The Rams have enjoyed consistency with one of the most productive Receiver Duos in the League in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. The question each season has been who is the third receiver to lean on when it comes to 3 WR sets, downfield attacks, or mismatch opportunities. During Training Camp of last season there was a battle for Wide Receiver 3 taking place between veteran Josh Reynolds and then rookie Van Jefferson. During Training Camp of this season, Reynolds will have moved on as a free agent, and now Van Jefferson will again be competing to solidify his position as the next receiver in the mix after Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
The rams have also added free agent veteran DeSean Jackson and rookie 2nd Round Draft Pick Tutu Atwell to compete for a WR position. So the idea of a clear and consistent WR3 or Slotback becomes a bit more dynamic than on other offenses and that seems to be by McVay design. But what are the chances that Van Jefferson takes the role of the 2020 Josh Reynolds that accounted for 52 receptions, 618 receiving yards, an 11.9 yard average and 2 touchdowns?
Reynolds was a 4th round pick and had only crossed 500 yards in his 4th season. Van Jefferson was drafted in the 2nd round and will be entering his 2nd season. Both are of relative size and speed 6'1" and 6'3" and both ran a 4.5 second 40 yard dash entering the league. Last season Van Jefferson had 19 receptions for 220 yards, an 11.6 yard average and 1 Touchdown.
In Jefferson's favor is the fact that he grew up close to the game with his father being a NFL WR for 13 years and now an NFL WR coach. In 2020, Van Jefferson impressed with his route running and body position ability hitting downfield in Game 1 against the Cowboys for 31 yards and also getting in the end zone against the Buccaneers in week 11. So far, through OTAs Coach Sean McVay has mentioned Jefferson as one of the players who looks improved over last season and one that he plans on relying on this season. Van Jefferson admits that coming into this season, his understanding of the game and the offense has improved over last season. How he performs and where he enters the rotation and depth will be one of the things to keep an eye on when Training Camp Starts on July 28th.