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Rodgers fills void at running back for Falcons

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted May 07, 2011 @ 3:39 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Overshadowed by the Falcons' bold trade to move up 21 spots in the first round to draft WR Julio Jones was the team's trade to move up 13 spots in the fifth round. Atlanta gave up its fifth- and seventh-round pick in a deal with the Rams and took RB Jacquizz Rodgers with the 145th overall pick, and GM Thomas Dimitroff considered the choice of Rodgers a great value that late in the draft.

PFW projected Rodgers, an elusive and highly competitive back, to be picked in the third or fourth round.

"We felt like what we lacked last year was that explosive, stop-start, playmaking-type back who could not only run the ball, but catch the ball," Dimitroff told PFW. "We feel that we've added to that element of our offense by acquiring Rodgers."

That change-of-pace role had previously been played by Jerious Norwood, but he has struggled to stay healthy — he missed 20 games in the past two seasons — and his time with the Falcons is expected to end this offseason. Long-term durability is a concern some evaluators have regarding Rodgers, too. He'll back up Michael Turner and Jason Snelling if Snelling, a potential free agent, is re-signed.

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