San Francisco 49ers: 5 Players to Watch For in Training Camp
The 49ers have a large void in the No. 2 receiver role. There are candidates for this role in Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington and DeAndre Smelter. However, the other main candidate who we should be keeping an eye on is former Canadian Football League receiver Eric Rogers.
Rogers is not a “young” guy at 25, and at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, he is built like former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin.
Last year in the CFL he caught 87 passes (fourth in the league), had 1,448 receiving yards (led the league) and caught 10 touchdowns (tied for the league lead). The guy can ball. He also has good hands and uses his body well to make tough, contested catches.
Rogers made a good first impression in the OTAs and minicamp, where catching the high ball was his specialty. However, this was against a defense who were wearing shorts and no pads and were not allowed to make contact. The question will be once camp starts and the defense can start smothering him and hitting him, will his effectiveness be the same? This question is posed by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee:
"Rogers excelled in the open spaces and expanded end zones of the CFL and has a chance to shine during noncontact drills this spring. The question is whether he can duplicate that success when the pads go on in the summer, the defensive backs become more physical and there is less room to roam."
Rogers will be very interesting to pay attention to once the hitting starts, and to see how he reacts to it and how he handles it.
As the 49ers tallest receiver, can he still go up and snatch the football out of the air with ease as he showed when the pressure was off? Or will the 49ers cornerbacks get in his head and disrupt his play?
The 49ers offense is better with a in-form and effective Rogers. He brings a vital element to the receiving corp which the other players can’t replicate.
Next: Tank Carradine