Nelson Rosario is my offensive guy to have his breakout year... the very productive second year UDFA/practice squad player out of UCLA. By breakout, I'm not saying he challenges with big numbers...but that he unexpectedly produces some key plays in key situations. (Ted Ginn is my projected numbers guy with 6-7 TDs, but that's for another post).
What you should know about Nelson:
- He instantly brings a much needed size presence at 6-5, 245. (He's added 20 lbs with the Panthers since his college pro day). That's the same height as our cyborg Greg Olsen, and only 5 lbs lighter.
- Great speed for his size, mid 4.5 to 4.6 college forty yard dash.
- He's had a year on the practice squad to learn our system.
- We liked him enough last year to bring him back on a 2 year future's contract.
- We allowed Barnidge to walk in free agency, and we did not draft or sign a significant tight end to replace him with.
- Smitty, the Godfather himself, talked about his circus catches in practice earlier during the off-season
- By converting from WR to TE, he is the proverbial "receiver in a tight end's body", and can approach our vertical offense with the mindset of a receiver. After seeing him in camp, he really looks the part.
Senior season at UCLA:
64 catches, 1161 yards (18.1 yard avg) , 5 TDs
Some video for your late summer pleasure:
- Red-zone threat. High points the ball...one-handed.
Let's face it...Neither Smitty or LaFell are reliable red-threats at this point. It's a significant hole in our offense. This guy has that potential in him.
Nelson Rosario Catch - Sportscenter's Top Play (via thabruinsblitz)
- For good measure... Catcher's mitt hands (10 1/4 in) allow you to do things like this.
For this year, I say put him down for at least 2 TD's along with three or four big third down catches. That's pretty good production for an UDFA from the practice squad. Nelson will be our Rosario that sticks at TE.