The LA Rams 2021 NFL Draft rewind: Didn’t deliver just yet
Round 4, pick 141
The LA Rams never seem to be in short supply for wide receivers to begin an NFL season. But in the same breath, they never seem to be able to turn up a chance to add another to the roster. The only challenge to that strategy is durability. In short, the Rams did not seem to land durable players in the 2021 Draft class.
That’s quite a shame because the scenario for heroics out of rookie TE/WR Jacob Harris could not have been set up any better. The Rams’ receiver depth became more and more depleted the further the team advanced in the playoffs. Imagine the euphoria if Jacob Harris had a hand in that game-winning drive?
"With the 141st pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the LA Rams selected an amazingly raw but talented and athletic tight end/wide receiver from the University of Central Florida Knights, Jacob Harris. The 6-foot-5 219-pound Harris (6.00 grade per NFL.com) is so incredibly gifted, that the Rams could do almost anything with this young man on the offense. Throw a rock in any direction. Like a utility fielder in baseball. The trick is to focus that wide spectrum of potentialities on one or two things he would be best at, for now. Add on other ways of using him once those are mastered. Think moldable clay that hardens. He can contribute immediately on special teams because he was rated as the No. 1 special teams coverage guy in this draft. Say goodbye to opposing teams’ offenses starting drives from a shortened field on kickoffs and punts, Rams Fans. He runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and will get down the field on special teams with a quickness to hem the other teams’ return, man, in, well, quickly. Here’s an amazing statistic about Harris: he averaged 20.1 yards per catch in college. Big chunks make McVay’s high-octane offense roar down the field. Another WR arrow for the Rams’ offense’s quiver of options. A different flavor of WR. I shall dub thee McVay’s WR Flavor of the Week. Draft Grade: B-"
Drafting raw but talented players was certainly a pattern that developed in the 2021 NFL Draft, but the results of the draft have been a bit difficult to gauge so far. Reports out of OTAs, training camp, and even preseason games seemed right on track with what we expected to see from the Rams rookies. In the case of Jacob Harris, reports were glowingly positive.
But when the team suited up for games, Harris barely showed up for the offense, despite two games that were so lopsided that the Rams sat both the offensive and defensive starters for the fourth quarter of two games.
There are no warning signs or flags on Harris. He simply arrived raw and never cracked the lineup. Perhaps even more confusing is that with the advances of WR Ben Skowronek and TE Kendall Blanton in 2021, there is no obvious path for Harris to warrant significant playing time in 2022 right now, either. So will he get more playing time? I think so. But I’m less certain of it this year than one year ago. A pick that seemed to be more than then it does now.
Draft Grade: C+