clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Los Angeles Rams WR Nelson Spruce Among PFF's Top 5 Impact Rookie UDFAs

New, comments

Pro Football Focus has tabbed the Rams UDFA out of Colorado as a potential hit in 2016.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With the effort to remake the Los Angeles Rams' offense in 2016 following a season in which they were dead last in yards, they've brought in a jumble of new names on the wide receiver depth chart. Along with two new drafted wideouts are a trio of UDFAs who will certainly be a factor in training camp.

In fact, Pro Football Focus has tabbed one of those three UDFAsColorado WR Nelson Spruceamong their top five rookie UDFAs who could "make an impact" in 2016:

As the Rams build around first-overall pick Jared Goff, the rookie QB could potentially look to the sure-handed Spruce early in his career.

The former Colorado standout was a reliable possession receiver for the Buffaloes, averaging 11.9 yards per catch in 2015, and 11.3 in 2014. Last season, Spruce earned the 17th-highest-grade among WRs in the class, and the second-best grade for a Pac-12 wideout (right behind UCLA’s Jordan Payton). What’s more, he owned the ninth-best drop rate in the class, mishandling just four of 93 catchable targets in 2015.

Spruce impressed PFF’s analysts enough to earn the No. 145 spot on our final draft board, just six WR spots behind new teammate Pharoh Cooper, the Rams’ second fourth-round pick. Both Cooper and Spruce will likely be expected to contribute within a Rams’ offense that ranked 31st overall in receiving grade last season. Spruce may not be the team’s game-breaker, but he brings consistency that could help the LA offense move the chains.

I think the question is how the Rams group their wideouts. You've got the gamebreaker types in Tavon Austin and Cooper. You've got the physical types with Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. And then you've got the mid-sized guys of variable skills like Spruce or fellow rookie Mike Thomas or Bradley Marquez.

Flushing out those categories and assessing how many from each will make the roster will be the defining effort throughout training camp as it pertains to the WR depth chart.

As it stands, Spruce certainly has his backers to come out of that third group as a viable option in 2016.