Amari Rodgers' Fantasy Outlook with Aaron Rodgers, Packers After NFL DraftMay 1, 2021
The Green Bay Packers took Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers with the 85th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft on Friday.
Rodgers joins a Packers offense with a big question mark after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers does not want to return to the team.
The Packers offense could look drastically different by the time September rolls around, but for now, the nine-time Pro Bowler is still the Green Bay quarterback.
In the event Green Bay patches things up with its future Hall of Famer, here's a look at the Clemson wideout's fantasy football outlook for 2021.
At first glance, Rodgers would be a late-round flier at best. Running back Aaron Jones and wideout Davante Adams will soak up a ton of touches, with the latter being targeted 149 times last year (fourth-most in the NFL).
Rodgers isn't guaranteed to be second wide receiver on the depth chart with the return of Allen Lazard, and he could be competing for snaps with deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
However, Rodgers does have some sneaky fantasy upside.
For starters, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he emerges as the second-most targeted player in the Packers offense. No other Green Bay pass-catcher outside of Adams had more than 4.6 targets per game last year.
Rodgers also just finished a productive season at Clemson in which he caught 77 passes (68 from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus) for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. The B/R NFL Scouting Department notably ranked him 59th overall on its final 2021 big board.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared him to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk:
"Compact slot target who thrived at Clemson with his ability to create chunk plays out of short catch-and-runs and take the top off defenses with his speed. Rodgers has a running back's stout lower body, providing power and balance to break tackles and rumble through contact with the ball in his hands.
"His ball skills are pretty good, but he can go from magnificent catch to focus drop in a single drive. Rodgers uses speed alterations inside the route and a sudden burst to top speed to create deep separation from coverage. He's not as effective at separating underneath against tight man coverage and will need to prove himself in that regard."
After being selected, the 5'9½", 212-pound receiver spoke with reporters about how he saw himself fitting into the offense: "As a gadget guy. Just being able to get the ball in my hands any way possible. I just see myself as a guy who can line up in any position."
That versatility should help him get on the field in numerous ways, increasing his potential for targets.
However, Rodgers likely won't be seeing much action off the bat, or at least not enough to justify using even a middle-round pick on him. If you want to take a late-round shot in hopes that he emerges as the Packers' WR2, it could be worth the risk, though.