The Los Angeles Rams featured the league’s top-scoring offense last season despite lacking a true go-to wide receiver.
That won’t be the case this year for Los Angeles, which brought in a No. 1 wideout by acquiring Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots in early April.
Cooks is expected to provide the explosive deep threat the Rams thought they were getting a year ago when they acquired Sammy Watkins, who had just 39 receptions in 2017 and left to sign with Kansas City as a free agent.
“We got a lot of fast guys, we’ve got big guys, we’ve got guys that can run the third-level of the route, the second-level, the first-level,” passing game coordinator Shane Waldron told the team’s official website. “I feel good that if any of the guys — the guys that were the starters last year, (and) competing to be the starters again this year — if they get tired, we feel good about those spots and hopefully we don’t miss a beat.”
Running back Todd Gurley led Los Angeles with 64 receptions en route to winning AP Offensive Player of the Year honors, but the team has two solid wideouts in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
Kupp had 62 catches for a team-high 869 yards while Woods added 56 receptions for 781 yards. Both players had five touchdown catches apiece and should benefit from the presence of Cooks, who has eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of his past three seasons.
Cooks led the Patriots in offensive snaps (92.7 percent), targets (114), receptions (65), yards (1,082), yards per catch (16.6), and touchdowns (seven) last season. He had 16 receptions on passes thrown 20 yards or more downfield, tying Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins for the most such receptions in the NFL.
Rams head coach Sean McVay lavished praise on Cooks, who has worked well with quarterback Jared Goff during the team’s offseason workouts.
“I think you’ve just liked what you’ve seen overall,” said McVay of Cooks, per the team website. “He’s got a great rapport already with Jared and he feels really good with the receiver group. I think he’s done a nice job kinda fitting into that room and really endearing himself to his teammates. We sure like him as coaches too.”
McVay also touted the depth of the unit that also features Josh Reynolds, Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas.
“We’ve got five guys that have been in this offense, that really know what we’re trying to get done when you look at Robert, you look at Cooper, Josh, Mike and Pharoh,” said McVay. “You feel really good about them.”