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Sorting Out Jared Goff's Top Receivers for 2016

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The Rams receiver group is a grab bag of all sorts of different talents. There's a little something for every type of quarterback, and rookie shot caller Jared Goff will have a buffet of options that he can choose to cling to.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams receiver group is a grab bag of all sorts of different talents. There's a little something for every type of quarterback, and rookie shot caller Jared Goff will have a buffet of options that he can choose to cling to. More than likely, Tavon Austin will once again lead the team in receptions, but it will be interesting to see how Goff ends up distributing the ball and who he starts trusting early on.

Tavon Austin

Austin is the playmaker. He has not quite lived up to his draft slot thus far, but his type of player is not meant to be the focal point of a passing offense and for him to have had the success he has had being that guy is impressive. He is an electric player with the ball in his hands, sporting the speed and quickness to turn a quick "drag" route into a 25-plus yard gain.

Despite his questionable ability in traffic, Austin serves as somewhat of a deep threat, too. His route running has become a bit more nuanced over the years, allowing him to use his raw speed to separate after forcing a defensive back to commit too early on way or the other. Austin can't be a receiver who gets 120 targets because of the limitations he has catching in traffic, but the payoff for manufacturing him touches and letting him work as a deep threat is outstanding.

Peak Austin:

Kenny Britt

If Britt could string together some consistent play, he would be the clear cut top target because of what his skill set is. Britt is a stereotypical "X" receiver at 6'3", 220 (give or take a few pounds). He has shown he can win in contested situations, box out defensive backs and even do a good job of separating by fighting with defenders throughout his route, but Britt has not been able to consistently do those things well. Flashes of high-level ability in those areas come from time to time, but not often enough for him to be heavily trusted.

That said, he certainly has value. Britt is a veteran presence whose sporadic ability to dominate catch points will give Goff some sense of security when looking his way. Britt also may be the best deep threat on the team because of his ability to fight for the ball and fight throughout his route to create a pocket of separation in a moment's notice.

Peak Britt:

Brian Quick

Quick is the ultimate tease. Every so often, he flashes something that once again makes people believe something is there. Then he disappears for a long stretch. He has the size, athletic prowess and natural ability to locate the ball that should make him deadly, but he's yet to put everything together and consistently be a threat. With as many other options are there are now, he can be a viable third receiver and a good fourth receiver.

Peak Quick:

Mike Thomas (rookie)

Of the two drafted receivers in 2016 (whose receiving charts can be found here, via Matt Harmon), Thomas is more intriguing. He is a well-built receiver who made a name for himself at Southern Mississippi by physically abusing opponents and boxing out defenders at every level of the field. Thomas can create room for himself by beating up defenders throughout the route and, if the play is still contested, has the hops and strength to go up and win the ball in the air. Thomas is the most likely man on the roster to become Goff's security blanket in due time.

Thomas provides a lot of the same things Britt does, and is even be scarier after the catch. It is doubtful that he outplays Britt out of the gate because the veteran will have more nuance to his game, but Thomas may very quickly close in on Britt. With Britt being a free agent after 2016, Thomas should allow the team to move on from Britt and spend capital elsewhere.

Peak Thomas:

Pharoh Cooper (rookie)

If anyone can be a simple chain mover for the Rams, it is Cooper. He is not a dynamic athlete, he does not dominate in traffic or down the field and he isn't a big-bodied fellow. What Cooper does do, though, is run routes well and expose open areas of the field when the defense is running zone coverage. He can create quick separation in the short/intermediate game that will allow Goff to pick up a safe chunk of yards. Cooper can be the same type of player that Jarvis Landry is for the Miami Dolphins, though Landry's understanding of zones and where space is surpasses most other receivers in the league. Cooper is not quite as advanced in that area, but he provides that same dynamic underneath and is more of a threat with the ball in his hands than Landry has ever been.

Peak Cooper: