Is LA Rams Lance McCutcheon mirage or miracle find?

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

Of course, when the LA Rams were least expecting to find an outstanding rookie wide receiver in the draft class of 2022, it appears that it happened. Odd? Well, that’s how life works sometimes. In fact, if you’ve ever applied for a loan, you know that financial institutions are most likely to approve your loan when you don’t need it.  If you are in a relationship, you may find that you are your most popular when you are your least available.

That’s life.

The LA Rams are discovering the irony of life as they draw nearer to their 2022 NFL season. This is a team that did not draft a wide receiver and yet may have found one of the more promising rookies in the Sean McVay-Les Snead era by the name of Lance McCutcheon. McCutcheon’s explosion onto the scene has the Rams coaching staff and front office scrambling to create a path to keeping McCutcheon on their 53-man roster.

Rams roster scrambling to make room for a rookie receiver

It has already cost one player who started for the LA Rams organization in the NFL playoffs last season a chance to continue with the team this year, and it may cost more. Each Rams roster move going forward is as much about who the team is releasing as it is about who the team is keeping.  So far, Lance McCutcheon has been the star of the LA Rams offense and has done so on the receiving end of not one, but two Rams quarterbacks.

But is it real? Or is this all a mirage of the preseason, that chapter of NFL competition where slower speeds and less experience on the football field favors the technically sound over the athletically gifted? Is McCutcheon looking so good in the preseason because he is simply outclassing inferior competition? In short, is LA Rams rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon a preseason mirage, or is he truly a miracle find on the Rams roster?

I hate to admit this, but he appears to be more miracle than a mirage.

McCutcheon should claim a Rams roster spot

Against both the LA Chargers and the Houston Texans, McCutcheon was making those catches against the first and rotational defensive backs, while catching the passes thrown by the LA Rams’ second-string and third-string quarterback. While there was the occasional young defensive back miscommunication, McCutcheon was doing more than just being in the right place at the right time to catch a pass. On several occasions, he was closely defended, and simply wrestled the football away for the completion.

While we know that the Rams’ offense is more than just catching a pass by the wide receiver, the fact that McCutcheon is the prototype receiver for starting quarterback Matthew Stafford is simply impossible to ignore. McCutcheon’s gutsy catches in traffic are exactly the type of receiver that Stafford loves to throw to, and is a very difficult type of receiver to find. Now that the Rams front office appears to have found that needle in a haystack, I cannot envision the team trying to sneak him onto the practice squad.

The Rams will keep McCutcheon on their roster this year. Now the only question is, who will lose their spot at the table to keep feeding him the football?

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