The befuddling belief in LA Rams newest tight end Jacob Harris

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Jacob Harris
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have built a roster around going top shelf for stars, and bottom shelf for bargains. Even though the team has a fair share of the middle shelf talent, capable starting players who can deliver quality starts, but whose names never enter Pro Bowl discussion, it’s the extremes that command the headlines of Los Angeles.

The luster of an NFL elite player can be addictive and mesmerizing. It creates an effect on the rest of the squad of elevating their play and perhaps giving teammates the chance to produce at the highest level of their careers. We cite that aura of positive influence on the LA Rams as the Aaron Donald effect. So when it comes down to evaluating talent, for many players who could be considered for a role with the team, it’s not based on their virtues alone, but how well that person might play in the company of AD.

And that’s not fair to either player. But it’s so tempting to do.

Now the LA Rams have added new veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, and before he has thrown one regulating NFL pass for the LA Rams, the temptation to apply that same effect upon the receivers in the room is equally as tempting. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, and even Van Jefferson could enjoy career-high seasons. Then again, they may not.  It’s tough to say, simply because we can’t truly know how well Stafford will play in HC Sean McVay’s offense.

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But the coaches are hinting so far. Players’ jaws are dropping. Post-practice interviews seem to have a skip to them. The offense has been reportedly ‘holding their own.’ against the defense this year in training camp. All positives chunks of coal to throw into the preseason furnace. All bits of fuel to burn the optimism white-hot for this season. All bits of data to digest, analyze, and theorize about the 2021 NFL season.