I really like what the Rams did to improve their receiving corps both through Free Agency and, more specifically, the draft. In order to sort out my own thoughts and see what we have and where we have it on offense, I've decided to compile what I believe the Rams depth chart at the WR position will look like, before cuts. So let's get started.
WR 1 - Brian Quick, Denario Alexander, Chris Givens
I'm considering this to be the "X" spot in our offense; on the side of the field that will generally only have 1 receiver in 3 WR sets.
WR 2 - Chris Givens, Steve Smith, Brandon Gibson
The other outside spot. Generally will have either a slot receiver or a TE, or both on the same side of the field.
This is the slot receiver, where we have a ton of depth.
WR 4 - Steve Smith, Greg Salas, Austin Pettis
I doubt we'll use many 4 WR sets, but another inside WR spot.
I really like the versatility of what we'll be able to do with this group of guys, and I'm really hoping we can have a dynamic passing attack to compliment our running game.
Quick gives us a size advantage that a good throwing relationship with Sam Bradford should greatly benefit both of them. He'll have the opportunity to be very productive in the red zone, and will probably lead the Rams in receiving TDs. If DX can stay healthy and make it through camp, he provides a more than adequate backup for Quick.
Givens gives us a tremendous route running speedster who can either line up outside or inside. At either place, he's a dynamic big play threat.
Amendola will continue to be Bradford's safety blanket and third down go-to-guy if he can jump back from this injury. I doubt he'll be as relied upon as he was in the 2010 campaign, but he could still end up with a very high catch total... I doubt he'll carry much of the return duties this year.
Steve Smith provides a great inside or outside receiver who can be a phenomenal backup that, if healthy, will be able to step in to give Givens or Amendola a breather when they're tired, or provide long term production if either of those guys get hurt.
Gibson is.... well, Gibson. If he makes it through camp, he might actually have a chance to be productive on the outside, especially as a backup. I believe the drops issue was a mental thing that resulted from bad coaching, as it flooded our entire receiving corps last year... not just Gibson.
Salas is another good option in the slot, and we'll see just how much he gets used if he makes it through camp. I think he has enough upside to be kept around this year.
Pettis is my guess of the first guy to get the boot. He's already suspended for the first two games, and I don't think he can provide anything that the rest of our receivers can't. However, I don't know what the coaches see, so I could be wrong.
Thoughts? Corrections? Let's hear it.