LA Rams can replace Allen Robinson with 2023 NFL Draft sleeper

Atlanta Falcons v Los Angeles Rams
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Sometimes games just don't pay off. The LA Rams, a team that has never shied away from taking a gamble, knows that all too well.

Veteran WR Allen Robinson didn't work out for the LA Rams, who were willing to swap seventh-round draft picks with the Pittsburgh Steelers and swallow more than $10 million of his salary just to part with the veteran. Robinson never became the complement to star LA Rams' wide receiver Cooper Kupp that the team hoped for, but Rams' general manager Les Snead can replace A-Rob in the 2023 NFL Draft. I'm talking about Tennessee's WR Cedric Tillman, a true sleeper in the 2023 NFL draft.

Rd 3. player. Wide receiver. Tennessee. Cedric Tillman. NFL Draft Profile. NFL Draft Buzz. 51

Letting Robinson go has left the Rams threadbare at the skill positions, moving wide receiver up the list of the team's draft priorities. Tillman would be a smart pick, even after an ankle injury prevented him from playing in all but six games during his final season in Knoxville.

At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Tillman has a similar physical profile to 6-foot-2, 220-pounder Robinson. The former Volunteers star also has sure hands and a knack for finding the end zone, evidenced by 15 touchdown catches the last two seasons.

His numbers and athletic skills are worthy of a first-round talent, but Tillman is staying on the board for longer in most mock drafts. He goes to the Buffalo Bills in Round 2 with the 59th-overall pick in Dane Brugler's 7-round mock draft for The Athletic, while CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso has Tillman lasting until the third round and the 74th pick.

It's in Snead's interest to pounce for Tillman, even if it means using the 36th pick, the Rams' first selection in this year's draft. Tillman is an ideal replacement for Robinson and a natural scheme fit for Rams' head coach Sean McVay.

Cedric Tillman a true scheme fit for Rams

Tillman plays the game the way McVay expects from his wide receivers. Specifically, Tillman "takes pride in his blocking," according to his CBS Sports draft profile. The same source also notes how the 23-year-old's "releases off the line of scrimmage can improve," but that's a problem McVay and Rams' wide receivers coach Eric Yarber should soon solve.

Both McVay and Yarber will also appreciate how physical Tillman is with and without the ball in his hands. His aggressiveness earned praise from USA Today's Doug Farrar.

Being physical before and after the catch has long defined Kupp performances, and it's what the Rams hoped to get from Robinson. That plan didn't come to fruition, but Tillman should be able to step in immediately and ease the burden on Kupp.

McVay would have no problem using the rookie from a variety of alignments, including from the inside. Tillman has the makings of a size and strength mismatch in the red zone at the pro level, as this play highlighted by ESPN analyst Matt Bowen shows.

The Rams could also use Tillman on quick, short throws designed to let him attack and punish defensive players in space. Having another big target who can make contested catches would give Rams' quarterback Matthew Stafford another sure-handed target.

More weapons is the quickest way for the Rams to return to prominence this year. Yes, there are bigger needs than wideout, like edge-rusher, offensive line and cornerback, but drafting to a strength can be a sound philosophy.

Top 10 sleepers for LA Rams heading into 2023 NFL Draft. dark. Hot

Receiver will remain a strength for the Rams as long as Kupp is on the roster and McVay is calling a pass-heavy offense. The combination ought to make Tillman a steal in a system fitted to his talents.