With the majority of the "household names" in the rear view mirror, we continue looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man roster, and we start entering the category of "fringe players". Today we focus on Eli Rogers, who is going to be battling for a roster spot from Day 1.
Player: Eli Rogers
Position: WR/Return man
Overview: Undrafted out of the University of Louisville, wide receiver Eli Rogers has been the recipient of a lot of praise over his first two off seasons as a Steeler. I say off seasons because, after a knee injury that sidelined him all of last year, we've yet to see what Rodgers can do in pads.
At only 5-feet 10-inches, Rogers is yet another small shifty receiver the Steelers have in their arsenal. While at Louisville, Rogers never had a breakout year putting up big numbers, rather he put up solid slot receiver numbers. He isn't someone that runs a full route tree, mainly sticking to out and dig routs. While he has a small frame he does extend his arms to make a catch rather than letting it get into his body. Rogers will use his agility to make defenders miss after the catch when trying to pick up extra yards.
The reality of the situation is that right now Rogers is behind Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Sammie Coates on the depth chart. Rogers has spent the offseason training with Brown, so maybe Brown can impart some of the work ethic and insights that turned him from a sixth round pick into a star. Ironically, Rogers best bet at making the team is as a return man replacing Brown. To do so he will have to beat out rookie Demarcus Ayers, so keep an eye on this training camp battle.
Attacks the ball rather than let it come to him
Crisp route runner
Has value as a returner
Working with Antonio Brown shows commitment to improving himself
Doesn't run complete route tree
Not a deep threat
Never had a breakout year
Not an effective blocker
Chances of Making the team: 30%