Van Jefferson tries to be an all-around WR, not just a deep threat

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Bringing in a deep threat was a big priority for the Rams last offseason. They signed DeSean Jackson as a free agent, and early on, it looked like that would be a dream fit with Matthew Stafford at quarterback. They also drafted Tutu Atwell in the second round, but he never got off the ground as a rookie.

Van Jefferson, who’s deceptively fast, wound up becoming the Rams’ big-play threat on the outside. He led the team with an average of 16 yards per catch, hauling in 50 passes for 802 yards on the year.

The Rams traded away Robert Woods and brought in Allen Robinson this offseason, but it still could be Jefferson who operates as the deep threat. He’s fine with whatever role the Rams want him to play, but ideally, he wants to be an all-around receiver.

“I just try to be an all-around player,” he said this week. “Whatever role that they want me to play, that’s the role I’m gonna do. Whatever I can do to help the team win. Last year was just a role that I was suited with and I tried to do it to the best of my ability and it worked out. This year, I’m just going to whatever role they want me to play and execute that to the best of my ability, so that’s kind of my mindset on that.”

Robinson is a big-body receiver capable of making contested catches in traffic, so he’ll help stretch the field vertically alongside Jefferson. Cooper Kupp, of course, also caught a bunch of passes down the field, including the game-saving grab against the Buccaneers in the playoffs.

So while the Rams may not have a true speedster – unless Atwell breaks out – they have a cast of receivers who can all make an impact at every level of the field.