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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: WR Cooper Kupp, slot machine

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In his rookie season,Kupp quickly became an vital cog in Head Coach Sean McVay’s offense. What to expect of Coop in Year 2?

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New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After a horrid offensive showing in 2016, the Los Angeles Rams knew they needed to get QB Jared Goff some help or the quarterback that they had given up so much to acquire with the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft would continue to waste away under a heap of half-baked takes and labels.

The 2017 offseason saw the Rams take a holistic approach to the saving their offense and salvaging what remained of their young quarterback. Firstly, they hit the ejector seat on former Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Offensive Coordinator Rob Boras clearing the way to hire offensive savant Sean McVay and an opulent stable of contemporary minds to fill out his staff. Next, former second overall pick Greg Robinson was traded to the Detroit Lions and replaced by former Bengals Pro Bowl LT Andrew Whitworth. Goff still would need some reliable targets so the Rams dipped into free agency to sign former Buffalo Bills WR Robert Woods.

Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the Rams took South Alabama TE Gerald Everett along with Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp at the 69th pick. While Everett and Kupp both learned their craft away from the bright lights of major conferences, the Rams felt that both would each serve important roles in McVay’s offense.

Kupp ended up being such a gem that McVay ultimately ended up being able to lean more toward 11 sets (one RB, one TE) as opposed to the 12 sets (one RB, two TEs) that he had relied on so heavily during his tenure in Washington. Consequently, Kupp ended being named to the PFWA All-Rookie team while the Rams delayed ways to get Everett more involved.

Kupp arrived in LA as an already fairly polished slot receiver after four seasons in Eastern Washington. He quickly became the security blanket that Goff had lacked in his rookie season. As a rookie, Kupp was one the premier late down receivers in the entire league, averaging over 7 yards per reception on third and fourth downs. Relying on shifty moves to create space in crowds, Kupp was also one of the league’s best receivers against press coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. Alongside Woods and Brandin Cooks, Kupp’s skill set is already a crucial component in one of the league’s better groups of receivers.

Despite having arrived on the scene as such a polished player, Kupp will continue to make tweaks to improve his game. Kupp had 62 catches for 869 yards in 15 games, but will look to cut down on drops some of which happened during high profile moments last season.

Roster Battle

Kupp is a vital part of the Rams’ starting trio of receivers.

The Rams’ current fourth receiver is WR Josh Reynolds (roster preview), who like Kupp is a potential weapon for Goff in the red zone when things get crowded. While Reynolds has nice upside, it’s difficult to envision McVay straying away from Woods and Kupp much after they helped power last season’s offensive juggernaut.

Expectations

Last season, Kupp played in 15 games. If you prorate his stats over 16 games, he would have ended up with 66 catches for 927 yards. So look for Kupp to have a similar stat line but to clean up the drops.

Kupp should be looked at to remain a vital cog in McVay’s offense.

Chances Of Making Final Roster (10/10)

Part ways with one of the leagues top rookies? They wouldn’t do that to Goff.

Kupps up.