The 5-07, 188 pound James hasn't received the nation-wide attention that his brother did during their respective careers at Oregon State, but James has actually been the more statistically productive of the two. Like his brother (who was drafted in the fifth round, No. 145 overall), James was viewed as a potential later round pick due to his lack of preferred size, but is a legitimate playmaker who could surprise in the NFL. What the Rodgers brothers lack in stature, they certainly make up for in toughness and instincts. Jacquizz has already impressed Atlanta coaches and scouts during the preseason, according to Peter King of SportsIllustrated.com.
Unfortunately, James suffered a horrific knee injury against Arizona last season that ruined his chance at joining Jacquizz in the 2011 draft. James was granted a medical redshirt after tearing two ligaments -- reportedly including the ACL -- in his left knee. He underwent the first of two surgeries on October 28. The next one occurred in late February. Since, Rodgers has been ahead of schedule in his recovery, but Riley has understandably been hesitant to push his All-Pac-10 star too hard.
“We will have more information after another meeting with the physician and our trainer at some point next week,” Riley said.James was voted to the First-Team all-conference squad after the 2009 season after breaking the school record with 91 receptions for 1,034 yards and nine touchdowns. He also set the school record for the most all-purpose yards in one season by accumulating 2,328 yards as a receiver, punt returner, kick returner and runner during the 2009 season. He entered the 2010 season second in the country among active players with 5,077 career all-purpose yards. Due to the questions about his injury, however, Rodgers is currently only rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 54 receiver potentially available for the 2012 draft.
Rodgers is not expected to resume all of his past roles with the Beavers this season. As Bob Clark of The Register-Guard notes, Riley would rather use Rodgers at flanker rather than returner next season due in part to their plan to ease him back onto the field and because the Beavers like their depth at punt and kick returner.
The Beavers begin their season at home against Sacramento State on September 3.