The Los Angeles Rams wide receiver room is an interesting one to say the least. While Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson likely have the top two spots locked up, the third wide receiver spot is wide open. One of the players who will be competing for that third wide receiver spot is Ben Skowronek but his versatility is one of his greatest assets.
Skowronek is a former seventh-round pick who has undoubtedly outplayed his draft position. He stepped up last year as the Rams wide receiver room dwindled due to injury. He also showed some versatility as a blocker, lining up as a fullback.
Between now and the Rams’ first preseason game, I’m going to preview approximately 45 players on the roster. The goal here will be to highlight players looking to take that next step in 2023 as well as players who will serve as key depth on the roster. I may expand into the occasional star or roster-bubble player, but for the most part we’ll be looking at the players who will truly make or break the Rams season.
Today, we’re looking at Ben Skowronek.
2022 Season in Review
Skowronek’s rookie season was a rocky one to say the least. He dropped a touchdown in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. One of Matthew Stafford’s interceptions in the Super Bowl went off of Skowronek’s hands.
Still, he stepped up to the plate last season when his number was called. As a bigger wide receiver, Skowronek showcased his blocking ability, lining up as a fullback. One of the more impressive catches of the season came at the hands of Skowronek on the game-winning drive against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Skowronek finished with 376 yards, but showed that he may be ready to take that next step as he heads into year three.
The Good/Best Case Scenario
One of the more impressive things about Skowronek is his willingness to do whatever is asked of him. He’s not afraid to get dirty and block and he’s not afraid to line up as a fullback and take on linebackers head on.
Skowronek with a monster chip on JJ + catch on the same play pic.twitter.com/IZWehuzJeL— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 29, 2022
His ability to block in the run game is what makes him such a valuable piece on the Rams offense. Having a player that can do this can give the Rams offense a huge advantage as it allows them to run two backs out of 11 personnel. This may end up being a new trend that we see more of in NFL offenses.
Ben Skowronek woke up on Sunday and chose violence. pic.twitter.com/U0cLxtX7LN— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) September 22, 2022
The best case scenario for Skowronek in 2023 is that he continues to develop as a wide receiver. His blocking ability should give him a leg up when it comes to the third wide receiver spot. If he can continue to develop as a wide receiver, he could be a fun swiss-army knife type player in the Rams offense.
The Bad/Worst Case Scenario
While Skowronek is a fun player, he is still limited in terms of what he can do as a receiver and his overall athleticism. He did more good things last year, but he still needs to find overall consistency. As a seventh-round pick, that’s something that may not happen.
It doesn’t seem likely, but the worst case scenario is that Skowronek gets buried on the Rams wide receiver depth chart. TuTu Atwell has shown improvement and Puka Nacua is a promising player. Additionally, the Rams signed Demarcus Robinson as a free agent. There will be a lot of competition for Skowronek.
Biggest Question: What will Ben Skowronek’s role be in the offense?
This is an intriguing question, because the Rams could do a lot of fun things with Skowronek. They did it last year when he lined up as a fullback. It would be great to see them expand on that. Skowronek lined up against a linebacker in the passing game, is a huge mismatch for most defenses.
With his blocking ability, the Rams have the ability to utilize Skowronek as a tight end. This may end up being his future in the offense. The Rams do currently have four tight ends who will be competing for roster spots. Having Skowronek as a player who can do similar things as a tight end may allow them to only keep three tight ends as opposed to all four.
It seems likely this season that Skowronek is the primary third wide receiver on early downs with Atwell and others rotating in situationally.
There will be a competition for the third wide receiver spot in training camp. Skowronek may be the early favorite. With that said, TuTu Atwell has taken some strides in his development. Additionally, Puka Nacua is a player that Rams coaches raved about during OTAs. Demarcus Robinson shouldn’t be discounted either.
Skowronek is going to make the final roster. His spot on the depth chart however will need to be earned during training camp. Given his versatility and experience in the offseason, he should have the early advantage.
2023 Outlook and What to Expect
The expectation for Skowronek this season should be for him to continue to develop as a wide receiver and therefore expanding his role in the offense. With his background as a tight end, Skowronek allows the Rams to do things that they can’t do with some of their other wide receivers. Heading into year three, we need to see more consistency and growth from Skowronek.
Chances of Making Final Roster
It would be a major surprise if the Rams cut Skowronek given his experience in the offense and what he brings to the table. Even if he is surpassed by players like Atwell, Nacua, and Robinson, Skowronek would make the roster as the sixth wide receiver.
Final Roster Confidence: 10/10