Rookie Van Jefferson might become starter in Rams’ base offense

Van Jefferson might turn into a starter for the Rams.

When Todd Gurley’s health failed him last season, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff operated an offense that was one step short of an Air Raid.

Knowing that saving Goff’s reputation after a subpar 2019 is the key to keeping his job, McVay added former Florida Gators wideout Van Jefferson in the draft to give Goff another new toy to play with. Jefferson has been so impressive at practice that he may end up starting next to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue believes that Jefferson will take over the WR3 role from incumbent Josh Reynolds, effectively making him a starter in LA’s base 11 personnel offense that features three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back.

Van Jefferson won Sean McVay over due to his route-running

Jefferson, a Senior Bowl standout, slid to the middle of the second round due to a lack of elite production at both Ole Miss and Florida. However, box score scouting allowed one of the draft’s best route-runners and speediest vertical threats to slip to Day 2.

The son of New York Jets wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, who was a quality NFL player for 10 years as a Charger and Patriot, Van’s ability to get separation at the line of scrimmage and make a play after the catch should serve him well in McVay’s offense.

Rams cornerback Adonis Alexander, whom Jefferson toasted in practice due to his nuanced, quick routes, wasn’t the first cornerback to get burned by the former Gator, and he won’t be the last if McVay lets him start next to Kupp, Woods, and Gerald Everett.

While many of the biggest names on the Rams are locked up long-term with huge contracts, the selections of Jefferson and running back Cam Akers in the 2020 draft in addition to speedster Darrell Henderson last year are evidence of a mini youth movement underway in LA.

Next: Who will be the top rookie WR in 2020?

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