No team in football does a better job of drafting and grooming young pass-catchers than the Green Bay Packers.
With Davante Adamsset to "Make the Leap" at receiver behind homegrown talents Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, second-year pass-catcher Richard Rodgers is generating buzz of his own at tight end.
"He's capable of being a top-level talent at the tight end position in the league," Packers assistant Jerry Fontenot said, per the Green Bay Press Gazette. "It's just going to be creating opportunities by maximizing the opportunities that you get. That's the bottom line, because he knows what he can do. He's a very smart kid. He understands his talent."
Barely producing over the first half of his rookie campaign, Rodgers showed more chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers down the stretch, hauling in 13 of his 20 catches over the second half of the season -- with seven of those grabs coming in Weeks 16 and 17. Rodgers caught another five balls for 48 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's two playoff games.
In training camp, Rodgers has earned starting snaps and strung together his share of highlight-reel grabs in practice:
Still, Aaron Rodgersheaped praise on another tight end, Andrew Quarless in June, making it clear that Green Bay will continue to use both players in the passing game. It's worth noting the team also took a look at Jermaine Gresham, leaving us to wonder if Rodgers has grown enough as a blocker for a full-time role in Green Bay.
Fontenot, though, pointed to ceiling moments like this game-winner against Dallas in the playoffs:
"You could tell that he was juiced up for that catch," Fontenot said. "He loves having a challenge, and a ball thrown like that -- at that speed, through that window -- it just ignited his fire. I think he's always known he's a good football player. I think he realized that this team believes in him, and he's going to get some opportunities."
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