Amari Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Packers Rookie Report: Amari joins the party

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Welcome to Rookie Report, our weekly recap on the latest action of the Green Bay Packers 2021 draft class. 

CB Eric Stokes

If I was to tell you in August that by week 6 of the NFL season, Eric Stokes would be the longest tenured outside CB playing for the Packers, you’d probably be a little scared. You’re probably still a little scared. 

It’s a huge responsibility for a rookie CB, one of the hardest positions to  find success early on. But for Stokes, Sunday afternoon’s game in Soldier Field was his quietest affair of the season. 

Stokes saw a ridiculous amount of targets through his first four games as a starter, 32 to be exact. He was the third most targeted defender in the league from weeks 2 through 5. 

Against the Bears, Stokes only surrendered three receptions, two of which were on underneath throws where the cornerbacks are basically trained to allow the catch. 

The other catch he allowed was this dime outside the far numbers from Justin Fields. It’s hard to be overly critical of Stokes here. Quarterbacks will only make that completion twice in ten attempts. 

Josh Myers

Just back from a finger injury that prevented his return to his native Ohio last weekend, Myers went down with a pretty bad knee injury on the opening drive on Sunday afternoon. 

The good news is that the injury is not season-ending. The bad news of course is that Myers will be out multiple weeks. 

“I don’t think it’s going to be a season-ender, but we’ll continue to look at it,” LaFleur said. “Ultimately, that was a bad playcall by me, us not blocking the nickel off the edge, that’s what caused that. I feel bad about that.”

There’s no doubt that an asterisk will be planted firmly on Myers rookie season. We might not see him at 100% health at any point this season. 

Royce Newman

Newman continues the battle to earn a place in the starting lineup when David Bakhtiari returns. The Myers injury might buy Newman a bit more time as Elgton Jenkins will likely slide to center in that case. 

This week Newman had a few communication errors with right tackle Billy Turner. The Bears defensive line runs stunts more than anyone in the league, so granted it’s difficult to stay on top of everything. But under no circumstances should Khalil Mack get a free rush at your quarterback. 

Despite his struggles in pass protection, Royce continues to thrive in the run game. He is currently ranked as the 4th best guard in the league by ESPN’s run block win rate metric (one of the more accurate measures of offensive line play).

Amari Rodgers

We got our first Rodgers to Rodgers of the season in Chicago. It’s taken six games for the combined 3rd and 4th round draft pick to catch a pass that wasn’t in garbage time. 

Amati’s snap count is still extremely limited. His 14-yard reception came on one of just two routes he ran all game. For the 5th straight game, Amari has played less than 10 offensive snaps. He currently has less snaps on the season that Equinemous St. Brown. 

On special teams, Rodgers had his longest punt return (16 yards) since week 1. He still hasn’t done anything wrong so far this year, which is a rarity as far as the Packers’ special teams are concerned. 

Other Packers rookies

No other rookies had any notable plays or significant snaps. TJ Slaton played only 7 snaps against Chicago, his fewest since the 49ers game. His interior defensive line counterpart Jack Heflin was inactive. 

Despite the depleted cornerback room, Shemar Jean-Charles still only saw 3 defensive snaps. This is simply due to Chandon Sullivan playing almost every nickel corner snap. If Sullivan was to get hurt, SJC would likely be thrust into a starting role considering the team’s current injury situation. 

Interestingly, SJC had an impressive 84.3 special teams grade on 15 snaps versus Chicago. That was the highest grade of any Packer on special teams in any game this year. 

Linebacker Isaiah McDuffie played special teams reps only. It’s going to b extremely difficult for him to get any meaningful playing time as the 5th string linebacker on the roster following the addition of Jaylon Smith.

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