The 2017 Rams won their first NFC West title since 2003 with an 11-5 regular-season record. As Los Angeles’ focus shifts to 2018 and beyond, we’ll take a position-by-position look at how the Rams performed in 2017 and how each group currently stands at the start of the 2018 offseason.
WR | Sammy Watkins
— 39 receptions | 593 yards receiving | Team-leading eight touchdowns
WR | Robert Woods
— 56 receptions (No. 3 on the Rams) | 861 receiving yards | Five touchdowns
WR | Cooper Kupp
— 62 receptions (Set Rams rookie record) | 869 receiving yards | Five touchdowns
WR | Tavon Austin
— 13 receptions | 47 receiving yards | 59 carries for 270 rushing yards | One touchdown
WR | Pharoh Cooper *^
— 11 receptions | 84 receiving yards
WR | Josh Reynolds
—* *11 receptions | 104 receiving yards | One touchdown
WR | Mike Thomas
— Five receptions | 93 yards | One blocked punt
WR | Fred Brown
— Signed a futures contract with the Rams in January
ANY FREE AGENTS?**
Watkins will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year in March.
LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
The Rams wide receiving corps had an impressive showing in 2017. Under first-year head coach Sean McVay, L.A. went from last to first in scoring, averaging 29.9 points per game during the regular season. And the club’s effective passing game was one of the main reasons for the dramatic change.
Los Angeles brought in several offensive weapons for quarterback Jared Goff during the 2017 offseason. The club signed former USC standout Woods, while also drafting Kupp and Reynolds to bolster the receiving room. Then in August, L.A. acquired Watkins in a trade with the Bills.
Woods quickly developed into one of Goff’s most reliable targets, making a significant impact as both a possession receiver and a vertical threat. In 2017, he recorded the highest output of his five-year career and came up big for the franchise in several critical situations — converting a 3rd-and-33 into a touchdown in the Rams’ 51-17 victory over the Giants, while posting over 100 receiving yards during his postseason debut.
Kupp also made a splash in his first season with the Rams. The Eastern Washington product developed into one of the league’s best first-year receivers and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team for his standout season. Although Kupp struggled with several key drops, he showcased his mental toughness — bouncing back from those bad plays and becoming one of the most explosive weapons in the Rams locker room.
While Austin, Cooper, and Thomas all experienced decreases in their production as wide receivers, all three made significant contributions in other areas. Austin was used primarily as a gadget player and made an impact in the ground game as well. Cooper and Thomas, on the other hand, excelled on special teams.
Looking forward, the Rams’ main decision in the receiving room will be in regards to Watkins, who is set to hit the open market in mid-March. The Clemson product was a big-play threat all season and led the team in touchdowns. He has also expressed his desire to remain with the franchise in 2018.
L.A. has the option to place the franchise or transition tag on Watkins prior to the new league year. Otherwise, Watkins and the Rams will have to come to an agreement on a short-term or long-term contract to keep him in Los Angeles.
Check out the best photos of the Los Angeles Rams 2017 season.