Over the next few weeks, the Broadway staff will be taking a closer look at prospects the Titans could look to target in the 2021 NFL Draft based on positional need.
Today I am looking at one of my personal favorite players in this draft, who also happens to play a position at which the Titans need an upgrade.
Amari Rodgers | WR | Clemson
Games I watched: Wake Forest (2020), Virginia (2020), Notre Dame (2020), Pittsburgh (2020), Ohio State (2020).
Rodgers will turn 22 years old during his rookie campaign. He was a young player stuck behind several NFL-bound receivers in 2018 and 2019. Rodgers’ opportunity finally came in 2020, and he made the most of it by snagging 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Rodgers became Trevor Lawrence’s go-to receiver in 2020 following the departure of Tee Higgins and preseason injury to Justyn Ross, and Rodgers proved that he’s a fine NFL prospect in his own right.
Rodgers proved to be Lawrence’s most reliable target in 2020 by hauling in at least 7 passes in seven different games. Rodgers mainly works the short to intermediate areas of the field. He averaged 13.2 yards per catch in 2020 and scored 7 touchdowns.
I watched several of Rodgers’ 2020 games and really enjoyed watching this player. The first thing that jumped out at me while scouting Rodgers is how often he’s open. Rodgers is an excellent route runner. His natural feel for coverages allows him to find space while working effectively from the slot position. He uses a lot of head-fakes and other subtle movements to pull a defensive back in the wrong direction.
He is incredibly difficult to deal with throughout the entire process of a rep. From how physical and smooth he is at the line of scrimmage as a route runner to his ability to run after the catch, Rodgers is an incredibly fun player that should thrive in a similar role at the next level. He is patient, and it’s evident to see that he spent the last few years working on his craft while waiting for his moment in the spotlight.
You always have to watch for the quick slant route when lined up with Rodgers in coverage. He also runs a nice comeback. Clemson’s offensive staff did a great job manufacturing touches for him with screens and other quick hitters. The Tigers didn’t ask him to run every route in the route tree, but he was highly effective at doing what was asked of him.
Rodgers is a natural runner with the ball in his hands. He is tough, physical and smart in this area. His ability to make something happen after the catch was especially on display against Notre Dame. Let’s take a look at some of those plays.
First up, we can see a couple of Rodgers’ impressive traits on this play here. He does a great job setting up his man for a fake inside before running a quick and clean speed out. He secures the catch, has the physical ability to shake off the first would-be tackler, and the wiggle to make several more defenders miss en route to a nice gain:
While the first play featured Rodgers’ ability as a route runner, this next play shows off some of the ways you can manufacture touches for Rodgers:
I’m also a big fan of what Rodgers can do on third down, which is (in my opinion) a critical skill to the survival of a slot receiver at the next level. He can be seen moving the chains here on a third-and-long by finding a sliver of space to make himself available to his scrambling QB:
Rodgers has the tools to become a starting receiver in the slot at the next level.
At 5-foot-9, it’s obvious that Rodgers lacks great height for the position. This is not a positional versatile receiver that can play both inside and outside. He should be viewed exclusively as a slot receiver at the next level.
Rodgers also suffers from some of the other typical limitations that come with being a smaller receiver. He lacks great length for the position and doesn’t have a particularly large catch radius.
You would also like to see him run more routes, but just because Clemson didn’t ask him to do it doesn’t mean he can’t.
Does he fit the Titans?
Yes. Even if the Titans bring Corey Davis back, they’re going need to add at least one more wide receiver this offseason. Somebody has to replace Adam Humphries in the slot. In my opinion, a player like Rodgers is the ideal candidate to do that. Rodgers would check a lot of boxes in Tennessee.
I expect him to come off the board on Day 2.
I can’t share my All-22 film here, but you can form your opnion on Rodgers by watching a couple of his Youtube cutups:
Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!