It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Rams, who had three receivers on the field more than any team in the NFL last season, will send WR Brandin Cooks, WR Robert Woods and WR Cooper Kupp onto the field for the vast majority of plays.
After that, fans might also expect for second-year WR Josh Reynolds to potentially see a slight increase in snaps. Special teams ace Pharoh Cooper could be even more involved in the offense in 2018 given the exodus of WR Tavon Austin via a draft-day trade to the Dallas Cowboys during the 2018 NFL Draft.
All five of these wideouts essentially have their roster spots locked in for the upcoming year. But the Rams will most likely keep a sixth receiver, and that spot is...we’ll call it up for grabs.
WR Mike Thomas, a holdover from the Jeff Fisher era as a sixth-round pick from the 2016 NFL Draft, held onto that sixth and final spot in 2017. He’ll have some competition from hungry newcomers this offseason.
Can he do enough to fend them off and retain his roster spot?
A quick look at the competition:
- WR Ricky Jeune - Roster Preview (4.5/10)
- WR Steven Mitchell Jr. - Roster Preview (4/10)
- WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez - Roster Preview (3.5/10)
- WR Fred Brown - Roster Preview (0.5/10)
Despite the fact that the TST staff are giving this bunch a relatively slim chance of making the final 53-man roster, Thomas is fighting to retain his roster spot against all four of them. Whether it be running with the offense or special teams units, there’s little room for error as the summer progresses.
Thomas played in less than 10% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2017, and 60% of those snaps came in Week 17 when Sean McVay opted to rest his starters in preparation for the playoffs.
That said, this final roster spot will likely come down to which player catches the eye of Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel. Thomas, who participated in about a third of the Rams’ special teams plays last year, has the edge based on experience and his familiarity with the staff.
But if one of the newcomers starts making some noise on special teams in training camp, well, that wouldn’t be ideal for Thomas.
Chances of making the final roster (6.5/10)
I’d venture to guess that Thomas is safe for another season. There are certainly worse options to have as your team’s WR6, and I’m not sure any of the four aforementioned newbies present a better alternative.
I also wouldn’t be shocked if one of the four UDFA’s makes a name for himself this offseason, and makes the decision process a little more difficult for the staff. As we inch towards training camp, I’m giving the edge to Thomas.
But the door is certainly open.