Returning both punt and kickoff returns takes a special talent. The Green Bay Packers are hoping their first pick in the fourth round can fill that role.
In an attempt to find a versatile kick returning solution for next season, the Packers selected wide receiver and return specialist Cory Rodgers with the 104th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft.
"First and foremost this is a tough kid," special teams coordinator Mike Stock said. "He is very competitive and makes good decisions with the ball. The big thing is that he secures the ball. So he brings a lot of good, positive things to the table. We're very enthusiastic about the chances of him coming here and being the guy."
Rodgers, from Texas Christian University, received All-America and All-Mountain West Conference honors as a kickoff returner in 2005. He ranked third in the nation with a 30.3-yard average on 17 kickoff returns.
Returning is not Rodgers' only threat. He played receiver and running back during his college career as well. His triple-threat attack gained 4,798 all-purpose yards in only three seasons, which is only surpassed by LaDainian Tomlinson in TCU history.
With a year of eligibility remaining, Rodgers decided he was ready to take on the next level.
"It was a hard decision to leave early," Rodgers said. "I wanted to make sure my family was OK with it, and they backed it 100 percent. I've had a lot of accomplishments in college. I felt that I had nothing left to prove at TCU. I wanted to prove to people that I can play at the next level."
Rodgers will compete for a spot as both a receiver and a returner. His favorite role, however, is returning kicks.
"I love special teams," Rodgers said. "It takes a special player to get out there and handle those returns, and take that pressure. I love the edge of being able to change the momentum of a game."