Insider Points Out 2 Rams Who Need to Take ‘Large Steps Forward’


Getty Members of the Rams offense on June 8, 2022 during minicamp.

It’s no secret in the “Rams House:” The deepest and most talented offensive unit on the Los Angeles Rams is the wide receivers.

After all, two Pro Bowlers in Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson line up opposite of each other. Then there’s emerging third-year wideout Van Jefferson, who’s arguably the “underrated” and “best kept secret” of the group. And re-adding perennial Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. to the mix should he resign with the Rams will make this one of the most loaded units in the league.

Unfortunately, with loads of talent comes wideouts who could face being buried on the projected depth chart. And in the case of two Rams players who saw limited action last season, one insider believes that these Rams need to take “large steps forward” in 2022 if they were to stick around the “Rams House.”

Who Needs to Take Steps Forward

Rams insider Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic continued her position-by-position breakdown of the defending Super Bowl champs on Friday, July 15 by diving into the wideouts.

Already, and heading into their second season in the league, Rodrigue has 2021 draft picks Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell on the wide receiver hot seat for training camp.

“Skowronek and Atwell need to take large steps forward in 2022,” Rodrigue wrote. “Though Skowronek specifically was thrown into the fire late in the season because of injuries. Atwell, who spent the second half of the year on injured reserve, needs to carve out a specific role in the Rams’ offense.”

Are Both Already Being Buried on Depth Chart?

Again, there’s an abundance of talent heading into UC Irvine’s Crawford Field beginning on July 23.

And it’s putting both ’21 picks in a tough spot unless both use the July and August months to breakout and impress the Rams with the skills that helped get them drafted.

Skowronek came to the Rams as a seventh rounder. The Rams largely drafted him because of his ability to make tough, contested grabs inside the red zone. However, the addition of the former Chicago Bear Robinson is expected to be an instant upgrade in the contested catch department for the Rams. Now, Rodrigue believes that Skowronek’s wide receiver days could be numbered — and may head over to the tight ends group in a “flex” role on the Rams.

But most telling is the status of the wideout/return man Atwell. He was the Rams’ top draft pick at No. 57 overall in the second round and was expected to become one of the options to blow the top off defenses with his reported 40-yard dash time of 4.32. Atwell, however, endured a rough beginning with the Rams that involved going on the reserve/COVID-19 list to start training camp and then missing the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Atwell caught no passes last season and averaged just 17.4 kick return yards last season.

And for now, as Rodrigue worded it, she has another return man in Brandon Powell ahead of Atwell on the projected 2022 Rams depth chart.

“I have Powell ahead of him on the depth chart because of Powell’s electric ability as a return specialist,” Rodrigue wrote.

Lastly, both could face some additional competition in one more newcomer for camp: Undrafted rookie Lance McCutcheon of Montana State, who Rodrigue says has already won over the Super Bowl 56 Most Valuable Player Kupp.

“McCutcheon, an undrafted free-agent rookie, impressed through the spring and might be a long-term sleeper. His confident play was noted by Kupp after OTAs concluded,” Rodrigue said.

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