Da’Rick Rogers – WR – 6’3″/217
Da’Rick Rogers is another player that is extremely talented but has off-the-field issues that will push him back in the draft.
Rogers was infamously kicked off the Tennessee football team by then head coach Derek Dooley, after he failed 3 drug tests. Rogers then enrolled at Tennessee Tech before entering the NFL draft a year early. At the combine in February he told draft scouts that he took 10 drug tests while at Tennessee Tech and had passed them all.
Rogers played sparingly during his freshmen year at Tennessee, recording 167 yards on 11 receptions. In his second season he stepped up after fellow wide receiver Justin Hunter tore his ACL against Florida and missed the rest of the season. Rogers would finish his sophomore season with 9 touchdowns, 1,040 yards and 67 receptions.
The 1,040 yards and 67 receptions led the SEC in 2011 and the 9 touchdowns were good enough for second in the conference. Rogers finished the season as an All-SEC first team selection.
At Tennessee Tech last season Rogers had a solid, but not spectacular, season. The Georgia native finished the season with 10 touchdowns, 893 yards and 61 receptions.
If it wasn’t for Rogers’ off-the-field issues he would possibly be the first receiver taken in the upcoming draft. Rogers is one of the most physically gifted receivers in this years draft, often drawing comparisons to former Alabama Crimson Tide receiver Julio Jones. Rogers has elite size and good speed, he ran a 4.52 in the 40 at the combine (slower than Jone’s time of 4.34, but still a solid time).
Da’Rick Rogers is an all around solid receiving prospect. He catches the ball well, he can line up all over the field and he’s not afraid to go over the middle and take a hit. He had very few drops during his college career and showed a toughness that the Volunteers clearly missed during the 2012 season. He’s also a great asset in the run game as a blocker.
There’s no question that Rogers does everything right on the field, it’s his off the field issues that will keep him from being a first round draft pick. It’s arguable that Rogers is the most talented of the four Tennessee wide receivers that are expected to be drafted.
NFL draft scout Dane Brugler told us back in February that he felt Rogers had a good attitude towards the tough questions from teams at the combine.
Rogers has said he understands why teams have character concerns about him and that he’s taken full responsibility for his actions in the past.
Where do we think Da’Rick Rogers will be drafted?
A lot of draft analysts have projected Da’Rick Rogers to be drafted in the third round. We think, despite his issues, that his talent is too great to warrant him dropping to the third round.
In recent years receivers that had perceived off-the-field issues, like Dez Bryant and Josh Gordon, but were blessed with elite size and speed, have been drafted and performed well in the NFL. Because of their success we believe that a team might be more willing to take a chance on Rogers higher in the draft.
With that being said we project that Rogers will be drafted with by the Baltimore Ravens with the 62nd overall pick in the second round.
The Ravens lost wide receiver Anquan Boldin this offseason in free agency, which leaves Torrey Smith as their main receiving threat. Smith began coming into his own last season, but he lacks the physicality that Boldin provided.
Rogers would compliment Smith well and be a guy that could move the chains or be targeted in the red zone. In 2011 54 of Rogers’ 67 catches went for either a first down or a touchdown.
We think that Da’Rick Rogers would fit the Raven’s scheme well, and with his rare combination of size, speed and talent he deserves to be selected no later then the second round.