20 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and Justin Hunter will either be a late first or second rounder, Rogers needs to prove to NFL teams that he is worthy of risking a second day pick on.

    Even though his big production at Tennessee was limited to primarily the 2011 season, what he showed that year had NFL scouts believing he would be a first round pick after a big final season in 2012. However, things did not work out exactly as Da’Rick had planned when he was dismissed from the Tennessee football team a week before the start of the 2012 season due to repeated violations of team rules (Which Rogers confirmed were failed drug tests). Rogers found his way to Tennessee Tech where he played in every game and caught 61 passes for nearly 900 yards and then decided to leave school early to enter the Draft. For Rogers to be drafted close to where his on field play would warrant he needs to convince teams that the off-field issues that plagued him at Tennessee are a thing of the past.

    On the field there has never been any question about Rogers' ability to make big plays and help his team win games. At 6’3 and 215 pounds, Rogers has the size that NFL teams love and consistently showed on film that he plays to that size. He is fearless catching passes as he heads into traffic and does not “peek” at the defense, which allows him to secure the ball and get it tucked away quickly so that he can hold onto the ball after he gets hit right after the catch. Blessed with rare hands and ball skills, Rogers caught over 94% of the passes thrown his way in the games I evaluated in 2011. He consistently showed the ability to adjust to make tough catches on off-target throws and was able to make catches along the sideline with a defender on his back and he still got his feet down in bounds (Although in college he only needed to get one foot down).

    While Rogers no doubt is a good athlete, he is much more of a smooth and fluid one than a quick twitch one. In the games evaluated he did not show the elite burst of acceleration to close cushion on the cornerback and did not show the playing speed to get separation deep down the field. He does however know how to run good routes to get open and uses his size and technique to create a little space. While not explosive getting started up the field after the catch, he is quick and decisive doing so. Additionally, he is an aggressive runner with the ball in his hands and combined with his size, strength and balance he consistently has shown the ability to run through arm/grab tackles to gain yards after contact and make big plays.

    Many people will be focused on how fast Rogers runs at the Combine to try and peg his draft status, but the reality is that his workout will have little to do with that. He needs to impress teams during the interview process convincing them that he has learned from his past mistakes and will not allow his behavior off the football field to affect his on field play. If he hits a home run in the interview process then Rogers will likely hear his name called on the second day of the Draft, but if he stumbles through the interviews he will end up as a fourth or fifth round pick.


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    sosa39rams's Avatar
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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    Like I've said before, had this guy stayed straight he'd probably be in the running for the top WR in this class. He has loads of talent, but I don't know if I want a team filled with guys who have had off the field issues. Plus, I have a few guys rated higher than him so I think I'd target them prior to Rogers.


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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    I'd easily take Rogers in the second half of the 2nd round or in the 3rd if he is still available. First round talent in my eyes. Probably the most physical WR in terms of bringing down and fighting for yardage. He is like a bigger Boldin. I would not mind one bit if we got him. He has stayed clean this past year. Hope his interviews go well at the combine.


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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Plus, I have a few guys rated higher than him so I think I'd target them prior to Rogers.
    You think? I would hope if you had guys rated ahead of him, you'd target them first. That's kind of the whole point!

    Joking aside, Rogers is presently my 9th ranked WR and I have him slotted in the third round. But the 6-10 spots on my WR rankings are close enough that an impressive Combine could give Rogers the edge and move him up a couple spots, making him viable in the mid to late second.

    Of course, an impressive Combine for Rogers may simply be nailing the interview process, which we as fans may or not hear much about.

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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    You think? I would hope if you had guys rated ahead of him, you'd target them first. That's kind of the whole point!

    Joking aside, Rogers is presently my 9th ranked WR and I have him slotted in the third round. But the 6-10 spots on my WR rankings are close enough that an impressive Combine could give Rogers the edge and move him up a couple spots, making him viable in the mid to late second.

    Of course, an impressive Combine for Rogers may simply be nailing the interview process, which we as fans may or not hear much about.
    Right. I don't expect much from Rogers at the combine. He isn't the type of WR to stand out there. I expect to see guys like Tavon Austin, Marquise Goodwin, Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, and some others to get a lot of praise (40 times, shifty-ness). I'm excited to see the gauntlet. That sort of helps separate those who can catch and those who have concentration lapses, though at the same time the drill is sort of strange.

    I think Rogers would probably be ranked around 7th for me..

    1) DeAndre Hopkins
    2) Cordarrelle Patterson
    3) Keenan Allen
    4) Justin Hunter
    5) Tavon Austin
    6) Markus Wheaton
    7) Terrance Williams
    8) Da'Rick would probably grab this spot here

    Though guys like Quintin Patton, Marquise Goodwin, and Steadman Bailey are very close to grabbing that spot. This WR class doesn't have any elite talent, but its got some pretty good depth. We'll see how things shake out next week!


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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Right. I don't expect much from Rogers at the combine. He isn't the type of WR to stand out there. I expect to see guys like Tavon Austin, Marquise Goodwin, Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, and some others to get a lot of praise (40 times, shifty-ness). I'm excited to see the gauntlet. That sort of helps separate those who can catch and those who have concentration lapses, though at the same time the drill is sort of strange.
    Oh I think he can stand out, just not necessarily in the track-style workouts that receive the most attention. The last thing you mentioned alludes to how Rogers could help himself at the Combine, and that's by excelling at his routes and catching the ball well in positional drills.

    He has a reputation among some of not fully concentrating when the ball is in the air and not always giving his best effort on receptions. It'd be great to see him make a case to put those criticisms to rest by simply being a football magnet any time he's on the field.

    Typically, it's the hard workout numbers that get the most attention during the Combine. But for example, Morris Claiborne wasn't particularly impressive in the forty or vertical jump, but received some very positive Combine reviews because of his work in positional drills. That's where I think Rogers could help himself. Well, that, and again, the interviews, obviously.

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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    If all he did to get kicked off the team was smoke weed then I would be fine taking him in the second or third round. There are players with actual off the field issues to worry about so lets not focus on one person who happened to get caught doing something that almost all college students do. From what I saw in 2011, I thought he lazily caught passes with his body too often even though on some catches he showed he could snatch the ball out of the air like Michael Crabtree but that doesn't appear to affect his drops at all if he catches 94% of passes that come his way. He sounds like a high value pick to me.

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    Re: NFP looks at small school prospect Da'Rick Rogers

    After looking at film of him, I have him as the 5th or 6th best receiver. I like him a whole lot better than Wheaton or Terrance Williams, which a lot of people have him ranked behind. He's taller and more physical than Wheaton, and isn't afraid to go over the middle and fight for extra yards unlike Williams.

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