Every time I break down a recruit's film, I go in with an open mind no matter what that player's ranking is or who his scholarships offers are from. I have to admit, I had not heard much about Armani Rogers before he committed to Cal last night.
When I saw that he was unranked by most of the recruiting sites (he's only ranked by Rivals and is a 3 star), but had offers from Cal, UCLA, and Utah, I was even more intrigued to watch his film. Rogers is an impressive prospect with great physical tools and Cal has done a fantastic job of securing a commitment from him nearly a year before signing day in 2016.
Rogers is built perfectly to win from the pocket. He has the prototype size that everyone looks for at the quarterback position and also the athletic ability to accompany it. He has good speed and displays solid lateral agility. He's an exciting athlete for the position.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw from Rogers in terms of his mechanics. I expected more of an athlete than a quarterback and I was wrong to assume so. He showed good footwork and balance in the pocket. He was light on his feet, but kept his cleats dug in the ground to use his lower half when throwing the ball. There were some occasional times I saw him throw from his toes and a couple of other times I saw him drift from his spot, but for the most part, I was very impressed with his consistency.
He's a natural thrower that throws a tight spiral. He can deliver the ball with very good zip and flashed the arm strength to make every throw that is asked of him. He also showed nice touch and didn't throw a fastball every time. His touch and arc on the deep ball was very good, although he left some footballs short a couple of times where his receivers were forced to adjust back to the ball.
He does a really great job of escaping the rush and his first instinct is to take a look down the field to make play. He improvises well on the run. Like most young quarterbacks, he needs to learn to go through his progressions. If his first read isn't there, he may just take off and run even without any pressure. Reading defenses and going through progressions is something he'll need to learn at the next level.
He is a dangerous player as a runner. He can make defenders miss and also will lower his shoulder and run with some power. He's someone who should be utilized on designed runs and can extend drives with his feet.
He has the necessary tools to succeed from the pocket and that makes him fit for the Bear Raid. His running ability could add another dimension to the offense as well.
This kid has huge upside. He may be under the radar of several recruiting sites right now, but that should change very quickly. His arm strength and his athletic ability are exciting, but it's his fundamentals that make me believe he can be much better than his current (non)ranking. It's going to be an interesting quarterback competition in Berkeley in 2016 and beyond, but if Rogers sticks with the Bears, his talent should get him in the mix. He has the potential to develop into a very good quarterback in the Pac-12.