Having just re-upped Tavon Austin on a four year, $42M deal, I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t a fan of the Los Angeles Rams drafting Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp.
“Short-sighted” and “premature” are now words that come to mind regarding the rookie receiver, who’s exceeded expectations all offseason, and is proving that he’s more than just an oversized slot receiver. Egg-faced and crow eating, I stand before you.
As Pro Football Focus notes here, the Rams moved Kupp all over the field on Saturday night, putting on display how versatile he can be for their offense in his very first year.
Cooper Kupp lined up all over the formation for the Rams tonight pic.twitter.com/ZSFkK6B3Rd— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 13, 2017
Kupp finished his Ram’ debut with two catches on three targets (one drop), totaling 35 yards. His first catch of the preseason came early in the first quarter — a 19 yard gain, his longest of the game.
But his most impressive play of the day - more so than recovering a first quarter fumble for the Rams only touchdown of the day - came in the second quarter when he catches a ball just beyond the line of scrimmage, forces a few missed tackles along the sideline, and gets the first down. He could’ve just run out of bounds, putting the Rams in position for a 3rd-and-short situation (which the Rams don’t often execute), but the extra effort earned him four more yards, and a fresh set of downs.
It’ll be exciting to see Kupp grow in this offense, and as an NFL player, especially when the Rams do get Sammy Watkins on the field — shifting the opponents focus to the Rams’ newest weapon.