Wide receivers/return specialists
The LA Rams have an opportunity to solidify the bottom of the team’s roster, something that the team seems to have a great knack of accomplishing on the fly. So who could be on the Rams’ radar right now? Well, we have a handful of names.
‘Smokey’ John Brown makes a lot of sense here. He is an NFL veteran now in his eighth year, has tremendous speed, and had experience in special teams. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 178-pounds, he fills the small-but-mighty receiver role that the team sought to fill with DeSean Jackson and/or Tutu Atwell. Assuming that the team still values the role, then John Brown is the right player. He runs a 4.30-second 40-yard dash, which makes him an ideal receiver/returner for the Rams right now. He is worth a roster spot, particularly in light of the fact that he started in the 2020 NFL playoffs for the Buffalo Bills, and played well.
K.J. Hill is another option for the LA Rams roster. He was recently waived by the LA Chargers and signed to their practice squad. He stands 6-foot-0 and weighs 196-pounds, giving the Rams another healthy-sized option. Although playing just two years, he has accomplished an impressive body of work returning both punts and kickoffs. On offense, he’s caught 10 of 14 passes thrown his way for 103 yards. He can run a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, which is enough speed to threaten defenses as well as elude tacklers.
Pharoah Cooper is a return specialist who can also cameo on the offense as a wide receiver. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 208-pounds, he played for the LA Rams from 2016-2018 before the team waived him in December of that year. He is the slowest of the three options, running a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, but he brings the best body of work as a returner. Will the Rams give him another shot? It makes sense because the return game for the Rams is in complete shambles right now.
Alshon Jeffery is a completely different type of receiver, think of him as a veteran Ben Skowronek and you are on the money. Jeffery stands 6-foot-3 and weighs a robust 218-pounds. He has nine years of NFL experience, but much like DeSean Jackson, his past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles were tainted with constant injuries. The Rams were able to mete out Jackson’s workload, so why not try it for a big-bodied receiver as well? Jeffery is the king of contested catches, at one point he simply needed the football to end up near him for catches. He has plenty of experience, and he would round out the Rams receivers with a go-to guy when the team needs a clutch catch. He is the type of receiver who would flourish as a target of quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Golden Tate is the least likely receiver to be signed by the LA Rams, as the last time he faced Jalen Ramsey, the two combatants came to blows that resulted in a massive fine to Ramsey. With such bad blood between the two, the Rams are unlikely to even consider Tate.
Even with all of that being said, there are plenty of reasons to do so. The most obvious point is that he named the LA Rams as a team that he would love to play for. That occurred this year. Did he and Jalen Ramsey resolve their differences? If so, he has many intriguing qualities.
For starters, Tate is a 5-foot-10 197-pound receiver who was the primary and favorite target of, you guessed it, Matthew Stafford when the two played for the Detroit Lions. In fact, Tate put up career-high numbers with Stafford.
Also, Tate has a career of returning both kickoffs and punts and doing so rather effectively. As he has advanced in his career, his share of offensive snaps had shrunk. He still has enough left to threaten defenses and contribute on special teams.
That is the best list of options for now. The Rams will need to act fast because several NFL teams are in the market now for receivers. One or two pieces can make a significant difference for the Rams. Let’s load ’em up and start rollin’.