Midway through the Rams' virtual offseason program, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell took the time to break down each of the unit's rookie skill-position additions. Here's what he had to say about running back Cam Akers, wide receiver Van Jefferson and tight end Brycen Hopkins as we get closer to training camp.
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
2019 college stats: 231 carries, 1,144 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns; 30 catches, 225 receiving yards, four touchdowns; second-team All-ACC selection.
O'Connell's take: "Cam was a guy that, really studying him, you saw the amount of personal grit and determination where you saw some of his runs. He was running against a lot of loaded looks there at Florida State and he was able to create a lot on his own, and as well you see the upside. I think it was a great running back draft, there was a lot of depth across the board, but for us and for me personally, with Cam, just watching and thinking about where he can possibly get to and get maximized in our offense."
Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
2019 college stats: 49 receptions, 657 yards, six touchdowns.
O'Connell's take: "There's no secret to our love as a coaching staff for him. His ability to run routes and understand the next-level element of running routes and separating at the top, I think he'll fit right in from a personality and a skillset standpoint with the guys we have in that room. The great thing about rooms like that, where there's depth but there's also accountability and guys pushing each other, (is) they're all going to raise their games continually to another level."
Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
2019 college stats: 61 receptions, 830 yards, seven touchdowns; first-team All-Big Ten selection (coaches and media).
O'Connell's take: "Brycen down there in the tight end room, it's kind of the same thing (as the wide receivers). Higs and Gerald have really established a foundation, a standard in that room that coach (Wes) Phillips has, and I think him getting in there with Johnny Mundt and the other guys as well, the depth out of that really gives you the versatility that I think people have seen around the NFL.
"When you've got the multiple skillsets, you've got guys that can both run routes and block in the run game, the options are limitless. You can have 1, 2, 3, 4 tight ends on the field if you want to and really force the defense to try to adjust to those personnel groupings and figure out, do they want to match personnel, do they not. When they don't, what advantages do you have, when they do, what advantages do you have, but it requires those guys to have a really great skillset in there, versatile skillset. The fact that we have that room set up the way we do right now is really exciting."