The St. Louis Rams did it. The front office finally provided their franchise quarterback, Sam Bradford, with some weapons. After three seasons, the jury is still out on how good will Bradford be, but adding players that opposing defenses will have worry about is a big step forward.
The Rams might have a group of talented receivers, but they're still young and inexperienced. The longest tenured receiver is third-year pro Austin Pettis, and so far his career hasn't taken off as much as the Rams hoped when they drafted him in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Many people will think in terms of where a receiver falls on the depth chart. With the Rams, receivers will be more interchangeable during the course of the game. The most important thing is to find mismatches. The Rams believe that they can do that with this group of receivers.
Chris Givens - This season will be Givens' second in the league. He's the best weapon on the team right now with a track record in the pros. He holds the rookie record for most consecutive games with a 50+ yard reception. It's obvious Givens is an impressive deep threat. Now, he needs to become a player who makes defenses worry about shorter yards - like slants and curls. This off-season, it's been reported that Givens has added muscle, and the Rams have also been toying with the idea of using him all around the field.
Brian Quick- After last season's disappointing rookie season, Quick will be looking to rebound and possibly start for the team. It was unfair to expect much from Quick during his rookie year. It's hard enough to transition from Division I football to the NFL as a rookie; it's even harder to come from an FCS school into the NFL. The Rams knew they wanted to take it slow with with Quick last season. Now, the Rams need him to start, or to at least be reliable enough for a heavy dose of snaps this year. It will be interesting to see if the Rams will just let Quick play or sit him again if he starts off slow.
Tavon Austin- Austin is the headliner of the wide receiver group. He was one of the most electrifying players in college football. He figures to be a big player in the Rams offense, which will have more spread looks this season. The Rams have talked about moving Austin around in all the receiver spots, but he figures to have a home as the slot receiver and a second home at running back. Also, it's important to remember that he will be a returner for the Rams. Keep an eye on how the Rams use Austin from game to game. Will he have the kind of impact as a rookie that many expect?
Austin Pettis - Pettis is somewhat underrated going into his 3rd season. He's the most experienced receiver on the roster. Many don't have any expectations for him, and that's understandable since he was drafted by the old regime and hasn't done much to establish himself. He's a possession receiver. He can make catches in the red zone and move the chains when there's less than 5 yards to go. He's played some outside and in the slot.
Stedman Bailey - He's the wildcard. Bailey has the talent to be a good receiver. The problem is whether or not he will get a chance this season. Bailey could be a starter on a few teams. He figures to get a few snaps in 2013, but he'll have to beat out some other players to increase his workload. He probably has the best hands on the team, and the deceptive speed to beat his man deep. Bailey can be used in the slot and outside as well.
The rest of the wide receivers are camp bodies, unless one of the above players are injured.
Emory Blake - Last season at Auburn, Blake finished the season with 50 receptions, 789 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Which wasn't great but, he was the most productive player on his team, bar none, on offense. He doesn't have great speed (ran a 4.6 at his pro day), but he was productive. It wouldn't be a surprise if he ended up a solid depth player, or maybe just a practice squad guy.
Andrew Helmick - Camp body
Nick Johnson - Camp body
Raymond Radway - Camp body
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