The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Up fifteenth in this series is a 2017 preview profile of wide receiver Eli Rogers.
Intro: After missing his rookie season with a foot in jury, Rogers, a former undrafted free agent out of Louisville, was the Steelers primary slot wide receiver in 2016. He caught 72.7% of the passes thrown his way during the regular season that culminated with him registering 48 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns. His yards after catch average of 4.5 was also a respectable number. Those aren’t bad stats at all considering he only played 50.8% of all regular season offensive snaps.
Current Strengths: Rogers is an above average route runner who also possesses good hands as evidenced by his high reception rate. He also exhibited a nice catch radius and better than originally thought as we saw in the late season game against the Baltimore Ravens. Runs mesh concepts very effectively as well.
Current Weaknesses: Rogers’ total route tree could stand some improvement moving forward. He also could stand to be a more physical and combative player on contested passes as well as more deliberate when getting off the line against press coverages. Needs to eliminate assignment gaffes on his way to becoming a more disciplined player. Could stand to be a more willing blocker as well.
2017 Outlook: While Rogers’ first full season in the NFL was impressive as a whole, there’s still room for improvement in his game. In general, he is a slot-primary player and while expected to play extensively again in 2017, could see his time on the field shortened some with rookie wide receiver and second-round draft pick JuJu Smith-Schuster now in the fold. Such a scenario could equate to him not equaling his 2016 stat line. On the high side, however, Rogers could catch another 50 passes depending on whether or not the overall health of the wide receiver group holds up and if the Steelers offense decides to use more four wide receiver personnel packages.
2017 Base Salary: $540,000
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $541,668
2017 Health Status: No known ailments exiting offseason program
2016 Health Status: Missed two games due to toe injury
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: 550 of 1,083
2016 Stat That Matters: 12.4 yards per reception on 48 catches
|Ben Roethlisberger||Cameron Heyward||Jesse James||James Harrison||Antonio Brown|
|Ryan Shazier||Le’Veon Bell||Mike Mitchell||Sammie Coates||Ross Cockrell|
|Ramon Foster||William Gay||Maurkice Pouncey||Stephon Tuitt|