PFF snubs LA Rams WR corps, dropping them to 7th-place in NFL

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking back over the aspects of the LA Rams’ success in 2021, it’s impossible to recognize that the team owed much of their success to the passing game and the wide receivers. And the team is banking on the same contributors to help them find success in 2022.

Of course, it will be a different group of receivers. Veteran WR DeSean Jackson was released mid-season. Veteran WR Robert Woods was traded away in the offseason. But there are some very capable and qualified players lining up for a solid year.

The LA Rams offense has nearly 2000-yard wide receiver Cooper Kupp returning. The same offense boasts the return of what is expected to be a 1000-yard season out of third-year WR Van Jefferson. And the team has added a completely undervalued star wide receiver in Allen Robinson. Add them all up and what do you get? The seventh-ranked wide receiver group in the NFL?

Well, leave it to Pro Football Focus to come out with that sort of ranking system. In an almost comical fashion, the latest article posing as an objective ranking of 2022 NFL receiving groups is a not-so-cleverly disguised subjective ranking of tossing around hot names, weighing players on new teams heavily, and discounting players who remained on their 2021 team.

Yes, we have one more case of PFF underestimating players on the LA Rams roster again in their latest 2022 NFL receiving corps rankings by Ben Linsey. It’s the same simple mistakes that tend to derail these types of analyses, and Linsey falls into the trap with this one.  There is no correlation between a player who caught passes thrown by Aaron Rodgers to replicating that type of performance with passes thrown by Derek Carr.

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Rams receivers stack up against any group in the NFL

Historically, the passes thrown to Allen Robinson by a group of sub-average Chicago Bears quarterbacks will undoubtedly suffer in any comparison to those thrown to Robinson by LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.

But, if you are to believe the PFF article, quarterbacks do not matter. And that’s a crock of hooey. The 2021 18th-ranked Miami Dolphins receiving corps is now projected to be the third-best receiving group in the NFL in 2022. While leading NFL quarterbacks through for or flirted with an average of passing 300 yards per game, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa averaged just 204.1 passing yards per game.

Adding WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins offense is more likely to make Hill resemble WR DeVante Parker than make QB Tagovailoa resemble Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

I believe that the current LA Rams receiving group is good enough to be among the NFL’s Top-3. The Rams have a chance to get 1000+-yard seasons out of Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, and Van Jefferson.

It comes down to this. No way San Francisco 49ers legendary WR Jerry Rice would have been ranked less than a Top-3 NFL WR group in the prime of his NFL career. And yet, here we are, with Cooper Kupp at the peak of his playing days, somehow slipping to a 7th-ranked receiver group?

Let’s just revisit what Jerry Rice and Cooper Kupp have in common:

Show me another trio of NFL receivers who could likely put up 4000 yards in 2022. Between Van Jefferson and Cooper Kupp alone, the pair accumulated 2749 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2021. In all honesty, the pair is better than the entire receiving group of many teams that PFF has ranked above them.

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