Looking into LA Rams rookie extension candidates and what they might get

The 2021 draft class was unheralded, but several players from that draft have made an impact for the LA Rams. Now, here's what those extension candidates may get in their next contracts as their rookie deals get set to expire.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Aaron Donald, Ernest Jone
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Aaron Donald, Ernest Jone / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
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WR Ben Skowronek

When the LA Rams selected Notre Dame Ben Skowronek with the 249th selection in Round 7 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the believe was that he would immediately show up as a blocking wide receiver who could catch the football. The 6-foot-3 224-pound wide receiver boasted a unique blend of wide receiver, fullback, H-Back, power back, Y-Back, and tight end that he has become a very versatile weapon in the team's offense.

Skowronek has lined up virtually at every spot in the Rams offense at one time or another. Despite that versatility, and a career catch rate of 62.4%, Skowronek has only been targeted 93 times (100 if you factor in playoff games) and caught 58 passes (3 more in postseason) for 575 yards and one touchdown. Despite the fact that the team traded away WR Van Jefferson and fought through the absence of WR Cooper Kupp, Skowronek's workload on offense plummeted in 2023. While I believe his proficiency on special teams will put him in line for a contract after the 2024 season ends, there is simply too much uncertainty for the team to seek locking him in with an extension.

Extension verdict: None will be offered this year.

WR Tutu Atwell

Fans are still a bit befuddled with the addition of WR Tutu Atwell with the 57th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. While the vitriol aimed at the player has subsided substantially, the confusion over why the Rams reached for the 5-foot-9 165-pound wide receiver out of Louisville is still a bit of a mystery. Of course, that same year the team signed free agent WR Desean Jackson, and the hope for the offense to show up as a quick strike scoring machine was never more plain to see than when the roster boasted Jackson, Atwell, and WR Van Jefferson.

Atwell is a victim of underuse, through no fault of his own. He has been earning more playing time, and his production has improved as he sees more playing time. He stepped up very well to start the 2023 NFL season with Cooper Kupp's injury, and racked up 270 yards and a touchdown in the first four games. After Kupp returned to health, Atwell's workload plummeted. He was only targeted five times in the final five games of the season.

Extension verdict: None will be offered this year.