Today, many fans were wondering if the Colts needed another option at wide receiver or kick returner, and, well, the Colts concur, at least for now. Indianapolis announced they had brought rookie receiver Da’Rick Rogers up from the practice squad this evening.
Rogers had trouble with maturity issues in his college career, causing the promising receiver’s dismissal from the University of Tennessee and subsequent transfer to Tennessee Tech. Despite projections as a 3rd round pick, Rogers went undrafted, signing with Buffalo and eventually landing on Indianapolis's practice squad.
At 6-3, 215 pounds with a 4.50 second 40-yard dash time and a 39.5” vertical jump, Rogers possesses elite measurables and could have worked his way to the first day of the draft had he remained at Tennessee.
The team also waived-injured safety Larry Asante, who will be placed on IR if he clears waivers and signed receiver Josh Lenz to the practice squad spot vacated by Rogers.
From the Colts press release:
Rogers, 6-3, 215 pounds, was originally signed to the Colts practice squad on September 2, 2013. In three collegiate seasons, he posted 139 receptions for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns in 36 games played. Rogers played two seasons at the University of Tennessee (2010-11) before transferring to Tennessee Tech for one year (2012). As a sophomore in 2011, Rogers earned Associated Press First Team All-SEC honors after leading the conference with 67 receptions for 1,040 yards and ranking second with nine receiving touchdowns.
Lenz, 6-0, 194 pounds, was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2013 before being waived on August 30. He was then signed to the Seattle Seahawks practice squad on October 8 and was released on November 5. For his collegiate career at Iowa State, Lenz caught 96 passes for 1,213 yards and 10 touchdowns in 47 games played (19 starts). As a senior in 2012, he started eight-of-10 games and compiled 430 yards and six touchdowns on 29 receptions.
Asante was signed by the Colts on October 4, 2013 and appeared in five games this season. For his career, he has totaled 12 tackles (nine solo), one interception and one forced fumble in 17 games played.
Colts Authority’s Kyle Rodriguez and I are big fans of Rogers as a project player. He has the raw talent to become a number one or two NFL receiver. Obviously, he needs to learn, mature, and hone his in-game skills, but his size, strength, and natural athleticism cannot be taught.
Quick Da’Rick Rogers links:
Da’Rick at Tennessee, the good and the bad. Watch for # 21:
More Da’Rick (Tennessee Tech vs Oregon). Again, watch # 21. You can’t miss him:
I am skeptical about this guy but I have to admit that he looks like an NFL level wide receiver in those videos. For the good of the Colts I hope in a miracle.
I still can't get my head around how he couldn't even make the Buffalo practice squad. They're not exactly deep at WR.
If Da'Rick Rogers is active for a game who will sit? David Reed I would hope. But then who will return kicks? Cassius Vaughn? If Rogers lines up outside, does that mean DHB sits.
Because I doubt DHB is in anyway a good replacement for Reggie Wayne. I am expecting the Titans to blitz like mad on Thursday forcing Luck to run or risk throwing interception to inexperienced or less capable receivers who can not adjust their routes effectively when Luck audibles for blitz help. I would rather see Whalen fill in as the "hot" route receiver when Luck is blitzed. DHB with his weak catching fundamentals is a liability if the defense decides to blitz on almost every down. Whalen does not have much to offer in yards after the catch potential but he more likely to at least catch the ball for a few yards and not bobble it causing an interception.
I'm not super impressed with Whalen either. Everyone, including me, wants him to be a Welker-like find, but so far, in the NFL, he's a dropper who can't get open. I hope he gets that straightened out because, quite simply, the Colts don't have any other options.
@MarcusDugan I still like Whalen. Unfortunately people are less willing to give some time to an undrafted WRs like Whalen to improve than to those players that were high draft picks.
@MarcusDugan I'll be perfectly happy with Whalen if he can be the guy who can run the underneath route (past the sticks, for freak sake) and make the catch on third-and-6 (or 7/8/9, after Power Run failures on first and second down).
That's the type of production/safety blanket that the Colts will sorely miss with Wayne out. Whalen doesn't need to be an Austin Collie-type receiver. (Hopefully Fleener can step up into that role.)
@MarcusDugan I agree that Whalen has not shown much so far. But unlike DHB, I am willing to consider his faults so far as possibly due lack of playing time nerves and inexperience. DHB has been in the league too long. One does simply unlearn years of obviously poor technique and perhaps bad coaching, DHB most likely is what he is. If DHB can not improve Rodger could take his spot.
One way or another, without somebody stepping into Wayne's role as a burn them if they blitz safety valve, Lucks going to be scrambling in order to get any shots down field. Third and longs are going to get ugly.