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Snead’s Snacks: Who are the best options in the draft to replace Allen Robinson?

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Who could the Rams draft to replace Allen Robinson?

The Los Angeles Rams enter a crucial year when it comes to the NFL draft. With limited cap space (and limited draft capital for that matter), it’s going to be more important than ever to build depth through the draft and that means hitting on the majority of their picks.

Since the 2020 NFL Draft, I’ve done a series called Snead’s Snacks. In other words, we’re going to find and look at common themes and traits of previous Les Snead draft picks and see which players in the upcoming NFL Draft fit the mold for the Rams.

The focus for today’s edition of “Snead’s Snacks” will be on wide receivers. The Rams traded Allen Robinson to the Pittsburgh Steelers and are now in need of a wide receiver opposite Cooper Kupp. While they have Van Jefferson, he’s better suited as a WR3 and his contract expires at the end of the year. TuTu Atwell is also very role specific.

This will be my first time doing a Snead’s Snacks on wide receivers. Given that McVay took over in 2017, those are the wide receivers we’ll be looking at to get our prototype.

*Note: Numbers taken from RAS and Mockdraftable

2023 Snead’s Snacks:

Notable Past Rams Drafted Players

TuTu Atwell, WR, 2nd Round

Measurables:

Height: 5’8 (4th percentile)

Weight: 155-pounds (0th percentile)

Arm Length: 29.25 inches (2nd percentile)

Shuttle: 4.09 seconds (84th percentile)

3-cone: 6.87 seconds (66th percentile)

Broad Jump: 117 inches (25th percentile)

Vertical: 33 inches (21st percentile)

40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds (86th percentile)

Size Grade: Very Poor

Speed Grade: Elite

Agility Grade: Great

Explosion Grade: Poor

RAS: 6.26 – Good

Traits:

  • Good athlete/fast
  • Good route-runner
  • Competitive run-blocker/physical

Overview of Pick

There’s a lot of controversy with the TuTu Atwell pick given that he was selected over Creed Humphrey. Atwell finally got an opportunity to shine at the end of last season and there were times where he looked like the best wide receiver on the field after Kupp got hurt. It will be a big year three for Atwell.

Ben Skowronek, WR, Notre Dame – 7th Round

Measurables:

Height: 6’2

Weight: 220-pounds

Arm Length: N/A

Shuttle: N/A

3-cone: N/A

Broad Jump: N/A

Vertical: N/A

40-yard dash: N/A

Size Grade: N/A

Speed Grade: N/A

Agility Grade: N/A

Explosion Grade: N/A

RAS: N/A

Traits:

  • Positive in contested catches
  • Consistent in routes
  • Good blocker

Overview of Pick

Ben Skowronek went through some growing pains as a rookie. Still, he showed in 2022 that he can be a good depth wide receiver or fourth wide receiver on the roster. For a seventh-round pick, Skowronek has developed nicely.

Van Jeffers, WR, Florida – 2nd Round

Measurables:

Height: 6’1 (48th percentile)

Weight: 200-pounds (46th percentile)

Arm Length: N/A

Shuttle: N/A

3-cone: N/A

Broad Jump: N/A

Vertical: N/A

40-yard dash: N/A

Size Grade: Good

Speed Grade: N/A

Agility Grade: N/A

Explosion Grade: N/A

RAS: N/A

Traits:

  • Good speed and YAC ability.
  • Well-developed routes
  • Competitive attitude

Overview of Pick

Van Jefferson came into the NFL as a player with a high floor, but low ceiling. That’s exactly what he’s developed into. Jefferson is fine and he’s had some really good moments such as his touchdown in Arizona against the Cardinals and his game-winner last year in primetime against the Raiders. It would be a mild surprise if Jefferson is brought back after this year.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington – 3rd Round

Measurables:

Height: 6’2 (67th percentile)

Weight: 204-pounds (55th percentile)

Arm Length: 31.5 inches (36th percentile)

Shuttle: 4.08 seconds (84th percentile)

3-cone: 6.75 seconds (82nd percentile)

Broad Jump: 116 inches (20th percentile)

Vertical: 31 inches (7th percentile)

40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds (13th percentile)

Size Grade: Good

Speed Grade: Poor

Agility Grade: N/A

Explosion Grade: Great

RAS: 5 – Okay

Traits:

  • Good ball-tracker
  • Positive route-runner
  • Confident and competitive

Overview of Pick

Cooper Kupp is probably the best draft pick in the McVay-era. He won the triple crown and Super Bowl MVP in 2021. Kupp fell to the third-round because of his slow 40-time and he played at a small school. The Rams took a chance and to say it paid off would be an understatement.

Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M – 4th Round

Measurables:

Height: 6’3 (81st percentile)

Weight: 194-pounds (32nd percentile)

Arm Length: 31.5 inches (36th percentile)

Shuttle: 4.13 seconds (75th percentile)

3-cone: 6.83 seconds (71st percentile)

Broad Jump: 124 inches (72nd percentile)

Vertical: 37 inches inches (71st percentile)

40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds (44th percentile)

Size Grade: Good

Speed Grade: Good

Agility Grade: Good

Explosion Grade: Great

RAS: 9.09 – Great

Traits:

  • Vertical Threat and has good ball-tracking. Excels in contested catches
  • No wasted motion in routes
  • Good toughness and ultra competitive. Shows aggression as a blocker

Overview of Pick

Josh Reynolds was very good for a fourth-round pick. He was a solid third or fourth wide receiver. Following the years under Jeff Fisher, the Rams needed to rebuild the wide receiver room and Reynolds was a big part of that rebuild.

Notable Past Rams Undrafted/Signed Players

Lance McCutcheon, WR, Montana State – UDFA

Measurables:

Height: 6’2

Weight: 207-pounds

Arm Length: 32.375 inches (79th percentile)

Shuttle: 4.25 seconds

3-cone: 6.82 seconds

Broad Jump: 122 inches

Vertical: 36.5 inches

40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds

Size Grade: Good

Speed Grade: Great

Agility Grade: Good

Explosion Grade: Good

RAS: 8.69 – Great

Traits:

  • Good size and excels in contested catches
  • Solid route-runner

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – Acquired in Trade

Measurables:

Height: 5’9 (9th percentile)

Weight: 189-pounds (21st percentile)

Arm Length: 30.75 inches (18th percentile)

Shuttle: 3.81 seconds (99th percentile)

3-cone: 6.76 (82nd percentile)

Broad Jump: 120 inches (45th percentile)

Vertical: 36 inches (57th percentile)

40-yard dash: 4.33 seconds (94th percentile)

Size Grade: Poor

Speed Grade: Elite

Agility Grade: Elite

Explosion Grade: Good

RAS: 9.14 – Great

Traits:

  • Good speed and elusive after the catch
  • Separates with breaks
  • Competitive attitude

Robert Woods, WR, USC – Signed as a free agent

Measurables:

Height: 6’0 (32nd percentile)

Weight: 201 (48th percentile)

Arm Length: 31 (23rd percentile)

Shuttle: 4.47 seconds (7th percentile)

3-cone: 7.15 seconds (19th percentile)

Broad Jump: 117 inches (25th percentile)

Vertical: 33.5 inches (27th percentile)

40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds (52nd percentile)

Size Grade: Okay

Speed Grade: Okay

Agility Grade: Very Poor

Explosion Grade: Poor

RAS: 3.55 – Poor

Traits:

  • Good ball-tracking and body control
  • YAC ability
  • Can excel on any route
  • Does his job downfield and a blocker

Common Traits Rams Look For in Tight Ends

  • Two of the wide receivers that the Rams have drafted didn’t test which limits our data. However, we can still come up with a decent picture of what they look for. Size doesn’t seem to be a big factor. TuTu Atwell didn’t have great size, nor did Brandin Cooks. They also don’t seem to value speed as Kupp ran a 4.62 and scored in the 13th percentile. We won’t necessarily be looking explosiveness either.
  • The athletic testing that the Rams seem to value is the agility testing. Out of the wide receivers that have tested, all scored in the 75th percentile or higher in the 20-yard shuttle. The 3-cone scores are also pretty high TuTu Atwell’s was the slowest and he scored in the 66th percentile. All players scored good to great in agility testing.
  • The emphasis on agility matches up with the traits that the Rams value. Almost every player was said to be a solid or good route-runner. Ben Skowronek was consistent in his routes and Van Jefferson was said to have well-developed routes. The Rams value route-running.
  • Competitiveness or willingness to block is something to look for in terms of traits. Atwell was seen as a competitive run-blocker. Jefferson and Kupp each had competitive listed as a trait.
  • Some other common traits to keep an eye on would be YAC ability and elusiveness after the catch. Josh Reynolds, Skowronek, and McCutcheon were all good in contested catch situations as well.

2023 Players Who Fit The Rams

1. Josh Downs – North Carolina

I’m sure you’re thinking, “No. Please no. Not another undersized 5’9 wide receiver.”

However, Downs is actually a perfect fit for what the Rams have looked for in the wide receiver position outside of his size. He’s a very good route-runner, has good YAC ability, and surprisingly is the best contested catch wide receiver in this class.

Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS Football

According to Reception Perception, Downs saw a contested target on 18 percent of his looks and finished with a 93.8 percent contested catch rate which ranks best in the class. Additionally, he’s a willing blocker in the run game. Don’t let his size fool you. This isn’t Tavon Austin 3.0.

Grade: 2nd Round

2. A.T. Perry – Wake Forest

Perry didn’t score well in the shuttle with just a 4.32. However, his 6.82 second three-cone was very good. It’s fair to wonder if Perry’s shuttle time will turn the Rams off. However, he fits in other areas and the Rams may have more in-depth data. He’s good in contested catch situations and good at tracking the ball. While he wasn’t used a lot as a YAC receiver, there were some flashes.

Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS Football

If the Rams are looking to replace Robinson, Perry makes a lot of sense. He’d be a good compliment to Kupp and may be exactly what they’re looking for on the outside at receiver.

Grade: 3rd Round

3. Jayden Reed – Michigan State

It’s really difficult to leave Reed off of this list. While his shuttle time is a little slow at 4.29 seconds, he fits almost everywhere from a traits perspective. For note, Reed’s 4.29 second shuttle would be the slowest the Rams have drafted since Pharoh Cooper. The slowest the Rams have drafted under McVay is 4.13.

Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS Football

Still, it’s hard to leave Reed off of this list. Reed is very good as a route-runner. Despite his smaller frame, he does well in contested catch situations and is good at tracking the ball. Reed is excellent after the catch and is a very competitive player. While the shuttle may not be where the Rams would like it, traits-wise, he matches almost perfectly.

Grade: 3rd-4th Round

4. Charlie Jones – Purdue

When you watch Charlie Jones, he just looks like a Rams wide receiver. He’s instinctive at the position, is good in contested catch situations, and tracks the ball well. Jones is a good route-runner and has shown good YAC ability after transferring from Iowa.

Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS Football

From a testing perspective, he also matches what the Rams look for. His size isn’t great, but we’ve concluded that the Rams don’t care about that. What matters is his agility scores and he tested well in both the shuttle and three-cone.

Grade: 5th Round

5. Ronnie Bell – Michigan

Bell would be a good option for the Rams on day three if he is available. While his three-cone is a little on the slower end for the Rams, he ran a good shuttle with a time of 4.15 seconds.

Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS Football

From a traits perspective, Bell matches up well. Bell is good after the catch and puts in a lot of work in the run game as a blocker. He’s good in contested catch scenarios and is a very good route runner. There’s a lot to like about Bell and he checks a lot of the Rams’ boxes.

Grade: 6th Round

Honorable Mentions

Michael Wilson – Stanford

  • Ran advanced route-tree
  • Good in contested catch situations
  • Willing run-blocker

Grade: 4th-5th Round

Parker Washington – Penn State

  • Solid route runner
  • Good contested catch rate and excellent ball skills
  • Fantastic after the catch. Broke a tackle on 46.7 percent of his “in space” attempts and multiple tackles on 20 percent.

Grade: 5th Round

Jalen Cropper – Fresno State

  • Outstanding route runner
  • Good YAC ability and body control

Grade: 6th-7th Round

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