Has good hands that consistently catches the ball with his hands. Can adjust to the low throw or throw behind him. Secures the ball and turns upfield and shows some ability after the catch. Gets a nice release and shows nice speed when he's able to get into his route, and occasionally will make a big play downfield. Is a smooth runner that has nice balance. Gives nice effort as a blocker and works to finish his blocks. Shows ability to lead the ballcarrier through the hole as the lead blocker and can lower the shoulder to deal blow to linebacker on the second level to create the seal. Comfortable working as an H-back and pulling across the line to get the seal block on the edge.
Undersized blocker that can struggle at times matching up as an inline blocker. Doesn't consistently deliver a blow to the defender when trying to block in space. Needs to do a better job using his hands to get position. Doesn't always play with balance as an inline blocker. Can struggle adjusting in space and squaring up the defender, particularly as a lead blocker through the hole.
Rodriguez was Temple's top receiver this past year, but most of his duties was as a blocker in their run-based offense, which is adapted from Florida's under Tim Tebow. He is a capable receiver that was probably underused in their offense. He was a good outlet receiver in the flat and capable of lining up in the slot. They used him mostly as an H-back, but he also got work inline. He offers good value and ability as an H-back at the next level, and he was effective blocker against linebackers and defensive backs, but will have issues when it comes to taking on the bigger defensive linemen at the next level. He is a transfer from West Virginia, although he never played there.
2011 GAMES WATCHED
(11/2) at Ohio: 3 targets, 3 catches, 26 yards (8.7 avg), 15 YAC (5.0 avg), 1 TD, 0 drops
(11/9) vs. Miami OH: 4 targets, 4 catches, 43 yards (10.8 avg), 40 YAC (10.0 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops, 1 key block, 1 missed block
(12/17) vs. Wyoming: 3 targets, 2 catches, 52 yards (26.0 avg), 33 YAC (16.5 avg), 0 TD, 0 drops
2011: 13 GP/12 GS, 35 catches, 479 yards, 13.7 avg, 2 TDs
2010: 11/9, 21-247-11.8-2
2009: 13/7, 13-145-11.1-3
2008: sat out due to transfer from WVU
2007 (at WVU): redshirt
Rodriguez served the same exact role in Temple's offense as Aaron Hernandez. And while he shares some traits similar to Hernandez, he lacks his potential mainly because the speed, athleticism, and playmaking abilities are not quite on that level. A better comparison is a player like Delanie Walker. But like both players, Rodriguez can be a solid No. 2 tight end in the right offense. For a team that employs a lot of two-tight end looks, Rodriguez offers similar versatility as a player like Hernandez. He can work as a lead blocker at fullback, be a capable outlet receiver and occasionally make a big play. But he won't create matchup problems like Hernandez does, and in most offenses, Rodriguez is probably only going to be a guy that can catch 20-30 passes a year similar to Walker. But he's sure-handed and in a system similar to New England that isn't afraid to spread the field and give the defense multiple looks, he can be a solid role player. The problem is that Rodriguez will be limited as an inline blocker, which is primary role that most teams use their No. 2 TE as. For that reason, he won't be a great fit in every offense and be seen as a No. 3 like Walker was early in his career when he played behind Billy Bajema, who was the more traditional blocking No. 2 TE. That is why some teams might tinker with trying to convert him full-time to the fullback position, where his ability as a pass catcher could offer him comparable value to a player like Marcel Reece for the Raiders. But he has the potential to get better as a lead blocker, although he's still raw there. But that's why like Rodriguez, because he's versatile and should be able to add a bit of value at a variety of positions, which means his production may never pop, but he will be considered a nice asset for a creative offensive coordinator.
Delanie Walker, TE, 49ers
Rodriguez offers more upside as a receiver than Michael Palmer does because he's more athletic and should be able to beat man coverage on a more consistent basis. Dirk Koetter's offense has made use of H-backs with a similar skillset as Rodriguez in the use of Zach Miller, although Miller is probably a better natural athlete. But Rodriguez could immediately add value as a No. 3 TE, H-back, and also if the team decides to part ways with either Ovie Mughelli or Mike Cox, also as a fullback. As a receiver, he can contribute but probably is not a guy that is going to be more than a 25-catch receiver in Koetter's offense. He offers good immediate depth with some solid developmental potential down the road to find a role as a No. 2 TE or fullback for the Falcons.
Rodriguez's versatility could mean that if a team is looking for a poor man's version of Aaron Hernandez, he does have the developmental potential, although it's unlikely he does anything immediately in the pros besides playing special teams. Because he lacks the sort of upside as a receiver, probably the best time to take him off the board is in the late fifth or sixth round.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Body Control: 6.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.