Amari Rodgers - WR - Clemson
Welcome into the rookie profile for Amari Rodgers. He’s a small, slot style receiver – but an absolute Yards-After-Catch (YAC) monster. He played running back in college so has experience in the backfield, this will play into his YAC ability. Clemson found ways to get the ball into his hands in numerous ways, with the 2nd most receptions on screens, and third in yards from screens at 237 on the 2020 season. He may be small, but defenders will struggle to bring him down with any arm tackle. He’s a versatile receiver who will miss some of the analytical check boxes, but shows up on tape time and time again.
Team: Green Bay Packers
Height: 5′ 9″
Weight: 212 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.51
3-cone drill: 7.12
20-yard shuttle: 4.36
Vertical Jump: 33″
Broad Jump: 121″
Bench Press: 24
|College DOM||College YPR||College Target %||Breakout Age|
Snap stats are currently unavailable from our stats provider on Rodgers. Once we have them, we will update the above.
Amari Rodgers – a 4-star recruit (per 247sports) – committed to Clemson for the class of 2017. It took a little time Rodgers to receive significant touches, only recording 19 receptions for 123 yards and 3 rushing attempts for -9 yards in his freshman year. In 2018, his sophomore year, Rodgers jumped up the depth chart – earning starting roles in both receiving and return games – following the NFL-bound departures of Ray-Ray McCloud and Deon Cain. Rodgers was 2nd in receptions and 3rd in yards with only Tee Higgins beating him out on both accounts. With Hunter Renfrow had packing up his bags and target share to leave for the NFL, Rodgers would have been expected to carve out a bigger role. Unfortunately, Rodgers tore his ACL in March 2019. He made a remarkable recovery, returning in September of the same year. Only 22 weeks after an injury that normally takes twice that to recover from, at the least. Insane. Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins made the most of the target share shift, making sure they were the top two receivers for Clemson that year.
2020 was Amari’s year. Finally eclipsing the 1000 yard receiving milestone following the departure of Tee Higgins. Justyn Ross was also absent from the team with a spinal condition, making Rodgers the clear number 1 on the team. In 2020 alone, Rodgers ran 19 unique routes. That is an incredible route tree. Although, at his size, he is not the fastest and the analytics do not help him a lot, he is a hugely dynamic player which NFL teams will love.
As I said previously, Rodgers is a YAC monster. He has lateral quickness that shows up time and time again on tape. Although he’s a small receiver at 5′ 9″, he uses all of his 212lbs weight to shed tackles left, right and centre – especially arm tackles. He also had 24 reps on the bench press (99th percentile in wide receivers). He’s a strong guy. Rodgers is a versatile receiver who will be able to line up in a variety of positions, and used in a variety of ways. His skill set will be best utilised in a LaFleur offence in a Tyler Ervin style role, with manufactured touches such as WR screens. His impressive route tree will really work in his favour to earn a role early in his NFL career and be an instant contributor to your fantasy team.
Rodgers lacks elite straight line speed, only running an unofficial 4.52 40 yard dash at his pro day. He also lacks the height of an elite, primary receiver, measuring in at 5′ 9″. Although I have mentioned his diverse route tree already, he does need to hone his craft in this aspect. He needs to create more suddenness and burst coming out of breaks. His hands are also a little more inconsistent than you’d expect, however I suspect most of these are concentration drops which are the most coachable type of drops. Everything I have covered above, outside of the measurables, can be coached which is great news.
Expected Draft Capital:
Many of his interviews mention him going in the 2nd round, however I expect this to be lower, probably in the 3rd round – but 4th round could be possible. He’s being mocked outside of the 2nd tier of receivers, so I hope he doesn’t fall down draft boards.
Best Draft Fits:
I mentioned Matt LaFleur’s system in the “positives” section. I really think the Green Bay Packers are a solid spot for him, but we know how Brian Gutenkurst drafts – or more accurately, no one knows but “Gutey”.
A Shanahan offence would also be a great spot to use Amari, however if he does go to the 49ers, I worry he may be overshadowed by Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, should both stay healthy in 2021. The worst part? Those two aren’t the main target in that offence.
A fit I see as a sneaky, under-the-radar, fit would be the New York Jets. They have the draft capital to take Rodgers. He would also be tied to a rookie quarterback, should Darnold get traded that is. The Jets still carry the stigma of Adam Gase, but remember Gase was fired. It is another Shanahan-tree offence with another LaFleur (Mike) as the offensive coordinator. Mike was the passing game coordinator.
Green Bay Packers: Rounds 3, Pick 21
The Green Bay Packers not only selected Amari Rodgers with the 85th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, they traded up from the 92nd (giving the 135th – 4th round – selection to the Titans too). As I said in the pre-draft section, I see the Packers as a top fit for Amari’s skill set. He’s the only “true” slot guy on the team. He also slots in (pun intended) as the team’s punt/kick returner, and overall gadget guy on offence. We saw how the offence took on a different shape when Ervin went down with injury – the Packers even brought in Tavon Austin to take over Ervin’s duties.
Rodgers has a clear slot in this offence for years to come. I have seen him compared to Randall Cobb (former Packer, now with the Texans) a lot, and I quite agree. They were both predominately slot guys, but could play on the outside if the need arose, and were great returners and YAC monsters.
He is currently the only wide receiver on the team with a contract through 2022. Although I heavily expect this to change, he’s a great pickup in your fantasy Rookie drafts for this reason alone, as his trade value will only spike come the 2022 offseason.
Rodgers will have a great chance to get on the field early. He’ll be the Packers’ top slot threat, returner and gadget guy. This may not turn into great fantasy production though. Randall only finished inside the top 24 wide receivers (PPR scoring), twice in his 8 seasons in Green Bay. Granted, Randall played 16 games in just two season (only one was a top 24 finish, the other he was 26th). I’m not saying Amari is Randall, and will have the same production, but they both have similar roles and serve similar purposes. I don’t foresee Rodgers becoming the number one target on this offence, but as long as Aaron Rodgers is in town, you know you can count on more than one fantasy relevant receiver. That is another thing to consider, the Aaron Rodgers news that dropped wasn’t encouraging for the future of the Packers. Should Rodgers sit out for the season, or be traded, Jordan Love is such an unknown that Amari’s fantasy value will decrease and no one will be able to predict the fantasy production coming out of Green Bay. I am currently trying to get Amari at the end of the 2nd in rookie drafts, most likely around the 10th pick in the 2nd round in a 12 team league. Some leagues may let him fall into the 3rd, but I’m comfortable taking the shot on him in the late 2nd round.