Every year, some of the NFL Draft prospects garner the media’s attention, whether they want it or not. Da’Rick Rogers is one such prospect, but unfortunately he is on the negative side of the press’ attention. This troubled youth was dismissed from the University of Tennessee after failing three separate drug tests for Marijuana. The ex-Volunteer, however, did not give up football, and instead opted to enroll and play for Tennessee Tech University. He has allegedly cleaned up his act and claimed to have passed 10 drug tests while playing for the Golden Eagles. There is no question about Roger’s talent, as he proved to be a very productive pass catcher opposite of fellow teammate Justin Hunter. He was a 1,000-yard receiver as both a Volunteer as well as a Golden Eagle. He further show cased his athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine by being the top performer at five of the Combine drills at his position.
6″2, 217 lbs.
Da’Rick Rogers possess all the tools to become an outstanding widereceiver, and on top of it possess the talent to utilize these tools as exemplified by his productions. Rogers never played with an elite or accurate quarterback during his college year, but that did not stop him from becoming one of the top receivers in the South Eastern Conference. Da’Rick Rogers is a multifaceted receiver that can run the short, intermediate, and deep route. He can catch a short screen and turn it into a long gain or ask to run the deep routes and catch over his shoulder, and he has done so consistently. However, Rogers most effective route is running across the middle of the field. He consistently separates from the shallow defenders, who are usually linebackers or slot cornerbacks. Furthermore, he is a tough and strong catcher, and he is not afraid when catching between defenders, often resulting in taking big hits, and yet have enough concentration to complete the catch. Da’Rick Rogers uses utilize his size well against smaller defenders being able to push his opponents aside or win one-on-one arial battles with these smaller cornerbacks. During the Scouting Combine, Rogers confirmed his athleticism by running a fast 40-yard dash and was the top performer in events such as the 3-cone drill, demonstrating his good change of direction ability.
The biggest worry with Rogers’ game is his concentration. Often times, he would try to think of what to do next before catching the ball, and resulted in many unnecessary drops. At times he would break stride and jump up for a ball, when it was unnecessary. Other times, you will see Rogers trying to catch a ball while running when it was more appropriate to jump up for it. It was also noticed that when he is overmatched or pushed out of his route that Rogers does very little to fight back, this led to several interceptions or pass deflections. He is not one of the best route runners, and sometimes he would improvise without thequarterback’sknowledge. Furthermore, Rogers sometimes catches the ball near his body, which led to the ball bouncing off his pads. He also has a bad habit of catching underhanded. I would like to see Rogers try to catch balls with better through using the appropriate catching method (i.e. thumbs together and fingers forming a triangle pointing upward).
Lastly, there is much growing up to do for Da’Rick Rogers. Despite his claim that he is trying to clean up his act, there were rumors that he did not endear himself to the coaches in Tennessee Tech. This calls into question whether he truly did grow up or not.
Da’Rick Rogers is a very gifted athlete that has the potential to be an annual Pro Bowler. The biggest thing that is holding him back is his immaturity and focus. He is talented enough to fit in any type of offense and is best serve playing in the wide out position in teams that run a lot of plays out of shotgun formation. A team with a strong locker room leader and a mentor is what Rogers need in order to become successful in the NFL. There is little question that Rogers has first grade talent, but the depth of this year’swidereceiverclass and his troubled background may push Da’Rick Rogers into the third round of the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft.