There’s only so much one can tell from OTAs, as offseason practices with no pads are not the best way to judge a player. With that said, however, OTAs do provide the opportunity to see which players are impressing and, therefore, which players to keep a closer eye on moving forward.
One player who certainly fits that category this year is wide receiver Chester Rogers, who has been impressing members of the media in attendance at OTAs this year.
Last week, Rogers caught the eye of Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen:
Not sure where, or if, he fits into the wide receiver reps, but Chester Rogers keeps on finding the ball.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) May 31, 2017
Had a nice end to 2016 as an UDFA
This week, others also pointed out how impressive Rogers has been, as the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer and the Anderson Herald-Bulletin’s George Bremer both noted it:
Just wrapped up final look at #Colts OTAs. A thought: Chester Rogers continues to be very consistent. Could surprise in 2017.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) June 6, 2017
Chester Rogers had an impressive rookie season with the Colts in 2016 after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State, playing in 14 games (starting two) and catching 19 passes for 273 yards. He also returned 13 punts, averaging 9.2 yards per return with a long of 30 yards. He impressed in the role that he was given, and that could open up an expanded role for him moving forward. Our own Matt Danely has written that he thinks Rogers is a breakout candidate for the 2017 season.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle in Rogers’ way is playing time, as the Colts appear to be pretty strong at wide receiver. With T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Kamar Aiken likely forming the top three on the depth chart, that could leave Rogers fighting for time with Phillip Dorsett as the number four wideout. So his task in training camp and preseason will be not only to make the roster but to show that he deserves more playing time too.
Based on what he did as an undrafted rookie last year, though, there’s reason for optimism about Rogers and reason to think that he could continue to improve entering year two. Teams will always be looking for wideouts, so if Rogers proves himself the Colts will surely create some playing time for him. That’s a discussion for later this year, but right now it sounds like Rogers has really been impressing in the offseason workouts. If he can continue that moving forward, we could be seeing more of Rogers in 2017.