Patriots Have Had Multiple Pre-Draft Meetings With This Wideout Prospect

Amari Rodgers was Clemson's top receiver in 2020


Mar 8, 2021

The top receiver from one of college football’s elite programs is drawing pre-draft interest from the New England Patriots.

Clemson wideout prospect Amari Rodgers met with New England scouts at the 2021 Senior Bowl in February and sat down with Patriots receivers coach Mick Lombardi over FaceTime last week, he told Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.

Rodgers said his meeting with Lombardi “went great” and that he “can definitely see (himself) playing for Coach (Bill) Belichick.”

“Because he kind of reminds me of (Clemson) coach (Dabo) Swinney as far as discipline,” Rodgers told McBride. “Very hard and very focused and stuff like that. I feel like the Patriots and Clemson kind of relate to each other, so I feel like I would fit very well in the Patriots organization.”

Rodgers was a prolific pass-catcher for the Tigers in 2020, leading the national semifinalists in catches (77) and receiving yards (1,020) and tying fellow draft prospect Cornell Powell for the team lead in touchdown receptions (seven).

Powerful and well-built at 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, Rodgers operated almost exclusively out of the slot at Clemson, with 68 of his 77 receptions coming from an inside alignment, per Pro Football Focus. He led all FBS wideouts in slot catches and ranked third in slot yards (917).

Powell also ranked in the top 10 at his position in forced missed tackles (17) but struggled in contested-catch situations, hauling in just five in his college career in 17 tries, per PFF.

Powell is the son of former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin, who was drafted 36 spots before Tom Brady in 2000.

The Patriots, who have a dire need at wideout after fielding arguably the NFL’s weakest receiving corps last season, have not drafted a single Clemson product during the Belichick era.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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