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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: Wide Receiver unit preview

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Having replaced Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks, the Rams’ WRs are a well-rounded, deep group. Can they continue to build on the chemistry they showed with QB Jared Goff in 2017?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
WR Brandin Cooks: 10/10
WR Robert Woods: 10/10
WR Cooper Kupp: 10/10
WR Pharoh Cooper: 9.5/10
WR Josh Reynolds: 8.5/10
WR Mike Thomas: 6.5/10
WR Ricky Jeune: 4.5/10
WR Steven Mitchell Jr.: 4/10
WR Fred Brown: .5/10
WR Kendal Thompson: N/A
WR Aaron Lacombe: N/A
WR KhaDarel Hodge: N/A
WR JoJo Natson Jr.: N/A

Roster Battle

The Los Angeles Rams headed into Week 1 with six receivers on the 53-man roster last year though that didn’t include Thomas who was on a four-game suspension to start the season. Normally, I would try to look back at least three years to try to determine what the team will do this season, but as 2017 was Sean McVay’s rookie season, it wouldn’t do us much good to look back into the Jeff Fisher era.

I think it’s pretty easy to lock in Cooks, Woods, Kupp, and Cooper - leaving the other six fighting for two roster spots. Reynolds likely leads that group. He is taller than any of the starting WRs, can be a red zone threat, has some big play ability, and contributes on special teams. I would be very surprised if he is cut.

The final roster spot will come down to whether Thomas can hold off a group of hungry younsters. This decision may default to Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel. Fassel has made a name for himself taking the last few spots on the 53-man roster and making them key players in the Rams outstanding special teams play.

Expectations

Continual improvement. Kupp and Woods were exceptional last season, but each had respective issues. Kupp had some really bad moments during crunch time last season and Woods missed some time due to a shoulder injury.

QB Jared Goff showed a lot of chemistry with his receivers last year especially Kupp. Cooks is going to want to put in extra time to develop that aspect of his game with Goff. Sammy Watkins didn’t do that last season, and it clearly showed throughout the season.

For the backups/specialists - do what you do on special teams, but be ready to contribute at any moment. The Rams are going to have a high flying offense again in 2018. You never know when the ball will come your way.