Expectations are high for former Eastern Washington star wide receiver Cooper Kupp heading into his first season with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Los Angeles Rams entered the 2017 NFL Draft in search of adding weapons for Jared Goff to work with in the passing game, and despite using their first pick in the second round on tight end Gerald Everett, their best value pick may have been in the third round with Cooper Kupp. The former Eastern Washington standout was considered one of the top wide receivers from this year’s draft class, and based off his production in college, it’s hard not to wonder if Kupp will develop into the No. 1 option for Goff by the end of his first season.
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At the moment, Tavon Austin is listed as the No. 1 wideout for Los Angeles after the team made the questionable decision last year to reward him with a hefty four-year, $42 million extension. For a player coming off a career high of 509 receiving yards in 2016, to see Austin making this type of money when looking at his lack of production is beyond frustrating for the Rams. And depending on how this year goes with Austin on offense, it will be interesting to see if the team considering trading their former first-round pick next year since the cap hit won’t be as high.
Even if a new offense under Sean McVay could provide a much-needed spark for Austin, at the end of the day, Los Angeles just needs to accept that he’s simply not capable of handling the responsibilities for being a No. 1 receiver, and may be better off with someone like Kupp instead. Watching Kupp record 428 catches for 6,464 yards to go along with 73 touchdowns during his four years spent with the Eagles shows why the Rams strongly believe they landed one of the biggest steals of the third round, and can’t wait to see him suit up in the regular season.
If Goff were smart, he would do everything in his power to quickly develop the necessary chemistry with Kupp over the next few months so the two can hit it off from the start once the regular season officially gets underway. With all due respect to Austin, he’s been given every opportunity in the world over the years to prove himself as a top wideout, and it’s time for someone like Kupp to become that reliable option Los Angeles has desperately been searching for over the years.