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Film Session: What Does Rookie RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. Bring to the Commanders Table?

The latest episode of Watchin’ Film With Phil...

NFL: Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With Washington Commanders Training Camp just days away, it’s time for a new chapter in “Watchin’ Film With Phil,” an All-22 coaches film review show I host on YouTube. This year, you can expect weekly film sessions here and over on my website,

This offseason, I’ve been deep-diving into the All-22 film from each pick the Commanders made in April’s NFL Draft. Today, I wanted to look at 6th-round draft choice RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., who is expected to compete for the third running back spot with Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson. Rodriguez finds himself currently behind both Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson in the ‘non-existent’ pecking order that is the depth chart.

Commanders Had Their Eyes on Chris Rodriguez Jr

The Commanders running backs room was already deep when they drafted Chris Rodriguez Jr., but the team, Eric Bieniemy in particular, valued Rodriguez much higher, as high as a third-round pick, according to Washington Post beat reporter Nicki Jhabvala.

It speaks volumes that, even with a crowded room of talented backs, the staff could find value in drafting another back, especially one they never envisioned getting in the late rounds.

Rodriguez has an interesting blend of talent as a 5-11, 224-pound running back who seeks out contact and punishes defenders, yet can make a cutback and run untouched for 60 yards. He’s no track star, but he’s sneaky fast on the football field when he keeps it north-south. He also runs angry at times, which makes for an interesting blend. I’m sure folks in the SEC were glad to see him go after 40 games as a Wildcat and 6.2 yards a carry for his career.

Check out the latest installment of Watchin’ Film With Phil below:

Here’s a rundown of this week’s show:

  • I reviewed background information on Rodriguez, including stats and personal information about why he was suspended for four games last year (0:00 - 1:15 in the video).
  • I discuss his ability to take hits and keep going, not to mention make good cutbacks and take off upfield (1:16 - 2:52 in the video).
  • I talk about his sneaky quickness for a guy who rarely goes down after the first hit (2:53 - 5:17 in the video).
  • I talked about his hands being a skill set that he had not been able to utilize very much while at Kentucky (5:18 - 5:50 in the video).
  • I talked about how his idol is Marshawn Lynch (why he wore 24 in college; he’ll wear 23 in 2023 since Antonio Gibson wears it in Washington) and showed an example of some of Lynch’s characteristics in his game (5:51 - 6:28 in the video)
  • I talked a little about what I look for when I watch RB film and then looked at some of Rodriguez’s long runs (6:55 - 8:05 in the video)
  • I take a look at some of his film that shows his blocking abilities (8:06 - 11:17 in the video)
  • I talked about something that showed up on film at the goal line, where he had some issues fumbling (11:18 - 12:54 in the video).
  • I go over his scouting report while a collection of his college film plays (12:55 - 16:45 in the video).
  • I give my thoughts on Rodriguez, including how he fits into the current running back room/depth chart while the collection of his college film continues to play (12:56 - 19:48 in the video).

If you haven't already, you can check out other reviews I’ve done this offseason:

Montez Sweat

Sam Howell

Nick Gates

Jacoby Brissett

Cody Barton

Andrew Wylie

Emmanuel Forbes

Jartavius Quan Martin

Braeden Daniels

KJ Henry

Kazmeir Allen