LA Rams vault: WR Trishton Jackson can solve offensive problems
By Bret Stuter
If LA Rams wide receiver Trishton Jackson was a college player entering the 2021 NFL Draft, there most certainly would be a lot of interest about what he might be able to bring the Rams offense in the upcoming season. But he was a player signed to the 53-man roster in 2020, and so the moment has passed him by. It’s a fast-paced world now. Little is said about players who are red-shirted on NFL teams for their rookie season.
That’s disappointing because the LA Rams redshirted four rookies on their roster. The team redshirted offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum, wide receiver Thrishton Jackson, tight end Brycen Hopkins, and to a lesser extent Van Jefferson. You could even make the argument that the team held back on playing running back Cam Akers for the first part of the season. Rookies won’t find playing time until they prove they can block at the NFL level. For some players, that ability takes time to develop.
Trishton Jackson was a highly regarded prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft who fell to the Rams as an undrafted free agent. He was projected as a potential day-two rookie out of the University of Syracuse. He stands 6-foot-1, weighs 197 pounds, and possesses good size for an NFL receiver. But the LA Rams right now have a need for speed. How is Jackson at moving quickly?
He pops off the blocks with a 40-yard time of 4.5 seconds. So why didn’t he earn a return role on the roster in 2020? Well, the lack of time in training camp streamlined the ability of the coaches to audition players in 2020. In fact, even speedy RB Raymond Calais, who was a return specialist, found it difficult to earn playing time on the Rams special teams. But Jackson brings another wrinkle to the roster.
The Rams added Jackson to the 53-man roster knowing that they would likely be losing WR Josh Reynolds to free agency in 2021. While Reynolds stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 196-pounds, he ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash. Jackson stands two inches shorter but is a more physical and faster receiver than Reynolds. Both Reynolds and Jackson have identical 77-inch wingspan.
Reynolds is an unrestricted free agent. Jackson is entering the second year of his NFL career as an undrafted free agent. And Jackson spent an entire year preparing for 2021. The Rams, as they so often do, found what could be a very gifted and talented NFL player after all other teams had overlooked him.
Trishton Jackson doesn’t need to shoulder the burden of the offense. The team has Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Van Jefferson for that. But they do need a receiver to stretch the defense and give new quarterback Matthew Stafford a deep target to throw to. The Rams will draft whomever they wish. But if they do not acquire an obvious deep target, keep Trishton Jackson on your radar.