|Da'Rick Rogers electrified Tennessee in 2011, but transferred to Tennessee Tech. He has decided to turn pro. (US Presswire)|
The Vols' receiving corps could have been that much better had Da'Rick Rogers remained on the team. The 6-foot-3, 215 pound Rogers caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards (each of which led the SEC) in 2011 but elected to transfer to Tennessee Tech for the 2012 season after being placed on indefinite suspension on Aug. 23 by then-coach Derek Dooley. At Tennessee Tech, Rogers caught 61 passes for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors
Rogers announced late Wednesday what many talent evaluators had expected when he had signed on with the Golden Eagles -- he'll be taking his talents to the NFL a year early.
Possessing a combination of size, strength, toughness and run-after-the-catch ability that some NFL scouts have compared to Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant, Rogers boasts the talent to earn first-round consideration.
Unfortunately, just as they did with Bryant, teams serious about drafting Rogers will need to investigate a number of possible character issues.
Rogers has consistently found himself in trouble throughout his collegiate career, however. CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reported that some close to the Tennessee program had questioned Rogers' role with the team after several run-ins with coaches, including a "meltdown" that occurred a year ago against Kentucky. Rogers has admitted that the reason for his indefinite suspension from Tennessee was due to failed drug tests.
Despite the off-field concerns, Rogers remains highly regarded in the scouting community. NFLDraftScout.com ranks him as the No. 77 overall prospect in the 2013 draft and the No. 9 wideout potentially available. I'm personally higher on Rogers than some of my peers, listing him just inside the top 50 prospects on my Big Board.