Rodger plays left tackle for his college team that uses the pistol offense. He has those long arms everyone likes so much and needs when looking for a franchise offensive left tackle. He has decent size and does a solid job overall in blocking in both the passing and run game. The pistol offense requires a left tackle who is very smart and is a good run blocker. Rodger at this point of his career has the overall talent to be a solid offensive lineman in a conventional offense, but not as a pistol offense left tackle.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Rodger right now needs a lot of work on his strength and overall techniques. He also lacks the true lateral agility to be a left tackle and compensates by using different stances and, of course, gives away his blocking assignment in the process. He has developed some very bad habits that will be hard to break at the next level. He is not quick enough out of his stance to move him into the guard position. Rodger is also not sure of his blocking assignments. To be fair to Rodger, he is in a new system and playing out of position, so all of that has to be taken into account when analyzing him for the next level. However, Rodger is a project that I would hesitate to take on if I was in dire need of offensive lineman who has a short LTI.
Because the QB lines up four yards behind the line of scrimmage on every play, left tackles must have quick feet and at times will have to turn their hips and drive block when pass blocking. The reason for this is because most speed rushers will line up wide to attack and get a better angle for a pass rush. A tackle with quick feet is required in these situations and has a better chance of dealing with the needs of the left tackle position in the pistol offense. Of course, a franchise left tackle should be able to handle any kind of offensive system, but you can get by with a left tackle in the pistol offense who does not have the body type or long arms providing he has quick feet, change of direction skills and can engage with strength and leverage. You can get by with a really good left guard playing your left tackle position in a pistol offense. Rodger has done a commendable job trying to play left tackle for his team in a new style offense; however, his feet, balance, strength and football intelligence are not near what is needed to handle this position in this new style offense. Right now, Rodger is on the ground too much when he is run blocking. He is confused on how to handle combo blocks and he does not have the feet to be used in a pulling system. Rodger can play in a zone blocking scheme, but his overall lack of strength and agility to play the left tackle position when pass blocking will rear its ugly head unless you cover him up with a tight end. This means that Rodger is a developmental right tackle who will take a good three to fours years or more to develop. That also means that he is limited in the style of offense. I can see why his coach gave him a chance to play left tackle in the East-West Shrine game. You ask a kid to play a position you know in your heart he is not able to play and, as a coach, you feel obligated to giving him a chance to show his skills and redeem himself. I understand that, but Rodger is a long way off from being a starting offensive lineman for the next level. The kid busted his butt, did the best he could and does have developmental talent. But the way coaches come and go and constant changing of new offensive systems that come and go with those coaches makes me feel that Rodger could get lost in the mix for a very long time.
Drew Boylhart 2/10