LA Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson is entering his second season with the team, after putting on flashes of NFL potential in the team’s playoff games. In just five games so far this season, he has caught 14 of 22 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. That places him on pace to end the season at 823 yards and seven touchdowns.
But I think he could do better. Much better.
You see, he didn’t see much action in 2020. He played behind Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds a year ago. This year, he is splitting duties with veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson. So far, that’s been working out just fine. Jackson has caught seven of thirteen passes for 215 yards and one touchdown.
Jefferson has been very good so far this season. He opened the season for the Rams with a 67-yard touchdown strike in their Sunday Night Football home opener. Since that time he has proven to be an effective receiver in tough games. But he has a few wrinkles to iron out as well.
Steadily improving young receiver
Against the Seattle Seahawks, two catchable balls hit his hands and fell to the ground for incompletions. Both plays appeared to be touchdowns in the making. Over time, he will make those catches consistently. When he does, he could become one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL.
He is one of the better receivers at route-running, a trait that piqued the Rams’ interest in him during the 2020 NFL Draft. He has blazing speed, as exhibited during his 67-yard touchdown reception to open the season. But most of all, he’s steadily improving.
He played in just 256 offensive snaps in 2020. He will likely pass that mark in Week 6, having already played 225 offensive snaps so far this season. And he is becoming a more dangerous receiver each week.
The LA Rams will continue to look towards Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods this year, and both are on track for 1000 yards, But Van Jefferson is running close behind after just five games. As he improves, his number of times targetted per game should increase. With his speed enabling a 17.4 yards per catch so far, he can break 1000 yards in just 59 receptions. That is certainly doable.
Keep an eye on Jefferson for Week 6. I think he could be incredibly effective in the remainder of the month of October. If he enters November with 450+ yards, he has a very good chance of breaking 1000 yards receiving in just his second NFL season.