Mike Roemer/Associated Press
If one judges how a player will do in his rookie year based on OTAs and minicamp, Richard Rodgers has a good shot to get some significant playing time at tight end, and he may actually have the inside track in being the starter.
Rodgers stood out during those workouts and received some praise from another player who also played at Cal and also has the last name Rodgers (no relation). Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said this recently about his new rookie tight end, via Packers.com:
When we made the pick, some of the so-called experts on the draft channel said that he was a late sixth round pick, they had him, as far as a grade. Which is pretty laughable when you watch the talent that he’s got and the ability.
It’s helmets and shorts, but you’ve got to be excited about his body type and the hands. He’s made some incredible catches. He makes it look easy. I think he's really going to push for some playing time if he can transfer what he has done in the spring to the fall and have the potential to be an impact player.
Rodgers has the size (6'4", 257 lbs) and ability one is looking for at tight end. In his career at Cal, Rodgers had 59 receptions for 896 yards, two touchdowns and an average of 15.2 yards a catch.
The competition at tight end for the Packers will be rigorous, as there are seven tight ends currently on the roster, including last year's starter for the second half of the season, Andrew Quarless. I would expect the Packers to keep four tight ends on the roster in 2014 and at least one on the practice squad.
Even if Rodgers does not become the starting tight end for the Packers in 2014, I expect him to get ample opportunities to play, especially in the red zone.