The 2021 NFL Draft was this past weekend and that was really the only interesting and newsworthy thing to happen. Nothing else comes to mind.
The Green Bay Packers ended up putting together another solid draft by reinvesting in their offensive line and adding some help on the defensive side of the ball. And they added a wide receiver! Waiting until the third round, the Packers traded up to acquire Amari Rodgers from Clemson, who the Packers reportedly considered in the second round.
Who is the new A. Rodgers?
That’s the last time I’ll make that joke since Packers Twitter absolutely beat that joke into the ground on Day 2 of the draft.
Rodgers isn’t a big X WR, but rather a shorter slot guy who will be used in fun and creative ways in Matt LaFleur’s offense. He’s not a Brandon Aiyuk- or Deebo Samuel-type, but he’s similar in that he knows how to get open and move the chains when his number is called. Amari is a smooth route runner and moves well once the ball is in his hands.
The limitation for Rodgers is that he’s far from being as athletic as Aiyuk and Samuel—at least according relative athletic score (RAS) numbers. Rodgers’ 5.37 score only registers him as an “okay” athlete, whereas Aiyuk registered as an “elite” athlete with a score of 8.46. Rodgers doesn’t meet the thresholds that the Packers normally draft for WR, but GM Brian Gutekunst suggests that they look at the jet motion position differently.
“He’s a little different than some of the other slot guys you see across the league because he’s built more like a running back,” Gutekunst said during a presser.
This shows up on tape, too. He’s got decent strength that allows him to run through arm tackles and he’s also a patient runner looking for holes to run through. We’ll probably see Rodgers lined up in the backfield in addition to moving in motion for jet sweeps.
What’s his fantasy value?
Rodgers is probably not worth a redraft selection once we get to the fantasy season, as he currently projects as a fourth or fifth option for [insert QB] this season. While LaFleur will scheme him into successful situations, those opportunities will likely be limited.
From a dynasty position, however, Rodgers should be on your radar during your rookie drafts. He joins a team that drafts players in the first few rounds who they view can play an important role early on. The Packers won’t draft a player if they aren’t a scheme fit. When the Packers go outside of their thresholds — like Jaire Alexander who was considered undersized by Packers’ DB standards — they see something on the tape that they like.
Stash Rodgers in dynasty and watch his stock climb in coming seasons as he becomes more than just a gadget player.