When a team is severely lacking talent, such as the 2011 Rams, the NFL Draft is where they look to build. Hitting or missing in the draft can be the difference between Super Bowl bound and top 5 pick bound. Analysts constantly review and reanalyze team drafts to see how each individual team came out. Comparing the Rams rookie wideouts to other teams rookies at this point in the season may offer some perspective as to how they stack up. There is one caveat. Obviously, not all teams handle rookies the same and some teams are forced to play young players before they would like due to a lack of talent.
This article will explore a few different statistics in order to try and understand how the Rams rookie wideouts stack up to others around the league. Total snaps, overall production, and what the situation was at each rookies position when they joined their respective team will be the areas of focus.
Total Offensive Snaps:
Brian Quick - 49 snaps
Chris Givens - 194 snaps
Michael Floyd - 156 snaps
A.J. Jenkins - 0 snaps
Justin Blackmon - 266 snaps
Kendall Wright - 264 snaps
Alshon Jeffery - 214 snaps
Ryan Broyles - 29 snaps
These snap counts came from Football Outsiders.
At first glance, these snap counts may indicate that Blackmon and Wright have made a much larger impact than their rookie counterparts. However, snap counts can be very misleading by themselves. The true story starts to take form once we see the production to go along with these snap counts.
Brian Quick - 2 receptions, 7 targets, 20 yards, 0 TD
Chris Givens - 7 receptions, 22 targets, 197 yards, 1 TD
Michael Floyd - 7 receptions, 17 targets, 84 yards, 1 TD
A.J. Jenkins - 0 receptions, 0 targets, 0 yards, 0 TD
Justin Blackmon - 13 receptions, 33 targets, 119 yards, 0 TD
Kendall Wright - 33 receptions, 52 targets, 285 yards, 2 TD
Alshon Jeffery - 14 receptions, 23 targets, 184 yards, 2 TD
Ryan Broyles - 0 receptions, 0 targets, 0 yards, 0 TD
The production these rookies put up, coupled with how many snaps they've played, allows us to form a picture of how much impact each player has had. While Blackmon has played the most snaps, he is behind Wright, Jeffery, and Givens in output. Poor quarterback play could be blamed, but one could also look to Blackmon failing to gain separation from opposing defensive backs. Givens, a Rams 4th round pick, trails only Titans 1st round selection Kendall Wright in yards. Brian Quick, who is considered a project, is playing more as the season wears on.
A.J. Jenkins and Ryan Broyles have failed to see snaps and production. Their lack of playing time and production can be attributed to their teams prior wide receiving core. Jenkins came into a team that already consisted of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, Ted Ginn, and Michael Crabtree. As for Broyles, his team features the best wideout in the league, Megatron. The Lions also have Nate Burleson, and Titus Young. Compare that to Givens and Quick who came into a team featuring Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, and Austin Pettis.
While Quick is not producing at the levels some may have expected, the Rams rookies are keeping pace with their counterparts. Givens has offered the Rams a vertical threat that they haven't had in some time. Quick has the skill set and the physical tools to develop into something special. With Amendola out, both wideouts are gaining valuable experience and are being given a chance to develop chemistry with Sam Bradford. Overall, I would say fans should have a positive outlook for both Rams rookie wideouts, and breathe a sigh of relief that we didn't draft Justin Blackmon.