The Time Is Now For Amari Rodgers

The 85th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft must show what he can do. 

It would be nice if the Packers could use Amari Rodgers as a consistent wide receiving option.

The question is, what is a realistic expectation for the wideout entering his second NFL season?

“Like I said, we have a standard in our room of like what we’re looking for on routes, of just knowing those details inside and out,” said Packers wide receivers/passing game coordinator Jason Vrable. “He’s just got to play faster and he’s got to play with more confidence.”

Rodgers was drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft to fill a void in the slot position but a role never really materialized. He only caught four passes for 45 yards and was targeted just eight times. And he only had a catch percentage of 50 percent by playing just 10 percent of the offensive snaps. 

With Davante Adams off to the Las Vegas Raiders, Rodgers finds himself in an interesting position. There are so many snaps up for grabs for wideouts this year. Rodgers knows that he has to produce in order for the offense to keep up its solid play.

But don’t just pigeon-hole him as a slot receiver. The 5-foot-9, 212-pound receiver has spent a lot of time getting better this past offseason and if he’s going to make a jump; the time is now. 

“His mindset is, ‘I’m going to be the No. 1 guy at all three positions.’” said Vrable. “He has that going for him. His route-running is already cleaner and crisper. He’s trained an entire offseason.”

Coming into a situation with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback makes it infinitely tougher for receivers. The amount that is expected is a lot. Aaron Rodgers expects his wideouts to be at a certain spot at a certain time, because that’s where he’s throwing it. He throws it to a spot as opposed to throwing it to a player, which is what most quarterbacks do. 

It just needs to be more instinctual with Rodgers. Entering his second year, he needs to be able to read and react where and how the defense is playing him and then run his route off of that or improvise to an open crease in a soft zone. 

The reason that many were skeptical about adding Randall Cobb was because there was a good chance that Cobb would squelch the development of Rodgers. Well, Cobb stole his reps in practice and then stole them in games. Which is surprising, because Cobb only had two games with 50 or more receiving yards. Rodgers couldn’t leapfrog a 31-year-old that had enough trouble getting open and getting down the field. 

That has to change this year. Vrable and the Packers need to see some splash plays from Rodgers, just to prove that he can be a dynamic force in this league. 

 

If he doesn’t produce again, Rodgers will be fighting for a job in 2023. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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5 points

Comments (16)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
HarryHodag's picture

May 21, 2022 at 06:46 am

He could be fighting for a job in 2022. There are many, many receivers who would like a job.

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GatorJason's picture

May 22, 2022 at 06:03 pm

We heard the hype last year. Extremely mature. Advanced skill set for a rookie. Utra quick but powerful with a RB build. None of it turned out to be true. He must have graduated with a marketing degree by suggesting he should be a 2nd round pick for the Packers before the draft. Comparing himself to a young Randall Cobb. No way, not even close. Amari Rodgers is a RB/WR tweener. All three 2022 WR draft picks and Cobb will out play him for the three or four positions he is being considered. Cobb, Doubs and Toure are better fits for slot. All three rookie WRs are better suited for wideout positions. Doubs has much better resume' for Punt Returns. Doubs and Watson are better candidates for Kick Returns.

Amari Rodgers was overhyped, in part, because he played for Clemson. He wasn't a superstar at Clemson though he was a favorite target for Trevor Lawrence during his senior year. Gutey should cut his losses and send him to Jacksonville for sixth round pick, the round a player of his ability would have been drafted had he not played on a national championship power house like Clemson. No hard feelings for him. Talking a big game got him drafted in the third. Good for him. Maybe being reunited with Lawrence will rekindle whatever confidence he had before the reality of the NFL smacked him in the face. Needless to say, I have more faith with six other WRs on the team than I do with Amari Rodgers.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 21, 2022 at 06:50 am

You assume he isn't fighting for a job in 2022.

As a third round pick, i also assume that he has some rope left in terms of the team giving him time to develop. BUT... with 3 rookies coming in, Rodgers really needs to be better than them if he expects to be on the 53. The NFL waits for no one... NFL = NOT FOR LONG.

rodgers needs to come into the OTA's and camp breathing fire with all guns blazing or he could be part of the cut-down as the WR room rearranges itself.

I didn't see anything out of him last season to indicate that he has the ability to become an NFL receiver and with all of the young bodies in the WR room,, there is only so much infant formula to go around. become a toddler and grow or get left at the orphanage... I hope he breaks out in a big way and becomes a member of the Kiddie Corps at WR in GB. It's gonna be an exciting camp fo sho!

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 21, 2022 at 01:24 pm

Poor drafting and a waste of a Four pick. St.Brown excelled for USC and could have replaced his brother. A Four pick on another LB or Safety would have helped the cause. So it goes....

0 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 21, 2022 at 02:00 pm

I have no idea what they have in Amari. I didn't see enough of him running routes or jet sweeps and at first, didn't have much faith in him as a returner (but he got better). Not sure how the Cobb signing affected the plans on using Amari but I don't see how it could have helped. I really like Cobb and respect him. But, I feel for Amari at the same time. It's like, great we drafted Amari, now have Cobb...let's try Amari on SP. That's what it looked like to the uninformed eye at least.

Things will all play out this summer into fall. So much is mental with the grasp of the playbook, facing competition everyday, overcoming injuries and then seizing the opportunities if/when you get them.

This summer will be the beginning of what Champions are made of. And, to prove my part...going to start drinking light beer and tossing that kettle bell around like I own it! Slowly, the veggie smoothie will be introduced...💪👌👍

You see, I HAVE to get ready for the 1st Annual CheeseheadTV Flag Football Classic. Oh sureee, I would prefer tackle but trying to keep the spirit of the game pure and civilized. I know for a fact, there wouldn't be any smack talkin' across the line of scrimmage... ;)

*ie: JBlood, I'm coming after you like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!

* BDog, you running your routes so slow, sure you ain't the human sundial! ;)

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seantischer@yahoo.com's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:30 pm

Cobb missed games though. Actually a lot of WRs were hurt and he couldn’t get any snaps. The last player who had a similar start to their career was Oren Burks. He has some explosiveness to him but he also looks like he’s ready to make mistakes. I’m a little worried Gute can’t draft that position well. Besides MVS he’s missed on his picks and also undervalued guys. He picked Sternberger over Mcclaurin. Savage over DK. Love over Higgins et al. Now reports are that Watson looks skinny.

-1 points
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mrtundra's picture

May 21, 2022 at 07:44 am

I hope they use Amari strictly as a WR, this season. Take him off STs and allow him to play on our offense. We have Watson, Doubs and Kylin Hill who can handle STs duties. Lets let Amari show us what he can do on offense and what made Dabbo Swinney like this guy, so much.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:17 am

I’d like to see them give Rodgers and the other receivers a chance to do what they are most familiar with and build from there before trying to make them master everything. In Rodgers case that was getting him the ball in space and letting him make things happen. The one thing we barely saw tried.

This year we have a number of inexperienced guys. I hope they will handle them differently and be prepared to rotate personnel. That may not be ideal but it seems to me to be a far more likely route to the early positive contributions we will need this year.

4 points
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NickPerry's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:19 am

I have to admit, I was jacked up after Gute took him in the 3rd round. Granted, part of it was he FINALLY took a damn WR, but I follow College Football and frankly I thought the Packers drafted a gem.

Like mtundra in his comment above, I'd like to see Rodgers used strictly as a WR. I still like Rodgers, probably more than others. I still think he can be an effective WR option in this offense, and I still think he's PERFECT for some of the Jet-sweeps and quick passing game the Packers run. Just get the damn ball in his hands.

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ricky's picture

May 21, 2022 at 09:09 am

Remember, Adams didn't really become a good WR until his third year. And after that second, injury ridden year, there were a lotof people who wanted to cut him. Jordy Nelson became excellent during his fourth year. It would be great if Rodgers had a breakout year, but should he fall short of expectations, should the Packers move on from him, or keep him around and let him develop? I'm hoping for improvement, with some flashes this year. But what I won't do is jump on any "cut him, he's a bust" bandwagon.

4 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 21, 2022 at 09:29 am

I had high hopes for Amari Rodgers when they drafted him and that was based upon what Gutey said after the draft. I thought if they kept Cobbs it would only be because of Pressure from Aaron Rodgers. Randal Cobb had great things to say about Amari Rodgers and essentially said Amari exceeded everything Cobb had done in college. It would be great if Amari could just take over the slot position and play like a starter.

Quote from Amari: “His mindset is, ‘I’m going to be the No. 1 guy at all three positions."

I'm just hoping he can get on the field this year and better justify that 3rd round pick. Perhaps his coaches will light a fire under his butt during training camp.

1 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 21, 2022 at 10:07 am

I live in South Carolina. I have lots of Clemson fans for friends. But when the Packers drafted him I scratched my head. Lots of great players come from that program yet I did not see him as one of them. Good? Yes. NFL ready? I was not too sure after watching him be just ok. Much has been said about his competition but I saw him hot and cold regardless of competition. I read that this year he is in great shape and highly motivated. That’s nice 🙄 . I hope it’s true!

3 points
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Reghamster's picture

May 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

There was a recent article that quotied both Jason Vrable and Cobb about how much progress and improvement that Rodgers had made in the last year. He is apparently much stronger and a bit bigger but just as fast and apparently the playbook and the speed of the game has improved with him. Cobb said it is finally clicking in for him. It will help that he wont be as involved probably in special teams too. It was also interesting to hear that Mailk and Juwann rookies from last year have also made a lot of progress according to Vrabel. I think the Packers will possibly keep an extra wr for ST and maybe an extra WR on the PS. We have a lot of question marks about our WR and vets like Watkins and Cobb with injury issues in the past.

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Packers0808's picture

May 21, 2022 at 11:24 am

I think the biggest challenge on this team is to get the other Rodgers into OTAS to get these guys on the same page as him and develop as fast and as completely as possible. This is very raw WR corps for the NFL. Completely different ball of wax.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 21, 2022 at 02:11 pm

Rodger that!👍💪👌

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Randy Malueg's picture

May 22, 2022 at 11:54 am

Davante had 2 awful season in Green Bay , the same people roasting Amari was probably the same people writing Davante out of town after his second season. Google Davante 2016 news reports and look at everyone writing him out of town. Corey your own article https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/corys-corner-clock-is-ticking-for-davante-...

1 points
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