Trevor Lawrence’s top receiving target in 2020 would very much like it if he ended up catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay next season.
Former Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers was in attendance at the 2021 House of Athlete Scouting Combine Showcase on Friday and took a little time to speak with former NFL wideout Brandon Marshall, who put him on the spot in an on-field interview and asked him to pick a team and round that would be his “dream scenario” for the 2021 NFL draft in April.
“I would say like second round to the Packers,” Rodgers answered with a smile, sounding a bit more confident in the team than the round. He also added playing with the three-time MVP would be the biggest draw to landing in Green Bay and, when Marshall persisted, gave a more detailed answer on why he believes he would fit with Rodgers and the Packers.
“Just how accurate he is,” he continued. “Just the way he’s able to sync with him and Davante Adams, how they were able to connect and just how they talk about how they do it in practice and it just goes to the game. I feel like that’s my mentality, so I feel like I could go in there and fit in right away.”
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Amari Rodgers’ Draft Stock is Climbing
Rodgers made 181 receptions for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns during his four seasons at Clemson and delivered his best outing as a senior in 2020 with a career-high 77 catches, 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games. That alone seemed to make him one of the better wide receiver prospects in the upcoming draft class, a third-round pick at a minimum.
But Rodgers has done himself some big favors throughout the pre-draft process so far. He was a star during Senior Bowl weekend, both during the game and the week of practices for his constant display of speed and athleticism as a pass-catcher. He also made four receptions during the actual live showcase for the American Team, including a head-turning touchdown grab.
The American Team gets on the board!@arodgers_3 hauls in the tough catch for SIX 💪
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 30, 2021
Then, more recently, Rodgers went viral for a video of him banging out 24 reps on the bench press in honor of the late Kobe Bryant. Safe to say strength can be added to the list of appealing traits for the 21-year-old receiver prospect.
"I did that for Kobe."
Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers went beast mode and hit 24 reps on the bench press in honor of Kobe Bryant 🙌 @ClemsonFB
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 4, 2021
As Rodgers told Marshall, he has been hearing throughout the pre-draft process that he is most likely to go off the board in the “second or third” round, but his stock could see him go as early as late in the first round. He is ranked the 109th overall prospect on The Draft Network’s 2021 prospect rankings and the 15th-best wide receiver.
Packers Could Target WR Early in 2021
Wide receiver might not be the Packers’ biggest priority this offseason, but a new pass-catcher could still be a realistic target for them in the early rounds of this year’s draft — maybe even with the 29th overall pick — depending on how free agency ends up shaking out.
The Packers have a solid lock as their No. 1 receiver in Adams, but they have struggled to establish a genuine No. 2 behind him with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard each going through their bouts of inconsistency for different reasons. Given both Adams and MVS are set to become free agents next offseason, now would be a good time to add another significant receiving weapon to the room and start building out the position for the future.
Devin Funchess’ future could be a big indicator of the Packers’ April plans. He was signed during the 2020 offseason but opted out of last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing his one-year, $2.5 million contract ahead to the 2021. The Packers, however, may elect to release the veteran wideout and create about $1.37 million in cap savings.
If Funchess departs, the Packers would have little reason not to spend at least one draft pick on a new wide receiver after ignoring the position the last two years. The last time they drafted wideouts was in 2018 when they took J’Mon Moore (cut in 2019) in the fourth round, MVS in the fifth and Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth.