With the absence of Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton, 24-year-old Eli Rogers is standing out in the preseason by leading the WR corps with 47 yards (9.4 yards per reception), and their top punt returner (averaging 11.5 per return).
His performance, by most accounts, has solidified his spot as the team’s 5th receiver, beating out seventh-round pick DeMarcus Ayers in the process.
“In my mind, I’m already on the team,” Rogers said, per timesonline.com. “But as far as people, I believe they’re starting to see my ability.”
“Very good route runner, got a lot of savvy inside,” receivers coach Richard Mann said. “He’s played in there. But, that said, what you see is what you get. He’s got some savvy. You can’t just jump in there and play. It takes a while to learn how to play in there. It’s a little different in there. He’s picked up on a lot of things that we’re coaching here, a lot of the routes we’re coaching here. He’s got a good feeling for them.”
Rogers is likely to see some first team reps against New Orleans on Friday, and is confident in his route running to impress as he did against Philadelphia last week and in camp.
“It’s an option route,” Rogers said. “I have a knack for getting open, period. That’s the route where I have a lot of choices, a lot of options to choose from, and I believe I’ll never get stopped on that play.”