We talked about them before. We are talking about them now. We will talk about them again. Today I'm taking a look at the most intriguing position for the St. Louis Rams who start camp on Sunday, wide receiver. To say this position has been a weakness for the Rams the last few seasons is beyond understatement. There have been very few positives from the receivers since the release of the great Torry Holt in 2009.
The Rams were unable to sign any of the big names in free agency, so they were forced seek help in the draft. Brain Quick and Chris Givens were selected to improve what probably is the worst group in the NFL.
There will likely be six receiver spots with 10 players competing for them. Only a few spots are already reserved. This will be a wide open battle that will be the talk of camp and preseason. How will it shape up?
Guaranteed a spot
Brain Quick: He was drafted 33rd overall, so there is no chance that he would be left off the final roster. He is a big and physical receiver, something the Rams could really use. It's a huge jump from Appalachian St to the NFL. He'll be a guy to keep your eyes glued to in training camp.
Chris Givens: Being picked in the fourth round this year also gives him a spot. He is fast, damn fast, but he also has two surgically repaired knees, which explains his fall in the draft. Did I mention that he is fast?
Danny Amendola: Danny is coming off a serious elbow injury, but two years ago he had a 90 catch season with Sam Bradford under center. Talk all you want about his lack of athleticism, but he has better chemistry with Bradford than anybody on the team.
There are seven guys left for three spots and any of them has a reasonable chance to make the final 53, well except UDFAs Mike Campbell and Nick Johnson, who are likely camp bodies.
Greg Salas: Salas impressed many with his play last season before he broke his leg. He is a more athletic, taller version of Danny Amendola, but without the game experience or savvy. He likely has a spot, but he has to show the coaching staff he has improved and he is fully healed.
Austin Pettis: The Rams made a big investment in Austin Pettis, selecting him in the third round in 2010, but he was largely a disappointment in his first season. His drops were gut wrenching to watch. To top that off, he was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy (rumor has it that it was for adderall). He still has two games on his suspension. He has an uphill battle, but he is talented.
Steve Smith: The Rams brought in Steve Smith in free agency hoping that he can get over his injuries. Smith had a 1,200-yard season in 2009, but he missed basically two years with devastating knee injuries. If healthy, he can be a very productive possession receiver for the Rams, but that is a enormous if.
Danario Alexander: DX is tall. DX is fast. DX can make explosive, downfield plays. Sadly, DX also has knees made of glass. He should make the team, if he can show that he is ready to go health wise.
Brandon Gibson: Laugh all you want, but Gibson has a really good shot at making the team. Yes, he drops passes. No, he is not a number one receiver. It is frustrating to watch him play, but people need to focus on what he can do. He has 1,400 receiving yards in three years, acceptable production for a backup. Gibson has experience at X, Y, and Z, a huge bonus for him. Despite a lack of great speed, Gibson has shown an ability to get down the field. Gibson can be a solid option as a fourth or fifth receiver for a team, but he and Steve Smith are basically the same player, with Steve Smith having more experience. I can only see the Rams keeping one or the other. It'll come down to the health of Smith.
Follow me on Twitter for news about the WRs in training camp. I'll be in attendance at many of the open practices live tweeting.