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Mailbag: Which Rookies May Have the Biggest Early Impact?

We're just five days away from the beginning of training camp, with rookies reporting Wednesday and veterans reporting on Friday to U.C. Irvine. And to get you ready, we're taking your questions all week. From Monday through Friday, team insider Myles Simmons will answer one Q in this space for the question of the day. If you've got a question, send it over to Simmons on Twitter @MylesASimmons and you just might see it here on the site.*

The first question comes from @RamfamPodcaster:

I like this question mainly because it's sort of difficult to answer. While they've played and excelled at the college level, rookies are still largely unknown entities. We saw them during OTAs and minicamp, but they've yet to practice in pads.

Given that, offensively my first instinct is to say wide receiver Cooper Kupp. You've probably heard a lot about him — Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager recently predicted Kupp will lead all rookies in receptions — and he certainly looked like he could make an impact during OTAs and minicamp.

A third-round pick, Kupp set record after record at Eastern Washington, easily becoming one of the most prolific wideouts in college history. And even though he played for an FCS program, Kupp played up to FBS-level competition whenever he had the opportunity. In a 2015 matchup with Oregon, for instance, Kupp recorded 15 receptions for 246 yards with three touchdowns.

Plus, both head coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur have raved about how polished Kupp is as a receiver. Perhaps that's the biggest reason I think he has a chance to make a significant impact early.

However, don't sleep on tight end Gerald Everett, as he has a lot of potential to be a matchup problem for defenses across the league.

Defensively, it's probably a bit harder to tell who might make an impact early. There weren't any rookies projected to start on that side of the football in the Rams’ preseason media release, but two who could crack the rotation are safety John Johnson and outside linebacker Samson Ebukam. But both will need to impress during practices and the preseason games to ensure that happens.

Thanks for your question, @RamfamPodcaster. We'll be back tomorrow with another question of the day. To submit yours, send it over to @MylesASimmons on Twitter.


Check out the guys set to head down to training camp at the end of July. Photos by Jeff Lewis.


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