5 LA Rams offseason moves worse than extending Floyd over JJIII

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Tutu Atwell
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II: Overdrafting a speedy wide receiver

Before we enter this topic, let me reiterate that I think that LA Rams wide receiver can be a contributor to the team in 2021 as a primary punt returner, and as a backup speedy wide receiver target behind veteran DeSean Jacks. But drafting wide receiver Tutu Atwell with the team’s most valuable pick, at 57, seemed in the opinion of many to be an overdraft.

His draft profile projected Atwell to be drafted in round 4 and having seen him play, that feels about right. He can play. He has every bit of the lightning-fast speed that he was described to possess. He can catch passes, and he can run downfield quickly after the completion. But there is a bit of wide receiver bias embedded within the LA Rams selection process.

Must Read. Who the LA Rams passed on to take WR TuTu Atwell. light

The Rams used their 57th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft to add a wide receiver, Van Jefferson. While I believe that he has tremendous potential, the LA Rams played him in just 23 percent of the 2020 offensive snaps. He caught 19 of 31 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown. I truly do not expect Tutu Atwell to see that much action in 2021. And that’s the rub. The Rams had options to draft a starting (and high ceiling) offensive center at 57.

A starting rookie at any position adds tremendous value to the team. But the team insists on adding wide receivers to bury on the depth chart. Is it any coincidence that head coach Sean McVay was himself once a wide receiver? While that may or may not be pertinent, it does seem to have a bearing on the Rams draft process. In the end, the team took a chance on a small-statured wide receiver who could fill a starting role in his NFL career. In doing so, they passed up the chance to draft a sure-fire NFL starting rookie center.