Several years ago, NFL offenses were still primarily running only two wide receivers out onto the field most of the time. Slot receivers were a luxury, and they would only come on the field on third down instances or select situations. However, we’ve now gradually seen the NFL game change to offenses running 11-personnel a heavy amount and getting three wide receivers out to create more receiving options for the QB.
As the slot receiver has now become an integral part of today’s offenses, the need for talented players at this position has increased. While there are plenty of different types of slot receivers, the most successful ones are the ones who are willing to go over the middle of the field and display their toughness.
In this entire draft class, it’s hard to find a tougher slot receiver than Amari Rodgers. At 212 pounds, Rodgers is a bowling ball out on screens or in the open field, and he’s not afraid to embrace contact. He’s a fighter, and he’s proven that he can rise to the occasion throughout his time at Clemson.
Does Rodgers have the potential to soak up targets for an NFL offense, though? Or will he be used primarily as a gadget player that doesn’t have much value for fantasy football?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Amari Rodgers:
Weight: 212 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.51
Vertical Jump: 33
Broad Jump: 121
Short Shuttle: 4.36
3-Cone Drill: 7.12
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Route Running (74.5): Rodgers is a dynamic slot presence for an offense that can also be a three-level threat. While he’s not a refined route-runner in the sense of elite twitch or understanding of in-depth nuances, he’s excellent at what he’s asked to do. He can operate on touch passes to bubble screens to slants out of the slot. He also has the IQ to identify the weak spots in zones and sit in them for his QB.
Athleticism/Agility (75): Great burst and agility in short areas. Able to put the brakes on quickly and then accelerate back to full speed very quickly.
Hands (77): Great hands. Only one drop on tape and consistently able to reel in tougher catches.
Contested Catch Ability (78.5): Might struggle over the middle of the field if there’s a defender draped over him that’s a bit bigger. But able to go up and highpoint the football deep downfield surprisingly well for a player of his size.
Run After Catch Ability (76.5): Great after the catch. Able to keep his legs driving and break through contact easily. Shifty and will be used frequently as a chain mover at the next level.
Release (75): Will very rarely face press coverage due to his role in the slot but did succeed in the rare examples of facing press on the outside in college.
Deep Ball Tracking (76): Able to locate the football well while it’s in the air and make the adjustment to put himself in the best position to make a play. May not always come down with it, but able to locate the ball well.
Speed (75): Good, but not elite, top-end speed. He Will be more than serviceable in the NFL but won’t be known for his breakaway speed. More so for his burst and agility in short windows.
Amari Rodgers 87-yds to the HOUSE ????
– ESPN (@espn) September 15, 2019
Two most overlooked (and critical) elements of being productive NFL slot receiver are 1) sturdiness/strength and 2) toughness. This clip sums up Clemson’s Amari Rodgers-tackle-breaker, first-step juice, & physicality. Most slots run OB to avoid contact but that’s not @arodgers_3. pic.twitter.com/BiR6AXhFof
– Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 14, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Due to the position he fills and his skillset, Rodgers is most likely going to be an early Day 3 draft pick.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
The Chicago Bears have a need at the slot WR position, with Anthony Miller failing to meet expectations. Matt Nagy would love to have a player of Rodgers’ skillset in this offense that he can use creatively and simply get the ball in his hands.
Pierre Garçon was 5’11/210 coming out of Mount Union, and he ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at the Combine. Rodgers is 5’10/212 and ran a slightly slower 40-yard dash at 4.51. While Garçon was a bit more refined as a route-runner, they have the potential to fill very similar roles in the NFL.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Trade Analyzer – that allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.