JACQUIZZ RODGERS, Running back
The first thing you notice about the 5'6" Jacquizz Rodgers, the Falcons' fifth-round pick from Oregon State, is his lower body. Rodgers's legs are mini--tree trunks. For a guy with the quick moves to make opponents miss between the tackles, the 21-year-old Rodgers can also make tacklers miss with a powerful running style. He does not shy from contact.
The next thing you notice are some telling statistics. In three busy seasons with the Beavers, Rodgers had 939 touches from the line of scrimmage—788 rushing attempts, 151 pass receptions—and fumbled just three times. He had more than 250 carries each year and averaged 4.9 yards per attempt overall. Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff sees those numbers and thinks he got a steal. "The fifth round," Dimitroff mused during training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga. "That's one of the things we're happiest about. To get him there, with the kind of production he had and how he never turned it over, we're really excited."
This season, look for Rodgers to be a factor in the return game and to become an occasional third-down back. This isn't to say he'll be active every Sunday, though. It might take an injury to a returner (Eric Weems) or another running back (Jason Snelling) some weeks to put him among the 46 Falcons players who dress. But the electricity he showed in camp is certain to be on display this season, and soon.