Mr. Rogers Excited About His New Neighborhood

Comments from another Auburn first-rounder, cornerback Carlos Rogers, are featured.

Augusta, Ga.-- The Washington Redskins were in definite need of a cornerback on draft day after trading Champ Bailey to the Denver Broncos before the 2004 season and then losing Fred Smoot to free agency in the offseason.

On Saturday they selected Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers with the ninth pick of the 2005 NFL Draft.

"I'm very happy about the way things went," Rogers says. "It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to being a Redskin. I called (defensive backs) Coach (DeWayne) Walker and told him this is the best news I've gotten in a long time."

Rogers, the 2004 Jim Thorpe Award winner as college football's top defensive back, was the third Tiger taken behind Ronnie Brown (second) and Carnell Williams (fifth). Like the running backs Brown and Williams, he considered entering the draft after his junior year, but decided to come back for his senior season, a decision that proved to be a very wise one.

This year's trio of Brown, Williams (the college roommate of Rogers) and Rogers became the first threesome of college teammates to be drafted in the Top 10 since 1995 when Ki-Jana Carter, Kerry Collins and Kyle Brady of Penn State were selected first, fifth and ninth, respectively.

Rogers (right) works out with his college teammate, All-American safety Junior Rosegreen, at Auburn's NFL Pro Day.

Rogers, a consensus All-SEC and All-American selection, says that he enjoyed the time he spent in the D.C. area in recent visits to talk to Joe Gibbs and the rest of the Redskins' coaching staff.

"I spent a lot of time with the coaches, then we went out to dinner," he says. "I remember I had a great steak so I'm looking forward to coming up there again. Overall, I really enjoyed myself."

Rogers will be joined in Washington by two other former Auburn Tigers. Linebacker Marcus Washington, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Indianapolis, was a Pro-Bowl selection in his first year with the Redskins in 2004.

"Marcus Washington has been giving me tips on how to become an NFL player and how to conduct myself at the next level," Rogers says. "He's been great. They have a great coaching staff up there so I expect to get all the help I need."

Also joining the cornerback in Washington is Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell, who the Redskins tabbed with the 25 overall pick, giving Auburn four first-round selections and becoming the first SEC school to do so in the history of the conference.

Rogers runs for a touchdown with a pass intercepetion in Auburn's rout of Louisiana Tech last season.

Rogers, a four-year starter at Auburn, was the third cornerback taken in the draft. Adam ‘Pacman' Jones of West Virginia was selected sixth by the Tennessee Titans and Antrel Rolle of Miami was chosen eighth by the Arizona Cardinals.

"I want to be the rookie of the year," Rogers says. "I want to come in with a clear mindset--ready to learn and ready to play. I don't want to be a guy who they brought in and is going to take a year to develop. I'm coming in ready.

Rogers is shown accepting the Thorpe Award after his senior year, a season in which opposing teams avoided challenging the Auburn cornerback.

"I'm ready to come in and play the position and start," he adds. "I don't want to be too cocky by saying that, but I'm not a guy that likes to sit back and settle. I'm going to try to work hard every day to pursue my dream, which is to come in here and start. They're not going to be paying me a lot of money to come in here and sit down."

Rogers says he believes it was a wise decision to come back for his senior year, when he was not projected to go much higher than the late second round. "I had a goal of being considered for the Thorpe Award, becoming an All-American and moving up to the first round of the draft as well as having a great senior season with my teammates. Yeah, it was a good decision."

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville says that he enjoyed watching Rogers in action through four seasons. "He did a great job for us and he will be very difficult to replace," says Tuberville, who credits Rogers with playing a major role in the team's 13-0 season.

"Carlos has terrific speed and is good against both the pass and run. It was a big plus for us that he came back for his senior season."

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