Jordan Rodgers Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Vanderbilt QB

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Jordan Rodgers Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Vanderbilt QB
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No, the last name isn't a coincidence. Quarterback Jordan Rodgers is the younger brother of NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers

As is probably obvious, the younger Rodgers isn't quite as talented as the Packers star. Then again, few are. But is Jordan Rodgers good enough to follow his older brother's footsteps into the NFL?

Here's a profile of the younger Rodgers heading into the 2013 NFL draft.

 

Strengths

A strong athlete, Rodgers is adept at moving outside of the pocket and making throws. He ran a spread-option offense at Vanderbilt and could be used similarly in the NFL. Rodgers also possesses a fairly strong arm and can make most throws. Throwing a good deep ball isn't the same as having a strong arm, but both are positives for Rodgers. He gets some air under his deep ball, but it is often on target.

 

Weaknesses

Rodgers throws off balance to the other side of the field, resulting in an interception.

Despite possessing solid arm strength, Rodgers isn't always the best at using it. He floats too many balls that should be gunned, and his ball wobbles too often, often slowing down his passes. Rodgers' ball placement is also a concern, as he misses on far too many throws.

Perhaps Rodgers' biggest issue, though, is his decision-making. He throws the ball across his body into coverage with surprising frequency, and he repeatedly makes the same mistakes. Vanderbilt's weak supporting cast certainly didn't help here, though.

Another major concern is Rodgers' pocket presence. He leaves the pocket too early, often when he isn't under any pressure at all. Rodgers never truly looks comfortable when sitting in the pocket, and he looks to escape at the earliest opportunity. 

 

Tools

Rodgers' physical tools are probably the strongest part of his profile, but even they are far from a huge positive. A reasonably strong arm helps Rodgers, often compensating for other flaws. However, he measures in at just 6'1", 212 pounds—short and light for a quarterback. His mobility is a positive, though, and Rodgers has the versatility to play in a number of different offensive schemes.

 

Intangibles/Character

There is no negative information surrounding Rodgers' character. Like his older brother, Jordan Rodgers has generated positive news off the field. Rodgers worked his way through junior college, winning a c hampionship, before earning a scholarship to Vanderbilt. At Vanderbilt, Rodgers was an SEC Honor Roll recipient three times.

 

System

Rodgers spent the majority of his time working out of the shotgun. The Vanderbilt offense featured a number of option plays that involved working Rodgers out of the pocket. Though he played in a spread offense, Rodgers didn't simply throw screens—he threw downfield and was forced to make reads. This is an offense similar to what some NFL teams are currently experimenting with.

 

Arm Strength

While not his older brother in this sense, Rodgers can throw the ball with velocity. On intermediate passes, Rogers can gun the ball into tight gaps, and he never struggles to throw the ball far enough on a deep pass. At times, though, Rodgers puts to much air under his passes for seemingly no reason, allowing defenders to close on the ball. Rodgers doesn't always throw the tightest spiral either, which can also decrease velocity.

 

Accuracy

Rodgers delivers a deep ball right on target.

This is not a strength for Rodgers. Even when he's "on", Rodgers' accuracy is erratic. Even on short passes, Rodgers will overthrow the receiver. But he has shown that he can miss a receiver in any direction and no matter how deep the route. Rodgers doesn't discriminate.

Rodgers' one redeeming quality here is his deep ball. He places those throws surprisingly well, considering his struggles on shorter routes. Rodgers will float his ball up plenty high, but it usually comes down at the right spot. He isn't limited vertically.

 

Mechanics

Rodgers' actual throwing mechanics aren't terrible by any stretch. His release is a bit elongated, but Tim Tebow he is not. Rodgers generally uses one arm slot with a fairly high release point, but he can adjust on the fly.

Rodgers' footwork, on the other hand, could use more work. He struggles to distribute his weight from his back foot through to the front, which often hurts both his velocity and accuracy. Too often, Rodgers' feet are going the complete opposite direction of the ball. 

 

Pocket Presence

Rodgers has time to throw but tries to run and forces a sack.

This just might be Rodgers' biggest area of concern.

It's rare to see the Vanderbilt quarterback stand in the pocket for long, as he is quick to drop his eyes and take off with the ball. Even when Rodgers has plenty of time to throw, he will decide to run if he doesn't spot anyone open within the first couple of reads.

When surrounded by pressure, things get even worse. Rodgers panics, and the results are almost never good. When Rodgers runs, he doesn't do so to extend a passing play, as he often drops his eyes and loses vision downfield.

 

Mobility

Fortunately for Rodgers' style of play, he is fairly mobile. He's not Mike Vick by any stretch, but he's more than capable of picking up first downs and gaining some yards on the ground. Rodgers possesses solid speed and acceleration to go with surprising quickness. 

 

How Does He Attack Defenses?

Rodgers will go after defenses in a number of ways. He runs quite a few option plays, so he is at times utilized as a run-first quarterback.

There are other designed runs in the Vanderbilt playbook, as well. When passing the ball, Rodgers will throw bubble screens with consistency. They're hardly the only type of pass he throws, though, as Vanderbilt ran a multifaceted offense.

 

Scheme Versatility/Future Role

Though Rodgers may not be big or durable enough for a true spread-option offense, his best fit is certainly in an offense that utilizes a mobile quarterback. He is also best suited to an offense that uses a number of downfield routes. Rodgers' best attribute as a passer is his ability to play deep, and that should be utilized. Rodgers could be a fit with a number of teams, ranging from the Redskins to the Browns.

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