Wide receiver has been a popular position to discuss among fans and media during the offseason. The feasibility of Antonio Brown repeating the wild success experienced last year. Every single glowing report about Martavis Bryant, a prime candidate to breakout in 2015. The expectations for Markus Wheaton, now in his third year and seeing more time out of the slot. Throw in rookie Sammie Coates, who has received some Bryant comparisons, for good measure.
But coming out of “spring work,” several Steelers couldn’t help but rave about a receiver near the bottom of the roster.
Undrafted rookie free agent Eli Rogers was one of the most impressive rookies, according to Jacob Klinger of Pennlive.com.
“Eli caught a lot of eyes, he did a lot of good things…I definitely see him a lot,” linebacker Terence Garvin told Klinger.
Bryant and quarterback Tajh Boyd also gave the rookie praise with the latter saying “Eli Rogers is balling.”
Rogers, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after a college career in Louisville, weighs in at a svelte 5’10 187. He led the Cardinals with 45 receptions in 2014, totaling 525 yards and three touchdowns.
In my scouting report of him, Rogers profiles as a quick-twitch receiver who is explosive at the top of his route, allowing him to gain separation. His ability to get upfield immediately after the catch should also endear him to coaches. Despite never producing gaudy numbers, he was remarkably consistent. Additionally, he has a punt return background and it’s fair to assume he’ll get work as a returner throughout the preseason.
His size will work against him but as I concluded in my report, Rogers has the makings of a great practice squad candidate.
Of course, this is all happening when defenders can’t hit, severely curtailing the threat they are to a receiver. But Rogers, who will wear #17, is a name to stash away.