RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons
HT: 5-6, WT: 196, Born: 2-5-1990, College: Oregon St., Drafted: Round 5
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: A Dalton (117), Jacquizz Rodgers (118), M Vick (119), A Boldin (120)
Position: I Pead (111-RB43), R Williams (114-RB44), Jacquizz Rodgers (118 - RB45), D Williams (125-RB46), Z Stacy (129-RB47)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: F Jackson (98), L Bell (99), Jacquizz Rodgers (100), J Finley (101), M Ball (102)
Position: F Jackson (98-RB34), L Bell (99-RB35), Jacquizz Rodgers (100 - RB36), M Ball (102-RB37), B Tate (105-RB38)
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Jacquizz Rodgers is an excellent change-of-pace back for the Falcons, with 94/36281 rushing and 53/402/1 receiving for Atlanta last year and 151/567/2 rushing and 74/590/2 receiving so far during his two-year career. He'll be mixed into the offense to complement Steven Jackson this year. Head coach Mike Smith said on February 24, 2013 that the Falcons consider Rodgers a three-down back: 'We thought he was only going to be a change-of-pace back. We found out very quickly that even though he is short, he is not little. He can handle all three downs and he does a very good job for us returning kicks.' If Jackson misses time during 2013 (something he rarely does), Rodgers would likely have first crack at stepping into the starting lineup for the Falcons.
|1||at New Orleans Saints|
|2||St. Louis Rams|
|3||at Miami Dolphins|
|4||New England Patriots|
|5||New York Jets|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|8||at Arizona Cardinals|
|9||at Carolina Panthers|
|11||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||New Orleans Saints|
|13||at Buffalo Bills|
|14||at Green Bay Packers|
|16||at San Francisco 49ers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Rodgers biggest play of the day came on a 77 yard kickoff return where he showed great burst to get to the second level. One things that Rodgers has obviously improved upon is hitting the hole harder, and there were far fewer times that he was caught dancing behind the line. There was an obvious difference in pace when Rodgers came into the game and he also showed good hands catching two balls out of the backfield. Linebackers will have a very difficult time covering him out of the backfield.
Week 2 - Rodgers was used in different ways by the Falcons, but remains only a bit-part piece of the offense. He lined up at receiver at one point, but the ball never came his way. His first carry went for a one yard gain when the offensive line gave him nothing to work with and he broke outside. Rodgers actually did well to get anything out of the play as it looked dead from the outset. His second carry was similar to his first, as the defense took away any avenues for him to run through. This time however, a defender on the outside prevented Rodgers from even getting one yard with his speed on the edge. Rodgers nearly made an outstanding one handed reception on a wheel route over Joe Mays, but couldn't coral the ball with Rahim Moore arriving. It was an athletic play that was unfortunate not to come together.
Week 3 - Early in the game, it appeared there may be something of a changing of the guard going on in the Atlanta backfield. Michael Turner looked slow and uninspiring, and Rodgers was pretty much matching Turner in terms of total touches. He also looked much better, showing excellent balance in open space and fighting for extra yardage. Rodgers was hit by San Diego defenders but always seemed able to move forward. He even added a touchdown reception on a quick catch over the middle, fighting at the end of that as well to get into the end zone. But by the second half, the Falcons again began leaning on Turner to run down the clock and provide the rushing attack. It has been pretty typical for Atlanta to rotate the two backs, but with Turner’s goal line abilities it may be difficult for Rodgers to become a regular scoring threat.
Week 4 - Jacquizz Rodgers took a backseat to the Michael Turner show in this contest, although he looks a lot more dynamic in tight spaces. The downside, from what Rodgers’ carries showed on film, is that he is often taken down on first contact. He did manage to break a tackle once or twice, but he is a back who operates much better in open space. He showed good vision on a cutback run, carrying it for 10 yards. What stands in Rodgers’ favour is his use on third down; Atlanta are trusting him more and more to pass protect and be an outlet receiver for Matt Ryan. With Atlanta’s pass-centric offense, Rodgers is certain to see plenty of touches come his way. This particular game was not one in which Rodgers thrived, however.
Week 5 - The versatile halfback split time with both Jason Snelling and Michael Turner in the backfield, though he did not stuff the box score. Rodgers’ live-wire agility and pass-catching ability certainly fit the no-huddle, pass-heavy offense the Falcons implemented before the 2012 season. However, the second-year man from Oregon State simply did not have his number called that much by the Falcons. Rodgers carried the ball one time for two yards and chipped in one reception for eight yards. He actually lost targets to Michael Turner, oddly enough. Rodgers was also the intended recipient of a Matt Ryan screen pass that Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan snatched out of midair and ran back for a touchdown.
Week 6 - Jacquizz Rodgers had 2 carries for -2 yards along with 3 catches for 21 yards. Curiously, the Falcons let him try a 3rd and 1, which he got swarmed on the play and ended up with negative yardage. He was utilized exactly as he has been in the first quarter of the season; as a change of pace, pass catching option.
Week 8 - The second year teacup halfback had his best game of the 2012 season on the road against the Eagles. While it is clear the Falcons want to get Rodgers more involved in their up-tempo, pass-first offense, the Oregon State product has had difficulty getting it going on the field. Rodgers showcased why the Falcons were right to keep the faith, getting thirteen total touches and leading all Falcons running backs in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. The second-year running back chewed up significant turf on his longest run of the season, a forty-three yard scamper in which he eluded multiple would-be tacklers and exhibited some near-prescient field vision.
Week 9 - – Rodgers was used to complement Michael Turner as the Falcons ran wild over the Cowboys on Sunday night. Rodgers was on the field for many third down plays and plays from the shotgun. He ran mostly draws and delayed handoffs. Rodgers had four receptions on five targets including his best play. Rodgers' best play came on third down in the fourth quarter. On the play, Rodgers swung out wide right for a quick screen. The closing Cowboys linebacker overran the play as Rodgers planted and cut upfield for a 31 yard gain. The play converted a third down that led to a field goal, essentially snuffing out any chance the Cowboys had to mount a comeback.
Week 10 - Whereas Michael Turner’s tenure as the lead back in the Falcons’ offense seems to be winding down, Rodgers’s time in the Atlanta machine is just getting started. There is little room for argument that the unimposing Rodgers is more Sproles than Shady, but he fits better into the Falcons’ offensive philosophy than Michael Turner. The dual-threat halfback totaled sixty-two yards from scrimmage on a meager seven touches. Rodgers’ best play through the air came on a Matt Ryan checkdown in which the sophomore halfback snatched out of the air, and changed direction after the catch for a fifteen yard gain. His best play on the ground was an ankle-breaking cutback run that came after bouncing to the outside, an eighteen yard gain that set up the Falcons at first-and-ten inside the New Orleans red zone. Turner is likely to remain the beast that the Falcons feed the ball, but Rodgers is easily the more dynamic player with the ball in space. It would behoove Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter to allocate more touches to Rodgers over Turner at this point in the season.
Week 11 - Jacquizz Rodgers got just as many touches on the ground as he did through the air and is arguably more valuable in the passing game. Rodgers got most of his catches on check down passes as QB Ryan went through his progressions but Rodgers has the quickness to make one man miss and pick up more yards than a lot of players. Rodgers even showed great awareness of the ball as he caught a tipped pass that shot in the air and prevented a possible turnover. He is a terrific option on third down as he has the speed to pick up short distances. Rodgers was less of a factor on the ground as Arizona swarmed to the football consistently and prevented him from getting to the outside for a big play. He is short but therefore difficult to tackle and has speed that forces defenders to take wide angles to ensure he does not run away from them. Unfortunately, RB Turner is still the #1 and goal line RB in this offense and will always limit the number of touches Rodgers receives.
Week 12 - After Michael Turner opened the game with two uninspired carries up the middle, the Falcons pitched the ball to Rodgers who cutback through some good blocking and accelerated downfield for a 15 yard gain. The Falcons went straight back to Rodgers with a pitch to the opposite side when he gained four yards. With his third carry in a row, Rodgers sidestepped two defenders on a cutback before diving forward for a 10 yard gain and a first down. Rodgers' only two negative plays on the opening drive came when the defense swarmed the line of scrimmage and Ryan threw him a pass when a screen play had been easily read by two defenders. Rodgers was sidelined for much of the second drive, save for a play or two in pass protection, before he received another handoff designed to go outside. This time the Buccaneers were alive to it's threat and two defenders met him behind the line of scrimmage. Two plays later, in the redzone, the Buccaneers came straight back to Rodgers with the same pitch that gained him 15 yards on his first carry. This time he only gained five yards, but danced inside the pylon for an easy touchdown. Rodgers opened the third drive in the backfield but was stopped with his first carry by a free defender at the line of scrimmage. He came back in the third quarter, after Jason Snelling took his snaps before the end of the half and the Falcons opened the third quarter with an 80 yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. Rodgers' first carry of the drive went for just two yards as he cut back to find a hole in a well defended play. Down by six in the fourth quarter, the Falcons started the drive with Rodgers over Turner and instantly benefited. Ryan threw his first pass to him in the flat, before Rodgers turned into space, evaded two defenders and sprinted down the field for a 30+ yard gain. When the Falcons were looking to run some clock, they looked to Rodgers instead of Turner as he opened their final drive with a big 12 yard carry on a cut back. A short two yard gain by Turner was followed by a pitch to Rodgers that went nowhere.
Week 13 - Rodgers' first two carries were stretches to the left when he showed good awareness to cutback behind his blocking and run down the field for first downs. Rodgers was involved early on as the Falcons pitched the ball to him going right. Rodgers cutback well again, but the Saints limited him to a three yard gain. Rodgers was given another pitch towards the sideline, but this time the Saints flew towards the football and stopped him for a one yard loss. The Saints were able to be more aggressive because it was in the redzone. A pitch to the right was stuffed by the Saints behind the line of scrimmage. Rodgers was barely used before taking a draws up the middle for just two yards with seven minutes left in the game. Rodgers caught a check down over the middle, but was stopped after two yards again by aggressive defense. Curtis Lofton read a screen pass to Rodgers on the following play, when he tackled him for a six yard loss.
Week 14 - Jacquizz Rodgers looked like the most dynamic back in the Atlanta backfield in this game, as he has demonstrated in the past. Despite his lack of opportunity, Rodgers managed to gain positive yardage on almost every play, and was especially adept at yards after first contact. Running between the tackles is a skill that Rodgers possesses in droves; he is not afraid to shoot through a hole, even if a LB is waiting to de-cleat him. As the Carolina defense keyed in on the pass in the second half, Rodgers took advantage with some nice gains on draws and screens. His elusiveness is quite something to behold, and he seems to be steadily improving his pass protection.
Week 15 - Jacquizz Rodgers got a lot of carries on the ground in an attempt to spell RB Turner but was not able to accomplish much on the ground. The Falcons did most of their damage through the air and the Giants somewhat stout against the smaller RB Rodgers. For most of the game, Rodgers struggled to get out of the backfield and was frequently met at the line of scrimmage if he did manage. Rodgers biggest play came on a screen pass, as he was able to use his quickness to burst down the sideline for a chunk of yards. Rodgers is quick but does not possess breakaway speed. Rodgers does not have the power that Turner once had but is a nice change of pace back that can run outside/catch screens out of the backfield but has many limitations as a RB overall.
Week 16 - Jacquizz Rodgers spelled Turner throughout the game. Atlanta’s offensive line had trouble creating running lanes, so Rodgers did not have much space. Rodgers was given the lone goal line carry, but failed to score.
Week 17 - Rodgers was the clear lead running back in Atlanta’s comeback effort against Tampa Bay this week. He had 13 touches to Turner and Snelling’s total of 10. After just two receptions over the past two games, Rodgers had his highest passing game volume of the season with eight receptions on as many targets. With 53 receptions on the year, Rodgers finished with the fourth-most of all running backs. He showed his elusiveness when getting space to operate at the second-level. On just one of his touches was he able to make the first defender miss. That rushing attempt for 12 yards was actually brought back by penalty. In the passing game, Rodgers showed good hands as an outlet target, but did little after the catch. On one occasion, he caught a pass just a yard short of the first down marker, but could have make his way past the line to gain. While Rodgers has been active in the passing game, the big question is if he can handle (and succeed) with a higher volume as a 1A-type of running back. From the over 200 NFL touches over two seasons, Rodgers does not look like he can sustain an offense. With Michael Turner clearly declining, it could be Jason Snelling or another running back brought in this offseason that is an early down back to complement Rodgers’ preference for passing down work.
Week 19 - Rodgers electrified the Georgia Dome in the Falcons’ divisional matchup against the Seahawks with a forty-five yard run to close out the first quarter. With Atlanta deep in its own territory, Rodgers took the handoff from Matt Ryan and exploded out of the Falcons’ offensive line and shed three tackles, annihilated Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, and sprinted downfield until Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith managed to bring him down at the Seahawks’ forty-two yard line. Splitting carries with veteran running back Michael Turner, Rodgers took ten handoffs for sixty-four yards on the ground and added two catches for eight yards. With Rodgers and Turner averaging almost seven yards per carry against Seattle, the pair makes a good case for the Falcons to take a balanced approach in offensive play calling when the 49ers come to Atlanta for the NFC title game.
Week 20 - Rodgers was in a dead heat with Michael Turner for playing time in the first half. Turner injured his ankle in the third quarter, giving Rodgers the opportunity for a larger role, which he shared with Jason Snelling. In the second half is when Rodgers actually had some success with two nine-yard runs, breaking multiple tackles on each occasion. His best chance for a big play in the passing game came on a wheel route early in the game. The late throw killed any chance Rodgers had to haul in the potential red zone touchdown pass.