Da'Rick Rogers: How Will Buffalo's Newest WR Fare in the Pros?
After selecting arguably the draft class' best receiver in Round 2 in USC's Robert Woods, then adding the class' fastest wide receiver in Texas' Marquise Goodwin in Round 3, the Buffalo Bills continued to upgrade their receiving corps on Saturday night following the draft, by signing the premier undrafted free agent receiver on the market, Tennessee Tech's Da'Rick Rogers.
Rogers likely fell out of the draft due to serious character concerns, including multiple failed drug tests, which led to his dismissal from Tennessee prior to last season, forcing his transfer to FCS program Tennessee Tech. That said, Rogers had the talent to be an early-round draft choice if not for his history of off-field issues, and has a very good shot at making the Buffalo Bills' final roster.
Rogers is a physically gifted wideout who will add size (6'2", 217 pounds) and strength on the outside, giving the Bills a big target to throw the ball up to on the outside. He will go up through contact and make a play on the ball in the air. Additionally, Rogers has great quickness and agility in the open field, so he can also make defenders miss.
On the field, Rogers' biggest issues are his inconsistent hands, as he has a tendency to drop balls or let them into his body. That said, he has huge upside if he can stay on the field, and he could be a starting-caliber wideout. Keeping himself out of trouble will determine whether he remains a key piece in the Bills' offense.
Undrafted free agents are rarely reliable fantasy football draft picks, and although Rogers has unusual talent for an undrafted free agent, he is no exception.
Joining a receiving corps that already includes Stevie Johnson, Woods, Goodwin and T.J. Graham, Rogers is going to have to fight for playing time and stay out of trouble to keep himself on the active roster.
As an undrafted free agent, Rogers is going to have impress in training camp and fight for his roster spot. With Johnson, Woods, Goodwin and Graham all on the roster, there may only be one roster spot left at wide receiver, but he should have the inside track on that position.
That said, he will face competition from returning veterans Brad Smith and Marcus Easley, in addition to fellow undrafted free agent Brandon Kaufman from Eastern Washington.
If he wins the battle, he will most likely start out as the team's No. 5 receiver, with Johnson and Woods likely to start on the outside and Goodwin and Graham likely to compete to start in the slot.
That said, he should be able to earn playing time in multi-receiver sets and in red-zone packages considering he has a unique combination of size and open-field quickness that the Bills did not previously have.
Getting Rogers as an undrafted free agent is an absolute steal, even with his character concerns taken into consideration.
It is a perfect situation for the Bills, as they have added a very gifted wideout with huge upside, but do it with no risk whatsoever, making him a very easy player to release if he runs into any more trouble off the field.
The Bills needed to upgrade at wide receiver in this year's draft, and adding Rogers to their draft picks completes that process in a big and promising way.
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