Philadelphia Eagles: Get to know tight end Richard Rodgers

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

One day after signing Paul Worrilow, the Philadelphia Eagles have once again mined the NFC North for an underrated gem in tight end Richard Rodgers.

The Philadelphia Eagles are at it again.

Literally a day after shoring up their linebacking core with local product Paul Worrilow, Howie Roseman and company have found another potential gem to fill out their roster going into the 2018 NFL Draft in fourth-year tight end Richard Rodgers.

Rodgers, the son of Carolina Panthers special teams coach Richard Rodgers Sr., burst onto the national stage as a move tight end in the Cal Golden Bears offense, amassing almost 60 catches and 900 yards in Sonny Dykes‘ Bear Raid offense. Though he struggled with weight fluctuation issues as he transitioned from a more traditional inline blocker into a more flexible role, Rodgers talent made him a hot commodity among NFL scouts, and actually resulted in the tight end leaving school after his junior year.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

Though he didn’t blow anyone away at the combine, only running a 4.87 40 yard dash, his on-field production lead the Green Bay Packers to select Rodgers 98th overall with their third-round pick and fill out their tight end room.

And while he didn’t become a star, Rodgers did make some plays.

Often lined up as a second tight end, Rodgers amassed 1166 yards and 13 touchdowns over his four-year tenure in Green Bay, and will forever be remembered for his Rodgers to Rodgers Hail Mary catch to ice out the Detroit Lions in a play now affectionately known as “the miracle in Motown”.

But with the offseason addition of Jimmy Graham to the Packers offense, Rodgers’ already questionable chances of returning to Lambeau Field were effectively extinguished, and the fourth year tight end would have to look elsewhere for an opportunity to play in 2018.

Enter the Philadelphia Eagles.

While it would be foolish to assume that Rodgers will come in Week 1 and push Zach Ertz for a starting spot, he does bring immense value to arguably the Eagles weakest position group.

After losing Trey Burton to the Bears and unceremoniously letting go of Eagles all-time great Brent Celek, Doug Pederson‘s offense could use a serious infusion talent at the tight end position, especially in the teams often used the 12 personal group (one running back, two wide receivers and two tight ends), and Rodgers could help to sure up that position going into 2018.

Though Rodgers’ is hardly the blocker Celek is at this stage in his career, the former Golden Bear does have a fairly similar game to ex-Eagles Burton, and will likely be tasked with filling his role both on offense and special teams baring a shakeup in the draft.

Standing 6-foot-4, 257 pounds, Rodgers can be moved all around the Eagles offense, from lining up inline, flexed out, or even in the offensive backfield, and could serve as a capable h-back in the team’s short-yardage three tight end 13 packages.

Related Story: Dallas Goedert should be considered NFL Draft target

In addition to his flexibility on the offensive side of the ball, Rodgers could also help to sure up the Eagles special teams unit in Burton’s absence. Though far from a coverage ace, Rodgers is the son of a special teams coach and should be able to quickly assimilate into Dave Fipp‘s until to secure his spot on the roster going into 2018. While he alone may not be able to fill Burton’s immense shoes, between Worrilow and Rodgers, the Eagles’ special teams unit should continue to one of the league’s best.

Simply put, Rodgers is far from a splash signing, but his addition could help to shore up the Eagles roster as they prepare to end the 2018 NFL Draft. After signing Worrilow and Rodgers, the Eagles roster now has very few glaring holes going into the draft, and that should allow the team to select the best player available with each of their seven picks, regardless of position.

Next: Just how much is Carson Wentz going to cost the Philadelphia Eagles?

While Rodgers may not even be on the roster when the Eagles face off against the Vikings on Week 1, his addition proves yet again that the team is not messing around, and are willing to do what it takes to continue to field the best roster in the NFL. The only question left to ask is who will the team sign next?