Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The San Francisco 49ers big move in January was hiring Chip Kelly. I think that is kind of a Captain Obvious statement. However, when we look back on the 2016 offseason, it will be interesting to see what impact the signing of CFL wide receiver Eric Rogers has had on the 49ers fortunes.
The team announced the signing of Rogers on January 21. It was the first addition of the Chip Kelly era, and apparently Rogers was one of his first calls after being hired a couple days earlier. Rogers had met with Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles during his free agency tour, and Kelly was sufficiently impressed that he made a recruiting pitch after the 49ers hired him. And it worked out pretty well.
Rogers originally entered the NFL in 2013, coming out of NAIA-level California Lutheran University. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a UDFA, and was released during late August roster cuts. He then joined the CFL, signing with the Calgary Stampeders. In 2013, he played in two games, catching nine passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He then blew up in 2014, catching 87 passes for 1,448 yards and 10 touchdowns, all of which led the league.
And now, he enters the NFL looking to build on his breakout year in Calgary. The CFL is a distinct step down from the NFL, but given the raw nature of his skills coming out of college, it could prove to be a nice stepping stone. It remains to be seen if he’ll built on it in the NFL, but it helps that he did not just work on the practice squad the last couple years.
There are not a lot of scouting reports on Rogers, but I came across a couple. One came courtesy of our friends at Cat Scratch Reader. They looked at Rogers a few weeks before the 2013 NFL Draft. Former Eagles scout and current Bay Area radio personality John Middlekauff wrote up a scouting report on Rogers back in late 2012. Here’s what he had to say:
- 49ers press release:
Rogers (6-3, 210) originally entered the NFL in 2013 when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent on May 10, 2013. Following his release from Dallas on August 27, 2013, he went on to spend the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Calgary Stampeders. Last season, Rogers led the CFL with 1,448 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
A 24-year-old native of Covina, CA, Rogers attended California Lutheran University for four seasons (2009-12). He was named Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic (SCIA) Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2012 after registering 91 receptions for 1,298 yards and a school-record 18 touchdowns. He finished his career with 45 total touchdowns (41 receiving & four rushing), 220 receptions for 3,461 yards receiving, which are all California Lutheran University records.
Experience: Rookie (2 seasons in CFL)
He signed a two-year contract in January, with a signing bonus of $125,000, a $25,000 workout bonus his first year, and $100,000 of his first year salary guaranteed. That first year salary is $450,000, with a cap hit of $537,500.
What to expect in 2016
I have some thoughts on possibilities, but I really don’t know what to expect. The departure of Anquan Boldin opens the door for someone to step up opposite Torrey Smith. Quinton Patton is currently on top of the depth chart, with Rogers, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, Dres Anderson, and others competing for opportunities. At 6’3, 210 pounds, Rogers is among the biggest receivers on the team. Devon Cajuste measures in at 6’4, 227 pounds, and DeAndre Smelter measures in at 6’2, 227 pounds. If they’re looking for a big-bodied receiver to help replace Boldin, Rogers could fit the bill. Add in the experience in Canada, and it could bode well for him.
The optimist in me thinks we see Rogers emerge as a serious threat. Not to the levels he put up in Canada, but still solid numbers. The pessimist would suggest he doesn’t quite make the transition, and is surpassed by one of the other young receivers. I really don’t know though which one it will be.
Odds of making the roster
The guaranteed money would at least mean a practice squad guarantee, but I think he is all but certain to make the 53-man roster. I listed him as strong bubble, just because there are a lot of options competing for time opposite Smith. He will be one of many depth chart questions we’ll be looking at when the 49ers start practicing, and get into their first preseason game.