Offense signings - Skill players
11 - QB Dresser Winn brings a great deal of mystery with him after signing a Reserve/Future contract with the Rams for the 2024 NFL season. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 215 pounds, Winn arrived on the LA Rams roster as an undrafted rookie, and throughout OTAs and training camp was considered a QB4 on a team that was notorious for keeping only three quarterbacks. And yet, here he is with the Rams just one year later. Should we read between the lines?
I think that we have to do so. We know that veteran QB Matthew Stafford played incredibly well in 2023. But we also know that all of the pounding of filling the role of a starting quarterback is taking its toll on him. The Rams front office, like it or not, have to begin planning for Stafford's successor. While he is not an immediate replacement, can Dresser Winn grow into that type of role?
We know that even when backup QB Stetson Bennett returns, the Rams roster will need depth at the QB position. While we do not know what happened to Bennett, we do know that his rookie season was abruptly halted before the season ever began. We also know that the Rams front office will have a difficult time getting veteran QB Carson Wentz re-signed to a team-friendly contract. And nobody knows if the Rams will prioritize drafting a quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Bringing back Dresser Winn for 2024 smoothes out many of the rough spots at the quarterback position for next season. After all, Winn is a bigger quarterback than Bennett, is under contract for 2024, and knows the LA Rams offense.
12 - WR Xavier Smith is a swift offensive asset who could see some action in the LA Rams offense or on special teams in 2024. Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 174 pounds, this rookie wide receiver is a prototypical blazing-speed type of guy who leveraged swiftness in college football to stand out and make plays. In the NFL, and more importantly, in the LA Rams offensive system, that speed checks only one box of many.
To earn playing time with the LA Rams, receivers must also master their route trees, demonstrate an ability to gain yards after the catch, must prove to have hands capable of making tough catches, and show an ability and willingness to block in the NFL. Since Smith had to play behind the elite WR Puka Nacua, you can see that his bar to jump over was set incredibly high.
You can't coach speed. But the LA Rams can coach everything else. At the least, Smith could become a viable return specialist for the Rams on special teams in 2024. At best, he could push WR Tutu Atwell hard for playing time as a deep threat receiver.