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2016 Rams Roster Preview: WR Nelson Spruce Impressing Early On

Nelson Spruce had one of the best careers in his school’s history. Can he transition from Colorado to the NFL ranks?

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Spruce is one of the most decorated players in the history of Colorado's football program. He racked up 3,347 yards and 23 touchdowns on 294 receptions over his four year career. He caught at least 44 passes in each season, topping out at 106 during his junior year.

Few receivers in the 2016 draft class were as good of possession receivers as Spruce. He is not a dynamic athlete or creator after the catch, but he knows how to be crafty and physical to create shallow separation. He is an intense football player, both before going up for the ball and while he attacks the ball. He is the type of player that puts it all out on the line every single snap.

Roster Battle

Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt and the two draftees, Pharoh Cooper and Michael Thomas, are all more than likely to be on the roster come Week 1. Assuming the Rams roster the same amount of receivers as last season, this leaves one, maybe two, spots left at wide receiver.

Spruce's main competition is Bradley Marquez and Brian Quick. Quick has constantly struggled throughout his career as a Ram. He has shown flashes of the talent that warranted a second round pick, but has failed to string those plays together with any sort of consistency. Marquez, on the other hand, caught on with the team last year and proved that he has a place in this league.


If the Rams receiver depth chart was not so stacked, Spruce would be easily have a roster spot. Unfortunately for him, with a recent first round pick and two fresh draftees on the team, many of the roster spots are locks and the remaining spots are going to be a battle. Spruce provides a stable, aggressive wide receiver for the Rams offense, an element that they tried to find in Britt. Spruce has the tenacity and natural hands to catch about 25-35 passes a year for 400 yards or so.

Chances of Making Final Roster (5/10)

Spruce deserves to be on the roster. He has impressed early on in the offseason and may be easing his foot into the doorway for a roster spot. That said, it is going to be a tough three-way battle for one or two roster spots in which both of his competitors are veterans. He certainly has NFL talent, it's just a matter of which flavor of receiver the Rams choose to roll with.