Clemson WR selected in NFL draft third round


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Amari Rodgers hopes to catch some passes from Aaron Rodgers. (ACC photo)
Amari Rodgers hopes to catch some passes from Aaron Rodgers. (ACC photo)

Former Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers was selected with the 85th overall pick in the third round by the Green Bay Packers on Friday. The Packers traded up with Tennessee for the pick.

Rodgers started 37 of his 55 games as a Tiger as a versatile receiver and returner. He tallied 181 catches for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns over 1,901 snaps.

Rodgers averaged 7.8 yards per return and became only the fifth Tiger since 2000 to record a touchdown by rush, return and reception over his career.

The permanent team captain earned first-team All-ACC last season with career-bests in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,020) and receiving touchdowns (7).

He leaves campus sixth all-time in receptions, 12th in receiving yards and 14th in receiving touchdowns.

Rodgers won the Brandon Streeter award in 2019 as the top Clemson student-athlete to make a return from injury (torn ACL).

Rodgers is projected a $4.9 million rookie contract with a $923,561 signing bonus by Spotrac.

Rodgers was ranked No. 80 in NFL.com’s final draft prospect rankings this week.

He was a four-star prospect out of Knoxville Catholic (Tn.).

Rodgers draft notes

-Became the 68th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the seventh third-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.

-Became the 11th wide receiver in Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL.

-Became the 15th Clemson wide receiver under Swinney’s guidance to be drafted including Swinney’s stint as wide receivers coach from 2003-08.

-Represented Clemson’s 10th draft pick at wide receiver since 2013. Clemson’s nine previous selections at wide receiver across the 2013-20 NFL Drafts were tied for the most in the country in that span.

-Extended Clemson’s school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to six, currently the nation’s longest active streak.

-Gave Clemson at least one receiver selected in eight of the last nine NFL Drafts, dating to DeAndre Hopkins’ selection in 2013.

-Became the first No. 85 overall pick in school history.

-Became the 11th Clemson player selected by the Packers all-time and the first since DT Donnell Washington in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Four of the Packers’ 11 all-time selections from Clemson have come in the third round, including Fred Cone (1951), Gary Barnes (1962), Washington (2004) and Rodgers (2021).

-Became the Packers’ highest-drafted wide receiver since selecting four-time Pro Bowler Davante Adams with the No. 53 overall pick in 2014.

Coach reaction

Head Coach Dabo Swinney: “The Packers are getting a true professional. He is the ultimate pro. This kid has handled himself like a pro since I met him, and I mean in every aspect of his life. He is incredibly committed to excellence in every area: academics, his relationships, how he deals with media, how he responds to adversity, you name it. He is the same guy every day. He has an incredible mind to him. He has an incredible mental toughness and grit, and then he is just highly skilled. He brings a ton of experience. He has played a ton of football. He has incredible special teams value. He can do a lot of things there. He played his first two years on the outside, he played his last two years in the slot. He is crafty. He is a technician at his position, and he is a guy that’s going to be ready day one since he can play multiple positions and is incredibly smart. Again, he is built like a running back, but he has the length of a 6-foot-3 wideout and plays long. He is a tough yards-after-the-catch guy and I think is one of those guys that, like I said, is a true pro and will be a leader from the moment he gets there.”Wide Receivers Coach Tyler Grisham: “Amari Rodgers is the total package. He is what you want in a player and in a person. He’s a high-effort guy who is going to lead by example. As a player, he is going to do everything you ask and more. Very versatile — can play the slot, can play outside and you can hand the ball off to him because he has such great center of gravity, contact balance and strength. He also can also take it the distance. He has great speed, great hands. He is the ultimate competitor. I could go on and on about him, but he’s the total package.”

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