Ben Skowronek: 7th-round pick to LA Rams captain

The LA Rams took a chance on a big-bodied wide receiver out of Notre Dame in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Suddenly, he has emerged as a team captain for the 2023 NFL season.

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Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Ben Skowronek
Notre Dame v Pittsburgh / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Rewarded

Even early in his NFL career, Skowronek wasn't playing wide receiver exclusively. He filled in a number of roles on the offense. At times, he set up in the backfield as a blocking back or as a fullback. On other occasions, he would line up at tight end. LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay has a way of finding roles for players, roles that employ their full set of skills on the football field.

Skowronek excels in blocking, and it rewarded him with playing time as a rookie seventh-round pick on a Super Bowl-winning team. Often, you would see Jersey 18 leading the way on a run play. Sometimes, doing the dirty work on the football field brings good karma.

Skowronek stayed the course during the 2021 season and earned more playing time as the season progressed and advanced to the playoffs. Although Skowronek had two drops in crucial spots in the Rams' Super Bowl run, the body of work for a seventh-round pick was impressive. Skowronek earned a more advanced role in the Rams offense in 2022.

LA Rams head coach Sean McVay and Rams GM Les Snead have come to value Skowronek; playing a seventh-round wide receiver at multiple positions in a playoff run is bold. That role expanded to 11 games started last season while appearing in three more. He totaled 39 receptions with 376 yards with one touchdown. His first career touchdown came in Houston on a jet sweep, a play that caught both the Houston Texans defense and Rams' fans by surprise.

A majority of Skowronek's impact is seen beyond the box score. His blocking and hustle are what earned him playing time as a rookie. According to football-reference.com, Skowronek played 82 percent of the Rams' offensive snaps in 2022, a 63 percent increase from his rookie season. Ben saw playing time in a number of offensive roles: WR, TE, and FB, all of which showcased his versatility. The Rams dealt with many injuries last season and when WR Cooper Kupp went down, others had to step in to fill in. Skowronek has earned the trust of his coaches through unplanned opportunities.