1. Eric Rogers, CB (transfer)
Rutgers’s pass defense was respectable last season, finishing 35th in the country in passing yards allowed. They didn’t pick many passes off, but opposing quarterbacks did not complete a high percentage of passes. Christian Braswell, last season’s leading interceptor, is gone. Max Melton and Robert Longerbeam, who finished second in interceptions last season, return.
Schiano and the defensive staff did address the defensive backfield in the portal. You can never have too many defensive backs when you play in a division with passing offenses like Maryland, Ohio State, and Penn State. The Scarlet Knights signed just two defensive backs out of high school, but three of their five portal signees were defensive backs.
Minnesota transfer safety Michael Dixon has an opportunity to be a day one starter, with last season’s starting safeties gone. Dixon is a long defender who can defend the deep half, come down, and cover running backs and tight ends. Northern Illinois transfer Eric Rogers returns home to play in New Jersey. Rogers lost time in the last two seasons due to injury.
However, he could compete for the third corner spot with Akron transfer Charles Amankwaa. Rogers’ length at 6-foot-2 makes him an exciting prospect for the long term with three years of eligibility left.