The Los Angeles Rams are finishing out their first week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at Cal Lutheran, their Thousand Oaks facility. A large percentage of this time is for Sean McVay and the coaching staff is to get the team, particularly rookies and new players, up to speed on the way their practices will be run. In addition, Sean McVay and Raheem Morris use this time to begin the installation of their offensive and defensive packages for the upcoming season. With over 40 new players on the roster, LA will need to be patient as they implement their systems and for their young players to absorb the new information. McVay and Morris are getting their first glimpse of who may start along the team’s 25 roster positions...
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Position Battle #2: WR3
Another position that is still without certainty is the Rams wide receiver #3. Last year, Van Jefferson was the projected #3 but a setback in training camp delayed him from seeing the field until after LA’s bye week. This year, Allen Robinson is no longer on the team, implying Van Jefferson will assume the #2 role behind Cooper Kupp. The “promotion” leaves the Rams with a WR3 vacancy. Of the Rams wide receivers on the depth chart - only Tutu Atwell, Puka Nacua, and Bennett Skowronek figure to be in mix for the job. Each receiver possesses unique traits and McVay’s decision may not be easy.
Tutu Atwell is the Rams 2021 second round draft pick. Fans have had a field day with Atwell’s career so far. The high draft pick has only yielded 18 receptions, 298 yards, one receiving touchdown (and one rushing touchdown) in 21 career games. To play devil’s advocate: in Year One - Atwell was stuck behind Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, and DeSean Jackson before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury. In Year Two - Sean McVay admitted that he dropped the ball on giving Atwell opportunities AND Liam Coen failed to scheme a top-caliber offense. It’s now or never with Atwell. Atwell has elite speed. He’s even shown quality hands.
If he can create consistent separation in his routes, a break-out season could be in store...
Los Angeles selected Nacua with the 177th overall pick (fifth round) in this past year’s draft. Nacua has received comparison to former Los Angeles fan favorite - Robert Woods.
The BYU wideout uses his leverage and angles efficiently. Nacua also has the ability to fill the need of a jet sweep option in the event Atwell is not on the field. A role that Robert Woods used to hold. Nacua isn’t going to overtake defenses with his speed or athleticism, but he has the talent to be a possession wide receiver with his fundamentals. The rookie has already made positive impressions in OTAs and some believe he could be WR2 by season’s end.
As a seventh rounder in 2021, Skowronek continues to carve out a role on the depth chart year after year. The Notre Dame wideout has 50 career receptions and 509 yards but has failed to record a receiving touchdown thus far. However, his production is double that of his teammate Tutu Atwell, who was drafted five rounds before him. Skowronek does not have any above-average physical tools, but he is a versatile option. Skowronek gives LA a FB-WR hybrid option, disguising their offensive scheme. He is a capable run-blocker for a Sean McVay offense that relies on wide receivers sealing lanes and edges.
Benny Sko’s ceiling is the lowest among the three options, but he has the most rapport with Matthew Stafford.
Who will be WR3 at the start of Week 1?
This poll is closed
The Los Angeles Rams may elect to use a committee approach with this trio, but for Stafford’s consistency, it would be most beneficial if one of them ran away with the job...