When the LA Rams drafted Tutu Atwell with the 57th overall pick, it wasn’t so that the team could get immediately better. As much as many fans wanted to see a pick that would do that — such as an offensive lineman who might be able to push a veteran for a job on the inside — few players drafted outside of the first round will be immediate contributors.
Many day one prospects will become immediate afterthoughts too, at least until their day comes and for many of them, that won’t be in 2021.
However, we know there are always exceptions that prove the rule. The Buccaneers won a Super Bowl last season with significant contributions from tackle Tristan Wirfs and safety Antoine Winfield, Jr.. The Chargers found an instant upgrade to what they had in the waning days of Philip Rivers, in the form of Justin Herbert. The Steelers, Vikings, Broncos, Cowboys, and Bengals all had rookies who toped 800 receiving yards.
Though it is rare to find first-year contributors who are selected on day three, wide receivers Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney, guards Michael Onwenu and Solomon Kindley, and safeties Jordan Fuller and Kamren Curl defied the odds and had instant impacts.
What if the Rams got extraordinarily fortunate with their 2021 rookies and found some immediate contributors? Or what if younger players from recent draft classes ended up beating out veterans who were a little (or a lot) older? What could the Rams 2021 offense look like in that scenario?
Here’s a shot at it, but then you tell me what I’m missing:
QB - Matthew Stafford, 33
No question that Stafford is the starter in all scenarios, so we will move on.
RB - Cam Akers, 22
In any case, LA will have a young starter at running back. In all cases, it should be Akers.
WR - Cooper Kupp, 28
WR - Robert Woods, 29
WR - Tutu Atwell, 21
Realistically, Kupp and Woods aren’t going anywhere. But what if Atwell just deserves more playing time and targets than 34-year-old DeSean Jackson?
TE - Brycen Hopkins, 24
We don’t really know anything about Hopkins yet. There will be clamoring for Jacob Harris here too maybe, but Harris is the same age. Tyler Higbee is 28. Not old, but older.
LT - Joseph Noteboom, 25
LG - David Edwards, 24
C - Coleman Shelton, 25
RG - Austin Corbett, 25
RT - Bobby Evans, 24
I wouldn’t call this assembly “realistic” but the whole point of the exercise is to see what is possible. Here, we see that the average age of the offensive line with Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein is 28.4. The average age with these players is — clearly — a shade under 25.
This would be maybe the youngest offense in the NFL and relatively speaking, even Stafford is young compared to some of his best NFC counterparts at quarterback.
Could the Rams make the playoffs with this offense and no changes on defense?
This poll is closed