The Los Angeles Rams enter the 2021 season with two stud receivers. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have both been reliable targets for Jared Goff over the last couple of seasons, only missing a combined two games. With quarterback Matthew Stafford taking over the reins, he could push both of these receivers to new heights. The Rams know what they will get from these two, but what about in three-wide receiver sets? Let's break down the other receivers on the Rams depth chart.
WR DeSean Jackson
One of the most explosive receivers of the last 15 years, Jackson comes home to the Rams after growing up a Los Angeles native. A speedy deep threat, Jackson has battled a plethora of injuries as he has entered his 30s. Last season Jackson missed time with a Grade 2 hamstring pull and an ankle sprain and in 2019, an abdomen tear limited him to only three games in his return to Philadelphia. At 34-years-old, the Rams will use Jackson sparingly as a downfield threat, showcasing his world-class speed. While he won’t see a huge percentage of snaps, his ability to stretch out the defense will be valuable within the Rams offense.
WR Van Jefferson
The other incumbent receiver in addition to Woods and Kupp is Jefferson, who the Rams took in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Jefferson showed flashes in his rookie year but his best football is likely ahead of him. A Day 2 pick out of the University of Florida, Jefferson should step in and fill the role previously held by Josh Reynolds who signed with the Tennessee Titans. Jefferson was only on the field for 26% of snaps last season and posted 19 catches for 220 and 1 touchdown. In Week 17, Jefferson saw a season-high 60% of snaps and posted season highs with eight targets and four catches for 50 yards. With high draft capital invested in Jefferson, look for him to take the lion's share of snaps in three and four wide receiver sets.
WR Tutu Atwell
A receiver that should be utilized in many different ways, Atwell will provide a spark to the Rams' offense. With his elite speed and small frame, Atwell could be a prime candidate for screens and jet sweeps in Sean McVay’s creative offense. In his final year at the University of Louisville, Atwell posted 46 catches for 625 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games played. Similar to Jefferson, Atwell is a second-round pick and with high draft capital invested, it should get him some deep shots and screen passes at a consistent rate this year.
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WR Ben Skowronek
A seventh-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Skowronek snuck his way onto the Rams' 53-man roster despite breaking his forearm in a preseason game versus the Chargers. After spending his first four seasons in the college ranks at Northwestern, Skowronek transferred to Notre Dame for his final season of college football. In South Bend, he posted 29 catches for 439 yards and six total touchdowns, including one rushing touchdown. With the forearm injury, his status for week one is unknown, but when he does return, expect Skowronek to see the field mainly on special teams starting out.