Amari Rodgers bears some resemblance to Randall Cobb. If the Green Bay Packers’ new third-round draft pick can deliver the same level of production as Cobb did at wide receiver, general manager Brian Gutekunst and Rodgers’ new quarterback — Aaron Rodgers (no relation, and assuming he’s under center in 2021) — will be thrilled.
The Packers, slated to pick at No. 92 in the third round, traded one of their fourth-round picks (No. 135) to the Tennessee Titans for No. 85 to pick Rodgers, who caught 181 passes for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns at Clemson — and embraced the comparison to Cobb when asked about it at his on-campus pro day.
“I’d definitely see myself as a Randall Cobb type player, being used in the slot, jet sweeps and the return game, as well,” Rodgers said. “Ever since Randall left, they haven't had a guy like that for real. I haven’t seen one. So just being able to bring my game to that offense, I feel like it would be special just to see and work with a well-known player like Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers, two vets that have a lot of experience and have competed at the highest level. I would love to go and learn from those guys, that would be pretty special.”
Friday night, he got his wish.
As a senior last season, Rodgers had 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. Not only could he line up inside and outside at receiver, he could also line up in the backfield (as Cobb did) and be a versatile piece for head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense. LaFleur used Tyler Ervin in that role last year, but Ervin struggled with injuries and Rodgers gives him an intriguing, more talented option.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney issued a statement after Rodgers’ selection, saying, “The Packers are getting a true professional. He is the ultimate pro. This kid has handled himself like a pro since I met him, and I mean in every aspect of his life. He is incredibly committed to excellence in every area: academics, his relationships, how he deals with media, how he responds to adversity, you name it. He is the same guy every day.
“He has an incredible mind to him. He has an incredible mental toughness and grit, and then he is just highly skilled. He brings a ton of experience. He has played a ton of football. He has incredible special teams value. He can do a lot of things there. He played his first two years on the outside, he played his last two years in the slot.
“He is crafty. He is a technician at his position, and he is a guy that’s going to be ready Day 1 since he can play multiple positions and is incredibly smart. Again, he is built like a running back, but he has the length of a 6-foot-3 wideout and plays long. He is a tough yards-after-the-catch guy and I think is one of those guys that, like I said, is a true pro and will be a leader from the moment he gets there.”
At 5-foot-9 1/2, Rodgers is smaller than the Packers’ ideal receivers and an inch shorter than Cobb, who now plays for the Houston Texans. But he’s 212 pounds and is a strong, powerful player.
“I won at the highest level at every point in my career. I don’t plan on stopping now,” Rodgers said at his pro day. “I'm going to do whatever it takes in order to help the team that I go to win and to help myself be successful. I'm going to be the hardest worker on a team. I'm going to be the first one in the building, the last one out. I'm just going to be determined to win Super Bowls and bring the Super Bowl back to whatever city I go to. You're going to get somebody that’s going to go all in. They're not going to let off the gas pedal until the career is over.”