As you likely know, there's a lot of hype surrounding rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp. The Eastern Washington product has put together a solid preseason so far, making eight receptions for 105 yards with a pair of touchdowns in two games.
Kupp has remained humble throughout, on Monday giving credit to his teammates and coaches for his preseason success. But on Monday, Rams' top cornerback Trumaine Johnson told the media he's given Kupp a fairly lofty goal for his first pro season.
"I told him a week ago: Rookie of the Year. That should be his goal in my mind," Johnson said. "He's from the Big Sky [Conference], I'm from the Big Sky. I knew coming in he had great route running — he could come in right now and compete, and start."
During a one-on-one red zone drill at UC Irvine last week, Kupp made a shifty move off the line, eluding Johnson for an easy touchdown. Johnson showed his appreciation after the play, giving Kupp a few claps as the two headed back to their respective position groups.
On Monday, Johnson said Kupp excels at just about everything.
"Smart route running," Johnson said. "He can go in there and compete right now — that's what I love about him. He's real coachable, too."
Johnson also had high praise for recently acquired Sammy Watkins. As one of the Rams' top targets, Johnson has been assigned to cover him plenty in Watkins' first few weeks on the West Coast.
"He's a dog. He has that 'it' factor," Johnson said. "What's the saying — iron sharpens iron? So I love competing versus him and all the other receivers."