What roles can 10 remaining UDFAs fill with LA Rams in 2021?
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams do an incredible job of ensuring that talent continues to stream into the team as free agency pulls talented veterans away. A great deal of attention was given to the drafting of WR Van Jefferson, and how his talents were very similar to those of veterans Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. But almost no attention was given to the signing of UDFA WR Trishton Jackson (who actually made the 53-man roster).
Jackson was projected by some draft profiles as high as a second-round pick. He is a 6-foot-1 197-pound receiver with decent speed, 4.50-second 40-yard dash time, that can fill a Rams’ roster need as an intermediate or deep-threat route runner. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If you found a mock, draft indicating that a second-round projected receiver would fall to the Rams on day three, you would be excited to read more. But Jackson is not only that player, he was on the Rams 53-man roster.
Jackson is nearly a clone of Josh Reynolds. While two inches shorter, they both have an albatross-like wingspan of 77 inches, both have 4.5-speed, and Jackson will likely be the receiver who fills Reynolds’ role in stretching the field. Well, why didn’t he do so in 2020?
For all of the same reasons that Van Jefferson struggled to crack the offensive rotation, Jackson struggled to get practice snaps with the starters. Despite making the 53-man roster, Jackson was simply a redshirted rookie for the Rams and spent the 2020 season getting faster, stronger, learning routes, and getting separation. He became familiar with the Rams coaching staff, the players, and the playbook. Jackson has every opportunity to step up in 2021, and I think he absolutely will. In fact, he will take full advantage of Matthew Stafford’s cannon-like arm.