Will we ever see a Rodgers to Rodgers connection?
The Green Bay Packers traded up in the third round during Friday’s NFL Draft and selected Clemson slot wide receiver Amari Rodgers. The question is will he ever be paired with disgruntled quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay gave up their third round pick and one of their fourth rounders in a trade with Tennessee to move up and select Rodgers.
The Packers have always had an affinity for bigger receivers and had an unwritten rule that they wouldn’t draft a receiver under 5-foot-10. But the 5-9 ½”, 212-pound Rodgers was potentially too dynamic to pass up.
Rodgers caught 77 passes for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020. Rodgers finished his Clemson career with 181 receptions for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds and recorded a 30-1/2” vertical jump.
“The Packers are getting a true professional,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “He is the ultimate pro. This kid has handled himself like a pro since I met him, and I mean in every aspect of his life. He is incredibly committed to excellence in every area: academics, his relationships, how he deals with media, how he responds to adversity, you name it. He is the same guy every day.
“He has an incredible mind to him. He has an incredible mental toughness and grit, and then he is just highly skilled. He brings a ton of experience. He has played a ton of football. He has incredible special teams value. He can do a lot of things there. He played his first two years on the outside, he played his last two years in the slot.
“He is crafty. He is a technician at his position, and he is a guy that’s going to be ready day one since he can play multiple positions and is incredibly smart. Again, he is built like a running back, but he has the length of a 6-foot-3 wideout and plays long. He is a tough yards-after-the-catch guy and I think is one of those guys that, like I said, is a true pro and will be a leader from the moment he gets there.”
The Packers haven’t had a legitimate slot receiver since Randall Cobb left after the 2018 season. Cobb, a second-round pick in 2011, was just 5-foot-10 himself, but had 470 receptions and 41 touchdowns as a Packer.
Rodgers could be a dynamic weapon in the slot, and also help in the return game, which has been a problem in Green Bay for years. Rodgers also becomes the highest-drafted wide receiver by the Packers since they took Davante Adams in the second round in 2014.
“I have the mentality that I’m not going to be outworked,” Rodgers said after his pro day. “From Day 1, I’m going to bring that mentality and get one percent better each day. I’m not trying to waste any days because you will not be successful if you do. I have that mentality that I’m going to keep improving so I can be successful for my team every Sunday.”