Watch any Rams game from the last four years, and it becomes obvious how much pride wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp take in being as physical without the ball in their hands as they are with it. It is not out the ordinary, for example, to see one running downfield to block for the other, or give maximum effort blocking for a standard running play.
New Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek took the same approach at Notre Dame, making his physicality a perfect fit in Los Angeles.
"Tough, physical and reliable," Skowronek said during a video conference with reporters after being selected 249th overall by L.A. in the 2021 NFL Draft. "I love to get in there blocking. That's my favorite thing to do on the football field is hitting people. Maybe I play the wrong position at receiver, but that's what I love to do. I think I have some of the best hands coming out in this year's draft. Strong hands, I catch everything and I'm also a high IQ player. I love the game of football. I study the game of football. I've been around the game of football growing up. So, I feel like I'm savvy in that way and just a high IQ type guy."
That selflessness – also a reflection of the Rams' current receiver room – will serve him well.
Skowronek said he isn't sure yet what his role will be, but he has traits that project him as a potential special teams contributor.
He has size with his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. "He's a genre that we don't have at receiver," Rams general manager Les Snead said Saturday.
A graduate transfer from Northwestern prior to joining Notre Dame, he also has speed. According a Blue & Gold Illustrated article published in November 2020, he registered 23.6 miles per hour on the Wildcats' GPS data measurement and tracking system after a summer workout a few years ago – fastest on the team.
Whatever plans the Rams have for him, he isn't shy about competition. He knew transferring to Notre Dame "would be a leap of faith" and that there would be no promises when he got there, and went out and earned a starting role.
"I'm going to come in and compete and do whatever (Rams head) coach (Sean) McVay asks me to do," Skowronek said. "Obviously, I don't even know if I describe myself as a receiver. I did a lot of things at Notre Dame where I inserted and was blocking linebackers. I'll play anything. At Northwestern, my senior year I had played some tight end in some packages, so anything the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and I just want to win football games. So, I'm excited to be on the Rams and I can't wait to get started."
Take a look at photos of wide receiver Ben Skowronek from his time at Notre Dame.