The LA Rams are off to a 6-1 start and much of that is thanks to an offense that ranks third in third down conversion rate, is four-of-seven on fourth down, ranks third in points per drive, and first in net yards per pass attempt. We give a lot of credit to Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp for that — understandably so — but if Stafford could do it all on his own or with a number one receiver, he wouldn’t have asked to leave the Lions.
These three players have not had long careers yet. If they continue playing like they have over the first seven games, with a lot of credit going to some blocks you’ll see below, they will have long careers eventually.
C Brian Allen
There were a number of Rams starters who sat out the preseason in spite of question marks about their ability to start based on past experiences. Allen appears to be one of those names that is actually meeting the hype, as Sean McVay called him a “stand out” in training camp and he has been consistently praised by people inside and outside of the organization all season.
Hell of a rep from 55 C Brian Allen on this screen pic.twitter.com/6L4yZPE6iT— Josh Cohen (@JCohen_NFL) September 29, 2021
Allen has consistently graded out as one of LA’s best offensive linemen this season, though nobody on the offensive line is having a bad year.
WR Van Jefferson
With a year under his belt and a change at quarterback, Van Jefferson has been elevated from being the team’s number four receiver to being targeted more times in seven games (33) this year than he was in 16 games (31) last year.
Look familiar? This is basically what the Seahawks ran at the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX. Watch what No. 12, Van Jefferson, does to create a clean passing lane. If only … https://t.co/bgqnsrD9kV— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) October 24, 2021
Jefferson has seen his yards per catch go up by 2.9 yards and his yards per target go up by 2.1 with the change over from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford, as well as the departure of Josh Reynolds. It would seem that the Rams also have an upgrade to Reynolds with Jefferson stepping in as the new number three.
With a path to having a long relationship with Stafford ahead. Jefferson has been targeted four times in the red zone so far this year (scoring twice), which is more than the three red zone targets he had all of 2020.
RB Darrell Henderson
Despite not having the production of many number one running backs, this is the best version of Darrell Henderson in the NFL that I’ve ever seen. Best of all, he is healthy enough to play and he is on the brink of have more receiving yards this season (15 catches for 138 yards) than he did in the first two years of his career (20 catches, 196 yards).
Darrell Henderson in pass pro passing off a game like a natural OL pic.twitter.com/gTUnpeYQIN— Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP) October 26, 2021
Henderson has caught six first downs, almost more than the eight he had in all of 2020.