Falcons select RB Jacquizz Rodgers in the 5th round

Jacquizz Rodgers was a highly productive running back in the Pac-10 (Associated Press)

Jacquizz Rodgers was a highly productive running back in the Pac-10 (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons continued their theme of moving up in the draft to select a player on Saturday.

They traded away their fifth round pick (158th overall) and one of their seventh round picks (229) to move up 13 spots to select Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

Here’s the book on Rodgers:

FALCONS PICK: 5th round, 145 overall (18th running back selected)

Name: Jacquizz Rodgers

Size: 5-6, 198

College: Oregon State

His production: He rushed for 8,245 yards and 136 touchdowns over his storied high school career in Richmond, Texas. Rodgers finished his career ranked second all-time in Texas high school history with 41 100-yard rushing games. He also had 21 200-yard games. He splashed onto the national scene when he helped to power the Beavers over Southern California, 27-21, when they were ranked No. 1 in the nation.  He ran the ball 37 times for 186 yards and scored two touchdowns in the breakout game. He started 35 of 36 games for the Beavers. He gained 3,877 yards and scored 46 touchdowns. He also caught 151 passes for 1,052 yards and five touchdowns. He is just one of eight players in Pac-10 history with 1,000 yards rushing in three seasons.

The skinny: He was nicknamed “Mr. Touchdown” in high school. He landed at Oregon State in part because they had taken his brother, James, a wide receiver, the previous year. He was also recruited by Arizona, Baylor, Houston, Illinois, Louisiana Tech and Southern Methodist. He has a daughter, Channing. He ran a slow 4.59 seconds  in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. But he is considered to be more quick, than fast. He’s a proven tough and durable runner.

INTERVIEW WITH JACQUIZZ RODGERS TODAY

ON BEING PICKED BY THE FALCONS: “It’s the best feeling in life … finally a dream come true. Something you’ve been working for your whole life and actually getting a chance to seize the moment and be a part of a good team is a blessing.”

ON THE USC GAME: “That was the biggest highlight of my career, knocking off No. 1 USC. It was my freshman year, just being able to contribute to a win like that was good. Being part of Oregon State’s offense, a pro-style offense, having a coach like Coach (Mike) Riley put the faith in me to carry the ball a lot and being a featured guy in his offense (was awesome).”

ON RUNNING BETWEEN THE TACKLES: “It’s all about confidence. I run strong. If they look at my size they might under estimate me. After the game, I bet they have a different opinion about me.”

ON PICKING UP THE BLITZ: “That was something that we had to do. I’m willing to stick my nose in there and block linebackers. . . I remember watching Warrick Dunn when I was a child.”

ON NOT FUMBLING: “Ball security is something that we worked on every day in practice. Not putting the ball on the ground is a big thing. My coaches in college always focused on ball security and blocking. That was a big thing. They always said if you made it to this point they already knew you were a good runner, so protect the ball and protect the quarterback.” (He officially had one fumble on a lateraled pass.)

ON HIS SIZE AND PROVING PEOPLE WRONG: “That’s the main thing. Most people question my size. It’s something that I can’t change.”

ON HIS PASS CATCHING SKILLS: “Being shorter than most guys, being able to catch out of the backfield and beat linebackers one-on-one and in open space, I think it helps me out a lot.”

ON THE LOCKOUT: “I’m just working out and staying in shape. Hopefully, the lockout will be over soon.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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185 comments Add your comment

GT Alum

April 30th, 2011
2:43 pm

Small guy, but the Falcons apparently saw something they liked in this guy since they moved up to make sure they got him.

Sly Ty

April 30th, 2011
2:43 pm

Saw this guy single handily beat USC during Mark Sanchez’s last season at USC. He was like watching a little tazmanian devil in action. This is a good pickup.

BlueEagle

April 30th, 2011
2:44 pm

Falcons trying to corner the market on little stud players I guess since they have one on both sides of the ball now. BTW…were you in a hurry to write that blurb on “The Skinny” up there. #syntaxerror

Bill

April 30th, 2011
2:47 pm

really like this pickup. We need a small, quick back to complement Turner, and this allows us to let norwood go. He will be very effective in the screen game as well with roddy and julio blocking. I was wanting this guy or virgil green in the 5th round.

The Grinch

April 30th, 2011
2:48 pm

I like it! He’s not fast but he’s strong for his size, and watch the video of him running the cone drill…he can change direction on a dime. Good pick. Now if we can snag a DE and a corner in FA we’ll be lookin’ pretty good.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2011
2:48 pm

He was a stud for the Beavers!

Nique

April 30th, 2011
2:50 pm

I called this pick & I LOVE IT!!! This kid’s a player & exactly the compliment to Turner & our offense!

robert

April 30th, 2011
2:51 pm

jerseyfalcon

April 30th, 2011
2:52 pm

small, quick, and can catch..will be lost in the lineman and the time the defense realizes where he is he’ll be 15 yards down the field.

BlueEagle

April 30th, 2011
2:53 pm

Good job on the correction, much better…

In the few OSU games I saw in the local market he was a beast, small, but the Falcons are drafting this guy to be the every down back. He’ll be a good pickup if he’s used right, but since the Falcons don’t run screens I’ll withhold judgement.

dawgsfan1990

April 30th, 2011
2:53 pm

I love this pick…I was hoping they would get him…did great against the PAC-10 and should be a nice change of pace back!

PoDunk

April 30th, 2011
2:53 pm

I’m loving this draft! Three players, so far, that will make us better. Folks are getting too excited about trading picks to move up. Remember, you can’t trade players (yet), so we still have players that may have been traded. What may we get for Jenkind, Norwood, even Sidbury or Bierman? You know when free agency opens we’re getting a veteran DE.Dump some big contracts (Anderson) and we have money with which to work. Exciting times boys and girls! See ya’ll in Section 336!

Loserville USA

April 30th, 2011
2:54 pm

GREAT PICK! Chance to be the next Darren Sproles…. Just what we needed!

Dimitroff scores again!

adawg1

April 30th, 2011
2:54 pm

good pick up but we need 2 work on defense

Mike W

April 30th, 2011
2:54 pm

co sign nique i called this pick right when i got out shower and seen he was one of mel’s best avaiable.i like him really good,falcons been rumored all long that they were going to get defense players from free agents.plus everybody knew norwood time was up they was going to let him go.always getting hurt

Gman

April 30th, 2011
2:56 pm

He is a very quick, tough little dude. He should be fun to watch.

oldbird

April 30th, 2011
2:56 pm

Love the pick. Can’t believe he was still available this late. Dang all the measurements, look at his film and production in college. @sly ty I watched that game against USC too, and he looked like an all American. If he brings that, wow what a pickup.

Loserville USA

April 30th, 2011
2:56 pm

All this tells me Blank is going to spend on D in free agency…..YESSSSS!

PoDunk

April 30th, 2011
2:56 pm

Correction: Jenkins

Falcon since 66

April 30th, 2011
2:57 pm

Feeling better about whole thing. Looks like he knows when to duck. Going to be exiting.
Hey, DOL looks like the Bucs are looking at your columns. Got to hand it to them, they look like they are having a great draft.

The Jama

April 30th, 2011
2:57 pm

Dimitroff at it again! This kid will be an excellent 3rd down back out of the backfield catching passes. His size puts him in the mold of Warrick Dunn who could get lost behind the O-Line only to pop through a hole and make positive yards. I like it.

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 30th, 2011
2:57 pm

Will take Norwood’s place. Just stay healthy and will be great (and we will screen to him.)

26.2

April 30th, 2011
2:58 pm

I like this Falcons pick more than any other in this years draft. He can help out some immediately. Surprised Thomas Dummytrof didn’t draft someone from Southwest northeast Montana Souixnation State.

suwaneefalcon

April 30th, 2011
2:59 pm

I like this pick. It is pretty obvious that we will be going strong after a F/A D-end. I like that idea better then getting a rookie. TD is putting together a nice draft with quality not quantity.

bigdave

April 30th, 2011
2:59 pm

this is an excellent pick..

quick, shifty, elusive..

however, a equally effective short yardage back.. will pass protect for you as well..

will be a great addition out of the backfield in the passing game..

Matt keep your head swivel.. there are going to be more than 2 guys who you can go to next year.. that tunnel vision has to CEASE!!!!

bigdave

April 30th, 2011
2:59 pm

needed playmakers..

and we went and got guys who MADE PLAYS on saturday!!!

J.J.M.

April 30th, 2011
3:00 pm

didnt he run a 4.64?

MonkDaddy

April 30th, 2011
3:01 pm

Sandersesque cuts and change of pace.

MonkDaddy

April 30th, 2011
3:02 pm

He later ran a 4.5

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2011
3:02 pm

He ran a 4.59 at the combine, didn’t lift and had a 33 inch vertical.

MonkDaddy

April 30th, 2011
3:02 pm

Quicker than you DLed.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2011
3:03 pm

BlueEagle — Going for speed today. Speed and cleanup job.

JKA

April 30th, 2011
3:03 pm

Great pick ! Ran over the USC Roid-backers as a 172-pound freshman, and been focal point of the OSU offense for 3 years.Can catch the ball out of the backfield and is not totally vulnerable in pass protection – can cut down blitzers and stay after them. You would think he’s an outside runner, but is actually more effective inside – picks the hole and slashes, and is tough for the D to find and tackle. Also, DOES NOT FUMBLE ! Has had a lot of action in 3 years, but won’t be asked to carry 300+ times in Atlanta. High character guy too – no way he won’t help this team !!!!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2011
3:04 pm

Reminds some of Warrick Dunn. Maybe Dunn, now a owner, can teach him how to pick up the blitz.

Glenn

April 30th, 2011
3:04 pm

Don’t know how this pick will help out the main issue with the Falcons – their defense. So far, two picks, one on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, and that’s where the biggest needs exist. Maybe I’m missing something.

Samuel

April 30th, 2011
3:05 pm

I like this kid he’s quick on his feet and very powerful and durable. Not to mention he can catch the ball out of the back field. Wow, since we already have Pocket Hercules, let’s name this guy Mighty Mouse.I can’t wait to see the Falcons trade some of their players to get a couple of defensive players to take us over the top. Go Falcons!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2011
3:05 pm

MonkDaddy — They call edme “Lightning Led” because I had a 8.97 in the 40 at the Media Combine.

J.J.M.

April 30th, 2011
3:05 pm

I guess thats a decent speed back…Im guessing he wil run that 4.5 all 4 quarters

MonkDaddy

April 30th, 2011
3:05 pm

I wonder what the mascot for the Roid Backers would be?

BigGAdawg

April 30th, 2011
3:06 pm

I assume that this means no more Jerious (injured more than Chipper) Norwood. Too bad he couldn’t stay healthy enough to develop his potential. There were flashes of brilliance but never for long enough.

At 5′6″ 198 lbs Rodgers must be standing on tree trunks for legs. Turner 2.0
Welcome to Hotlanta!!

j-smoove

April 30th, 2011
3:06 pm

i like this pick falcons going to be great

The Jama

April 30th, 2011
3:07 pm

No doubt Dimitroff and Co. already have their eyes on the free agent(s) splash player we will be getting on defense…most likely the top or a top defensive end! Keep going guys…can’t wait to see the full offensive arsenal line-up week 1.

Yo Vince

April 30th, 2011
3:07 pm

Bla bla bla T D sold the team, bla, bad draft, bla Ricky Williams. These guys have forgot more about football than all of the blogger combined. This Oregon back proves it. Matt Ryan said get me someone that looks like Roddy. Got it. Anyway, they picked a homer for all you Dawgs. Back off!

Philly 1

April 30th, 2011
3:07 pm

Excellent pick in Quizz. He has a motor and a lot of heart, a nightmare for defenses to try to prepare for.

Beaver believer

April 30th, 2011
3:07 pm

Watching jaquizz over the past few seasons has been great. He slips out of tackles, keeps his legs moving and brings big plays.

RambleOn84

April 30th, 2011
3:07 pm

Great player, great value!

Texas2step

April 30th, 2011
3:09 pm

YO Vince needs another boyfriend

BigGAdawg

April 30th, 2011
3:09 pm

Now we just need to find a hidden jewel of a DE in the next couple of rounds.

Lady Falcon Fan

April 30th, 2011
3:11 pm

I love studs in Falcons backfield. You go Demitoff and Blanks keep it going….

J.J.M.

April 30th, 2011
3:12 pm

DOL do you know how much cap room we have?