Summary: The SEC's leading receiver in 2011 didn't get a chance to duplicate that production after he was kicked off of Tennessee's football team just before the 2012 season. Rogers said afterwards it was for testing positive for smoking pot.
Immediately after getting kicked out of Tennessee, Rogers transfered to Tennessee Tech and played the year there. Rogers totaled 61 receptions for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Golden Eagles. He had a massive game against Southeast Missouri State with 18 receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Rogers had three catches for 38 yards and a score versus Oregon.
In 2011, teammate Justin Hunter went out for the season in the third game of the year. The load fell to Rogers, and he stepped up with an excellent season. Despite extra coverage from defenses, he totaled 67 receptions for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games.
There is a lot to like about Rogers. He has good size, quickness, athletic ability and is physical. Rogers has some swagger to him and plays the game with an edge. With his natural talent and play-making ability, he should be a starting receiver in the NFL - if he has the character to put his mistakes in the past.
When watching Rogers, a number of things leap out at you. First of all, he has toughness in spades. Rogers is fearless across the middle and makes many tough catches while taking big hits from safeties. He has fabulous concentration with great hands. The senior makes sure to secure the ball even though he knows he's about to take a big hit.
Rogers' toughness is also displayed in his physicality. Regularly you see him deliver the blow to the defensive backs when he is running with the ball. Rogers finishes his runs well and is dangerous with the ball in his hands. The ability to rack up some yards after the catch is undeniable.
Not only does Rogers have strong hands, butr his superb body control allows him to make acrobatic catches. He has made many highlight-reel receptions with defenders draped all over him. Rogers also had a number of one-handed catches on balls thrown off the mark. Entering the NFL, he should project to be a reliable receiver at catching bad passes.
One thing is in question about Rogers is his deep speed. He may not have the capacity to burn NFL cornerbacks on go routes. While Rogers may lack deep speed, he is still very quick. Rogers gets separation with quickness in and out of his breaks. He is phenomenal on crossing routes. Rogers' size, toughness and acceleration could make him a standout possession receiver.
Before the 2012 season, one source told WalterFootball.com that Rogers was already a starting-caliber wide receiver for the NFL. He could be a dangerous receiver in an NFL West Coast offense. Rogers has the speed and big-play ability to be a X (split end) receiver and the size to function as the Z (flanker) receiver. Because of the off-the-field problems, he is likely to go on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Chad Johnson. Rogers' style of play reminds me of part Chad Johnson and part Andre Johnson. For the latter, Rogers has similar toughness, fearlessness and fire like the Texans' All Pro. Rogers' run-after-the-catch ability and explosiveness remind me of Chad Johnson. If Rogers gets his head on straight, he has the capacity to enjoy a good pro career like Johnson or Johnson.
NFL Matches: Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Buffalo, New York Jets, New England
There are a number of teams that could address receiver needs on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft. Many believe that Dwayne Bowe is done with Kansas City, so the Chiefs could use more receiving talent for their new quarterback.
Miami has to improve its receiving corps, but the character concerns could prompt the Dolphins to avoid Rogers. The same could be said for Minnesota. The Vikings badly need receiving help to pair with Percy Harvin, but the team's regime has generally avoided players with off-the-field issues.
Buffalo needs a receiver to complement Stevie Johnson. Rogers would be a nice fit with the Bills, and he could be a good selection for them in the second round. The Jets have a weak receiving corps, and Santonio Holmes could flame out at any time. Landing a wide out like Rogers would be a nice upgrade for New York.
New England has a veteran receiving corps that need some youth. Rogers could develop for a year or two before breaking into the lineup with the Patriots.
I'll admit I was as shocked as everyone on draft night. It took me a dew days to regain my senses and delve into what Pace actually did this off-season. This rant basically mirrors my sentiments exactly. Time will tell if this was a genius move by Pace or not, but you have to give him credit for being ballsy and aggressive.