5’9 1/2, 212 lbs
He’s short but not small; he has a running back build. Defenders can not tackle him high as he just breaks the tackle. Rodgers looks like a running back with the ball in his hands; he’s a willing blocker in the passing game and running game.
Rodgers can really contort his body to make some spectacular catches. He is used a lot in the screen game. Once he catches the ball, he can explode up the field. On film, he shows a decent stiff arm. He will lay out for a ball that maybe was not a great throw.
He also has lots of experience as a punt returner; he has 68 returns in his career with a 7.8 average. Rodgers shows an ability to accelerate and decelerate to throw off defenders and get extra yardage. Rodgers even shows good strong soft hands catching the ball. He’s good at finding open spaces in zone coverage; he will work his way back to the QB on scramble drills.
He’s a really solid route runner. All his routes look the same coming off the line, which can keep the DB guessing as to what route he is running. He shows a good outside fake that he then takes inside that gets the DB to jump outside. Rodgers will also use some shoulder and head fakes to get himself free. Also, he will throw a little shuffle step and juke out to get separation.
He’s short at 5’9 with short arms. That limits his potential to be used outside. Rodgers does not show any real explosion off the snap. If a defender is close, he has had problems with them knocking balls away because he is not able to reach out, and snag it away because his arms are short. Rodgers agility is pretty average. If he’s forced to use it to get away from a defender, it slows him down a bit.
He still seems unsure of who to block at times on running plays. He was not asked to run a lot of different routes at Clemson. Rodgers will drop some easy balls on occasion, usually, because he is looking up the field instead of making sure he secures the catch. Rodgers has shown minimal touchdown production. When defenders go low, he goes down pretty easily.
He is a good fit for Green Bay in the slot/gadget role; he should be fine in filling that role. Long, athletic defensive backs will give him problems. He is going to be pretty much a pure slot/gadget in Green Bay. His height, short arms, lack of agility, and just average speed are the reasons why; but, he is a versatile player that can be used in a variety of ways. You just have to use him the right way.
Rodgers can be a chain mover. He can play in the slot, in the backfield, in motion, and returning punts. He has some Donald Driver in him when the ball is in his hands, and if any defender tries to tackle him high, he just shrugs them off. He can fill some roles that the Packers expected out of Ervin that he was never able to. Everyone is comparing him to Randall Cobb, which isn’t a bad comparison. It makes sense, but he is more of a mixture of Cobb and Ty Montgomery.
Cobb was not the physical runner that Rodgers is and that Montgomery was. Rodgers also has about 20 pounds on Cobb. Cobb was quicker than Rodgers is before injuries took some of that away. Some fans are excited for Rodgers and they should be. He will contribute to the offense and special teams. That is for sure, but don’t forget.
He will still be a rookie playing a position that usually takes a player two to three years to ‘get’. So, don’t expect prime Randall Cobb in Rodgers rookie year. Expect rookie year Randall Cobb. He had 25 catches for 375 yards and one TD in 2011. I would expect similar numbers for Amari.