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Rams Expecting Improvement from Everett, Reynolds in 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday at the NFL Combine is usually an important day.

Last year the Rams were able to see three of their first four picks on the field on Saturday — tight end Gerald Everett, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and wide receiver Josh Reynolds.

Of those three, Kupp was certainly the most productive in 2017. The 69th overall pick, he ended the year leading the team with 869 yards and finished second with 62 receptions.

"You talk about an impressive rookie, you look at Cooper where he really sees the game through the eyes of a quarterback," head coach Sean McVay said this week. "But I think it's a credit to him as an individual and we're fortunate to have Cooper and glad we got him when we did."

Though the numbers weren't to the level of Kupp, Everett and Reynolds made their share of contributions, too. Everett played in all 16 games, starting two, and caught 16 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns. Plus, he showed some versatility by taking a jet sweep 13 yards for his only carry of the year. Reynolds also played in all 16, starting one, making 11 receptions for 104 yards with one touchdown.

"What's good about both of those guys is they got a chance to step up in various roles throughout the year," McVay said. "You look at when Robert Woods missed a couple weeks that allowed Josh to step up. I thought he made some key conversions against New Orleans in a big win that we needed to have to kind of stay in the division race."

"I thought [Everett] supplemented Tyler Higbee really well in some of those known passing situations — makes a couple big plays," McVay added. "Was able to have a huge fourth and one touchdown against the Cardinals that ended up being a big play for us to be able to win that game. Makes a couple plays against the Giants. So Gerald is a guy that has a lot of ability."

Those are reasons why Los Angeles is excited to have both with a year of experience heading into 2018.

"[Reynolds is] a guy that has all the traits and characteristics. He's wired to separate. Great catch radius," McVay said. "Gerald is a guy that has a lot of ability. I think its continuing to get more comfortable playing the tight end position at the professional level. And we ask a lot of our guys, being able to play in the run and the pass game, and sometimes compete in protection, and Gerald's a guy that I think he's going to attack the offseason the right way and we're hoping to see him continue to improve. But those are two guys that you are excited about."

And while the Rams have been clear that they would like to have pending free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins back in 2018, Reynolds could potentially soften the blow should Watkins and L.A. not come to an agreement.

"We were very impressed with Josh," general manager Les Snead said this week. "[T]here was few things that he did in practice and even in games you're like, 'Wow, OK, that's the Josh Reynolds that we saw go up and make catches against good players in college football.' So he can wow you with some of those catches. Very excited about him whether no matter who the first three receivers are."

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