6 wide receivers for Rams to watch at NFL combine
Cooper Kupp is coming off an ankle injury, Allen Robinson had arguably his worst season as a pro, and Van Jefferson is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Translation: The Rams could be looking at wide receivers this offseason.
The draft is one of the best ways to add talent at that position, and this year will be no different. Though a lot of the prospects in the incoming class look like No. 2 and 3 receivers at the next level, the Rams don’t need a No. 1 wideout right now with Kupp still on the roster.
Here are six receivers the Rams should watch at the combine this week.
Josh Downs, North Carolina
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Downs might only be 5-foot-10 but he’s not a gadget player. He’s a legitimate slot receiver with impressive production at North Carolina, recording 2,364 yards on 195 receptions in the last two seasons, scoring 19 touchdowns in that span. He also contributed a bit in the return game, which is an added bonus if the Rams go ahead and draft him on Day 2. Like most receivers, his speed in the 40-yard dash will be something to monitor because he’s an explosive and quick player on tape.
Michael Wilson, Stanford
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Wilson is an impressive athlete at 6-foot-1, using his speed and agility to create separation relatively consistently. That didn’t translate to a lot of production at Stanford, however, catching just 134 passes for 1,662 yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons. His underwhelming numbers and injury history (14 games played since 2020) will push him down draft boards, potentially giving the Rams a good value on Day 3.
Kayshon Boutte, LSU
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Boutte’s stock was much higher before he put up just 538 yards in 11 games last season after catching nine touchdown passes in six games in 2021. However, the talent is still there and there’s reason to believe he’ll be a better pro than he was a college receiver. He can line up anywhere as a receiver and create separation for his quarterback. He’s expected to be a Day 2 pick, possibly going as early as the top half of the second round, so that might be a bit rich for the Rams.
Elijah Higgins, Stanford
Higgins is someone who could really show out at the combine with his 6-foot-3 frame and impressive speed. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Higgins hit 21.5 mph on a 56-yard touchdown, which is remarkable for a player his size. If the Rams want a big, athletic wide receiver on the outside, Higgins should garner consideration on Day 3. He would be a good player to bring in and develop into a future No. 2 or 3 wide receiver.
A.T. Perry, Wake Forest
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Perry is another 6-foot-3 wideout who put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Wake Forest, scoring a total of 26 touchdowns in the last two years. He could wind up being a second-round pick thanks to his length and leaping ability, two things the Rams could use on offense – especially if Allen Robinson isn’t back in 2023. Perry is an intriguing prospect for a team that may not have an immediate need at wideout, but could use a developmental player for future years.
Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
Tillman had 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021 but he was limited to just 417 yards and three touchdowns in six games this past season. He’s a tough receiver who isn’t afraid to go over the middle and make contested catches. His time in the 40-yard dash will certainly impact his draft stock because he doesn’t display great speed on tape, but he’s being drafted for his size, not necessarily his explosiveness.