GREENBELT, Md. – In a battle between two Prince George’s County programs, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) defeated Bladensburg (Md.), 58-18, Oct. 5. TT was on hand to scout class of 2017 Roosevelt defensive end Lawtez Rogers, a prime Terps’ target. Rogers ended up with a half-dozen tackles and half of a sack.
Our take on his game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
Rogers is still raw, but the potential is there for him to be an impact edge rusher at the next level.
Physically, Rogers’ length, from his frame (about 6-feet-4, 240 pounds) to his arms to his large hands, compare favorably to college defensive ends. Moreover, Rogers, who has little bad weight, has a muscular base with plenty of room to add even more mass moving forward.
For Rogers, the two main selling points are his initial burst and his closing speed. For most pass rushers to have an impact in the FBS, they need those two qualities -- first and foremost.
Rogers reacts instantaneously at the snap, flashing a rapid first step that helps him gain an advantage on the offensive tackle. Then, if he beats his man, Rogers explodes into the backfield, picking up momentum with each stride.
But Rogers isn’t just a pure pass rusher. He’s athletic with plus lateral agility, allowing him to make plays both in the gaps and down the line. Rogers’ standout closing speed and acceleration help when he’s tracking backs in space, the Roosevelt end often cutting the runners off before they can hit the edge.
Better yet, Rogers’ pure speed, coupled with his burst, allow him to catch running backs from behind. Moreover, his long arms should eventually aid him when shedding and locating runners in the hole.
For Rogers to improve, he needs to work on several fundamental areas when rushing and defending the run.
As an edge rusher, Rogers has to consistently gain extension. Too often he fails to get his arms out quickly enough, which negates his ability to disengage. Also, Rogers has to make sure he strikes offensive tackles underneath the pads and inside the shoulder. Right now, he’s more apt to use his athleticism and pure power to beat his man instead of mastering proper hand technique.
In terms of rush moves, Rogers doesn’t show much beyond a bull-rush at this point. It would behoove him to learn a swim move and how to feint outside before coming inside. Of course, for Rogers to consistently slice inside the tackle and guard, he must develop his footwork. Right now, he’s not deft enough to “get skinny” in the holes and shoot through small gaps.
Also, Rogers has to develop more potent point-of-attack power by adding more strength and learning how to drive from his base. Sometimes he can be stalemated by offensive linemen who can get into his body.
Moreover, sometimes he looks a bit timid when rushing the passer. He needs to become fiercer and have a more consistent motor, making sure he's going hard on every down.
When defending the run, Rogers has to maintain his lanes. Once in awhile you’ll see him overrun plays or fail to properly set the edge. He has to work on breaking down in space and funneling runners to his teammates.
Furthermore, Rogers’ feet can get crossed when pursuing laterally and/or changing direction. You’ll notice quick-twitch backs giving him problems as Rogers can become flatfooted when trying to angle them up in space.
And when closing in for a tackle, we'd like to see Rogers finish with a thump more often. Again, he doesn't always drop his hips, drive from his base and plow his man. Thus, he tends to allow leaky yardage every now and again.
In general, Rogers has to play with better leverage. He tends to come off the ball high, standing straight up at impact. Which is why, from time to time, you’ll see him pushed back or neutralized at the point of attack.
Finally, Rogers must continue adding bulk and strength. While he possesses enough strength to deal with high school tackles, he’ll need even more pop to consistently defeat FBS linemen/blockers.