Who will compete for Rams ST P/K return starting job in 2024?

LA Rams, Chase Blackburn
LA Rams, Chase Blackburn / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The LA Rams have their starting punter, long snapper, and a fierce competition set up for the starting placekicker in 2024. But what about their punt and kickoff return specialist? After all the work that the front office has done for the team to bolster the quality and depth of the roster this offseason, you have to believe that there is a plan to address the return specialist as well.

The special teams are in much better shape today than at the end of 2023. The Rams have selected K Joshua Karty, who is reportedly one of the best rookie kickers to enter the NFL in the last 5-10 years. He joins punter Ethan Evans, another elite player who has already pushed hard to become one of the NFL's top punters in just one season. And the healthy return of long-snapper Alex Ward nearly completes the set.

But who will return punts and kickoffs for the team now that Austin Trammell is not returning? We have four candidates who can take on the job for the team this year. They are:

IV: WR Xavier Smith

Former Florida A&M WR Xavier Smith continues to be touted as a future playmaker for the LA Rams. I, for one, believe that the future is now. Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 174 pounds, Smith is not the biggest player on the Rams roster, but he may be the best fit for a return specialist on the team.

. . NFL Draft Blitz. Florida A&M. 51. . CFA. Xavier Smith. NFL Draft Profile. Wide receiver

He is a swift receiver option for a team that needs speed running routes. He has better than advertised route running ability, and poses true deep-threat. The added bonus is that Smith boast rich experience at both punt and kickoff returns. This is Smith's second season with the team, which lines him up to compete for a special team starter role.

III: WR Sam Wiglusz

Ohio WR Sam Wiglusz was added after the draft, but the 6-foot-0, 183-pound receiver has coveted return experience on the roster as well. He has to be seen as a competitor for the vacated return job, as he has the right size for the role. Durability is a valued quality, and Wiglusz is big enough to handle the wear and tear of the full NFL season. Now he merely has to earn the job.

II: DB Kenny Logan Jr.

If durability is the tie-breaker, then former Kansas defensive back Kenny Logan Jr. has to be viewed as the odds-on favorite to land the return role for the Rams in 2024. Standing 6-foot-0 and weighing 205 pounds, Logan is a burly defensive back who also boasts exceptional experience as a return specialist.

I: RB Boston Scott

The post-draft addition of veteran RB Boston Scott brings more to the team than depth for the running back room. Scott is an accomplished NFL return specialist, a player who knows the intricacies of setting up blockers, knowing when to slow down, and when to kick in overdrive and run for daylight.

As much as I would love to see a rookie earn the starting job, Boston Scott was added deliberately, and his NFL special team experience is the perfect resume for a team looking to win Super Bowl LIX. Beyond that, he is a sneaky-good NFL rusher who can pile up the rushing yards quickly.

Anything can happen in training camp. One thing that won't happen is the Rams struggling to find a player worthy of returning punts and kickoffs in 2024. While the team did not draft a return specialist, there is a great deal of talent and experience on the roster.

Let the competition begin.

And as always, thank you for reading.