FanPost

Debate: Which WR should the Patriots draft? Robert Woods vs. Da'Rick Rogers

We all know heading into the draft, the Patriots are short on WR depth. With Danny Amendola working as the primary Z and slot receiver as the only established starter, the Patriots have to find their starting X. Someone who can work on the perimeter similar to what Brandon Lloyd did last year except someone better at it. This debate over who the Patriots should draft is a battle of two WRs who were considered first round picks coming into the 2012 college season, but ultimately will end up in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Robert Woods- WR USC 6'0 3/8" 201 31" arms 9 1/4" hands

Combine Results: 33 1/2" vertical, 9'9" broad jump, 4.51 40, 7.15 3-cone, 4.47 short shuttle, 14 bench press reps of 225

Strengths:

  • Runs good routes (can run all 9 routes) and has reliable hands
  • Can run sharp in and out cuts
  • Is a very reliable receiver (averaged 84 catches per year) on the perimeter and can line up in the slot if needed
  • Uses his precise route running to get open in the red zone
  • Tracks the ball well in the air
  • Willing run blocker
  • Excellent body control and hand-eye coordination
  • Understands coverages and how to get open against those (big plus for a Patriots WR)
Weaknesses:
  • Not the most explosive athlete
  • Production tapered off his junior year (his sophomore year was unbelievable though so there's understanding)
  • Had a mediocre combine showing
  • Bad habit of extending his arms too much downfield and pushing off (leads to penalties)
  • Ankles could be end up being a long term health problem
Patriots WR comparison: Troy Brown
NFL comparison: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

Robert Woods was considered arguably the most polished WR prospect in the nation coming into the 2012 season. In 2011, he caught 112 passes for 1,292 yds and 15 TDs. However, an ankle injury (more importantly the emergence of Marqise Lee) caused Woods' production to slip in 2012. However, despite all that went wrong, he managed to snag 76 passes for 846 yds and 11 TDs. Woods is not the type of receiver that has the physical talent to outmuscle DBs on routes and must rely on his precise route running to get open. However, the ability for Woods to be able to run multiple routes is a plus for the Patriots offense, which runs a lot of option routes based on the defense's coverage look. Not a threat to take the top of the defense over the top, Woods is more of a short and intermediate threat than a deep threat. Right now, Woods is projected as a late 1st/early 2nd and in recent mock drafts, going to the Patriots at #29.

Da'Rick Rogers- WR Tennessee Tech (formerly Tennessee) 6'2 1/2" 217 32 3/4" arms 9 1/2" hands

Combine Results: 39 1/2" vertical, 11'0" broad jump, 4.52 40, 6.71 3-cone, 4.06 short shuttle, 10 bench press reps of 225

Strengths:

  • A physical WR that is very tough to press at the line of scrimmage
  • Explosive athlete despite not having top end speed
  • Plays with an edge (self described)
  • Played very well in 2011 despite the absence of Justin Hunter (torn ACL)
  • Rarely drops passes because of hits by LB and DBs
  • Willing to attack the middle of the field
Weaknesses:
  • Was kicked off of Tennessee's team after multiple arrests dealing with DUIs and marijuana
  • Played his junior year at a FCS level school (did well despite always getting double teamed)
  • Maturity questions (to which he answered well at the combine) involving drug arrests and clashes with the Tennessee coaching staff
  • Occasional drops due to lack of concentration on tough catches
Patriots WR comparison: David Givens
NFL comparison: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

Da'Rick (pronounced Day'Rick) Rogers looked well on his way to being a top 20 pick and then boom, the rug was taken out from beneath him. Coming off a 2011 season where he shined in Justin Hunter's absence with 67 catches for 1040 yards and 9 TDs. However, he was suspended from the Tennessee football team due to drug arrests and previous clashes with the coaching staff. So Rogers transferred to Tennessee Tech (he was allowed to participate on Tennessee's pro day) and ended up catching 61 passes for 893 yds and 10 TDs despite getting constant double teams. One game against Southeast Missouri State showed his potential at the NFL level where he caught 18 passes for 303 yards and 2 TDs. Rogers is the type of WR who is very hard to press at the line of scrimmage and has enough deceptive speed to make teams pay if they fail to pay attention to him. If the Patriots were to invest a pick in him, the earliest one would be their 2nd round pick (#59 overall) because of Rogers' off the field issues, but if he can put those issues behind him like Hernandez did in 2010, Rogers could end up as a 2nd round steal for the Patriots should they draft him.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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