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Rams receivers measure up

Remember when the Rams drafted Donnie Avery, one of the main criticisms was Avery's size. Listed at 5'11" 184 lbs, Avery didn't fit with the conventional wisdom of what a top WR looked like, especially the first one taken in the draft.

Yet, around the league guys like Avery and fellow rookie (and subject of a who's better debate here at TST) DeSean Jackson (5'10" 175lbs) are reminding us all of that age old axiom that's sustained the self-confidence of many an Irishman: it's not the size, it's how you use it.

Teams now place increasing value on speed, route running and run after catch ability of their WRs. Part of that, as speculated in this must-read article about the evolution of wide receivers, has to do with faster, more skilled pass rushers giving QBs less and less time to work in the pocket.

The Rams of old, or or recent anyway, pioneered the use of the speedy, deft route runners to execute their version of the spread offense. While Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are listed at 6' each, they fit more into that skill set, than the 6'3" 200+ lbs WR who takes a pounding in the middle from opposing linebackers and safeties. Don't forget Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald that were key cogs in that system too.

Looking at the Rams group of receivers today, you can see the trend continues for the most part. WR Keenan Burton, 6'0", is the heavist of the group listed at 202 lbs. Bennett is the only one of the bunch over 6', standing at 6'5". You'll recall that he was brought in to do the work traditionally expected of a big guy, but has just never lived up to expectations. Now that the offense is starting to get results, we're seeing exactly what we've got in our receivers and have reason to be encouraged.