Da'Rick Rogers is your classic case of a very talented yet immature prospect who will be spending his early April trying to convince teams he's ready to grow up.
Rogers led the SEC in receiving in 2011 while at Tennessee after teammate Justin Hunter went down with an injury. The following offseason, Rogers was dismissed form the Volunteers squad after reports of a failed drug test.
Rogers landed at neighboring Tennessee Tech, where he caught 61 balls for 893 yards and 10 scores in 2012.
Despite some character concerns, Rogers is an intriguing prospect on the field. Had he stayed at Tennessee and played to his 2011 level in 2012, we'd probably be talking about Rogers as the top receiver in the draft instead of Cordarrelle Patterson.
Let's check out some of the reasons scouts should be getting excited over Rogers, who could be a mid-round steal.
Explosion is a commodity that's highly sought after in NFL offenses today, and Rogers can sure bring that.
He's the kind of receiver that can beat you straight down the field or blow past you as he's racing across the middle. As this video of Tennessee Tech indicates against Oregon, Rogers can make some things happen even with some lesser talent around him.
Watch as he explodes through the Ducks secondary and proceeds to outrun the Oregon defense on his way to the end zone (start of play at 0:37).
For a guy who stands 6'3", Rogers actually is a pretty good route-runner.
A lot of times when you see a big receiver, one of the first knocks on him is that he has trouble making difficult cuts in his routes. That's not the case with Da'Rick.
He's got the ability to run excellent routes for a guy his size, including a difficult comeback route against Cincinnati (seen in video).
One thing you really can't knock about Da'Rick Rogers is his toughness. This kid will go up for any ball.
Rogers may be seen as more of a big-play guy to some, but while still at Tennessee, he routinely caught balls from the slot and ran bubble screens. Those come with some big shots attached to them.
Now, Rogers' 6'3", 210-pound frame may have something to do with his fearlessness catching the football. But either way, it'd be shocking to see Rogers gator-arm many passes at the next level.
There are just some guys in this league that, even when their QB makes a horrendous throw, you know they're still going to make the play. Da'Rick Rogers has that type of ability.
Rogers has made some great catches in his day and can attribute that to his eyes never really leaving the football. As you can see in this video, he just embarrasses this defensive back while at Tennessee Tech.
For his size, Rogers has great burst off the line of scrimmage, and that leads him to be able to routinely get behind the defense.
That could be a big addition for any offense in the NFL.
Granted, these are college defensive backs, and it will be harder for Rogers in at the next level, but with his level of explosiveness and athleticism, he should have no problem keeping this kind of play up.
Now, I know that this is a video of Rogers in high school, but he flat out makes the rest of the players on this field look silly.
Rogers is still that type of athlete, and it's even more impressive when you realize that's a 6'3", 210-lb. kid making those moves on the field.
The absolute biggest knock against Da'Rick Rogers is his maturity level and the decisions he made to get himself booted from the Tennessee program.
But when you watch this video, I get the vibe that Rogers genuinely wants another shot at big-time football and is willing to change. When you see him on the field, you can tell that he really loves the game, and hopefully that transitions for him off the field.
I'm not about to say that he's fully matured, but I think he's on a good path of getting there. I believe getting kicked out of Tennessee was a truly humbling experience for him and now he's trying to make up for it.
If he can answer the questions teams are going to be hounding him with leading up to the draft, his stock is one that could soar.