The runner-up in the 2011 Super Bowl got there in part because of tight-end play. The New England Patriots, who already had 6-foot-6 Rob Gronkowski, used a fourth-round draft choice on a tight end -- Aaron Hernandez -- who provided 79 receptions and seven touchdowns last regular season and 19 more catches with a pair of scores in the postseason from a tight end measuring 6-foot-1 and 244 pounds.So the Bears went out and got themselves one of those. Just ask him.Evan Rodriguez, just short of 6-foot-2 and 244 pounds, was picked by the Bears on Saturday in the fourth round of this draft. The comparisons to Hernandez were being made even before the Bears made the pick and Rodriguez seconded that impression when he was brought to Halas Hall for a pre-draft visit.Evan thinks he is, saidgeneral managerPhil Emery, laughing. Ill tell you that up front. I asked him.When we brought him into the building I met with him and asked him, Who do you compare yourself with? He said, Hernandez." Emery said "OK, lets look it up." The Bears did, and determined that Rodriguez is a fraction of an inch shorter, right at the same speed (4.55 sec. for the 40), the same weight andboth from the East Coast.So there are some comparisons, Emery said, then cautioned. Well let him play first before we say hes as good as a pro.Rodriguez is OK with that caveat. After all, Hernandez caught more NFL passes last season (79) than Rodriguez did (69) for his entire college career.Aaron has worked really hard to get where he has been, Rodriguez said. Im not there, Im not there yet but I do idolize my style as similar to Aarons.Both played three college seasons, Rodriguez at Temple, Hernandez at Florida. Rodriguez was the 111th pick overall, Hernandez the 113th.
Rodriguez = Hernandez? He thinks so, Bears hope so
April 28, 2012, 7:48 pm