When the Green Bay Packers drafted tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round, we labeled him a project.
Rodgers played three years at Cal — the first two as a tight end and the third as a receiver. As such, his weight went from 275 down to 245. He’s now back up to a more tight end-like 267.
Weight isn’t the concern though. Blocking is and that’s why we don’t see him contributing much this season. If you’re a tight end and there are questions about your blocking, the Packers are going to be hesitant to put you on the field.
Since Rodgers played receiver in a spread offense last year, he hasn’t really blocked anyone since 2012. So he really has only two years of college experience blocking as a tight end.
Not really ideal. Sure, he has plenty of potential, but it’s going to be a struggle for Rodgers to get on the field this year.
Look at converted receiver Brandon Bostick. Great talent as a pass catcher, still learning how to block. Hence, hasn’t played much.
Rodgers’ situation is somewhat comparable to that of the guy he might end up replacing, Jermichael Finley. JMike left Texas after just two seasons on the field (he was a redshirt sophomore). Caught plenty of balls, but there were questions about his blocking.
When the Packers drafted him in the third round, Finley was… wait for it… a project!
A project who wasn’t particularly adept at blocking and didn’t have a lot of experience doing it. So what happened that first season?
Finley sat behind Donald Lee, starting just one game and catching just six balls for 74 yards.
We’d be REAL surprised if Rodgers does more than that this season.
Besides that, he’s wearing Bob Ferguson’s old number and that can’t be a good sign.