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  1. #1
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    St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Impact Analysis: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade
    May 7, 2008
    17:57:00

    By Herija C. Green
    Edited by Bryce McRae


    Once known as "The Greatest Show on Turf," the St. Louis Rams are now in full-fledged rebuilding mode when it comes to their once dynamic receiving corps. Pro Bowl receiver Torry Holt remains as the lone holdover from that explosive offense with his long-time running mate receiver Isaac Bruce signing with the San Francisco ***** during the offseason. Even Holt is getting up there in years and will turn 32 before the season starts. Veteran Drew Bennett was a disappointment after signing with the club in free agency last season.

    Knowing they had a significant need at the position, the Rams used their second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft to grab University of Houston wide receiver Donnie Avery. The fact that the Rams selected a receiver did not come as a surprise to anyone. However, the fact that not a single receiver had been taken to that point, including many that carried first-round grades, made the Avery pick an unpopular one amongst draft experts who felt the team reached by selecting him 33rd overall.

    While one can certainly debate the merits of Avery being the first receiver drafted, there is no denying that he is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands as he is a threat to get deep and can make big plays after the catch. Avery's career average of 15.7 yards after the catch should help a team that was tied for 30th in the league in this category last year with just 4.1 per reception. Avery amassed 1,456 yards and seven touchdowns on 91 receptions for the Cougars last year, so he can also be a factor in the Rams return game.

    Avery is not without his faults, though, as his route running has been almost universally panned for being substandard and is in need of significant improvement at the NFL level. His toughness and willingness to work across the middle have also been brought into question. Plus, at 5-foot-11 and just 186 pounds he is a bit undersized.

    He likely will compete for the No. 3 receiving job behind Holt and Bennett, which would likely have him working as the slot receiver. Bennett served in that role a season ago, catching 33 passes for 375 yards and three scores, but that was under former offensive coordinator Greg Olson. As previously mentioned, it is hard to hold last season against Bennett with everything else crumbling around him. The team replaced Olson during the offseason with former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders, who was with the Rams during the past two regimes, serving as both the wide receivers coach and assistant head coach. Saunders covets speed at the receiver position, which is one thing Avery definitely has in excess.

    Fantasy football outlookMany things have changed in St. Louis over the years, but one thing that hasn't is Holt's status as an upper-tier fantasy receiver. He has hauled in more than 90 receptions for five straight years and has reached 1,100-plus yards every season since his rookie campaign in 1999. His numbers have tapered off a little, but he still makes a low-end No. 1 receiver and is among the safest options in the league.

    Bennett struggled in his first year with the Rams, perhaps still living off of his 2004 performance, at least in a perception sense, when he accounted for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Tennessee Titans. He has managed just 10 touchdowns combined in the three years since and doesn't have another season with even 750 receiving yards to his credit, though he came close during his final two years with the Titans. He is a decent No. 4 receiver, but don't draft him as anything other than depth with minor upside. Furthermore, the No. 2 receiver in Saunders' offense rarely contributes for fantasy teams.

    Avery could cause some havoc stretching the field for the Rams, but the general rule for rookie receivers is that they don't make much of an impact right away. This could be an even bigger problem in Saunders' notoriously complex system. Avery might be worth a late-round flier in deep single-year leagues but not much else. In keeper leagues, you could consider stashing him as he may grow into an effective starter in St. Louis.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    I'm expecting Bennett to step up and have a good season in 2008. Torry Holt is Torry Holt the consummate professional and competitor. Not a bad tandem for sure and I would say possibly better than the average tandems in the NFL.

    With McMichael at TE and the new guy Avery or whom ever wins the slot receiver position we should be okay.

    Really how many teams in the NFL have a better starting tandem than we do?

  3. #3
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Honestly, I think a fair number of the better teams in the league have a better starting tandem. Holt didn't look the same last season. Balls that would have been difficult to catch before weren't even attempted at times, and I blame the knee. He'll still get 1,000 yards and make it look easy, but I don't think he's the player he once was. Bennett is a 700-yard, 4 TD guy if he returns to his Tennessee form.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    including many that carried first-round grades
    Not one carried a first round grade per Mat Maylock.

  5. #5
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Avery is not without his faults, though, as his route running has been almost universally panned for being substandard and is in need of significant improvement at the NFL level. His toughness and willingness to work across the middle have also been brought into question. Plus, at 5-foot-11 and just 186 pounds he is a bit undersized.
    I think some of us here needed to see this one more time.

  6. #6
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    at 5-foot-11 and just 186 pounds he is a bit undersized
    One inch shorter then Holt and a huge 4LBS... wow he is too small. We don't have a 6'5" WR on our roster do we...

  7. #7
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Impact Analysis: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade
    May 7, 2008
    17:57:00

    By Herija C. Green
    Edited by Bryce McRae


    Once known as "The Greatest Show on Turf," the St. Louis Rams are now in full-fledged rebuilding mode when it comes to their once dynamic receiving corps.
    No mention of Keenan Burton? For an article on "full-fledged rebuilding" it seems like a glaring oversight that he is not included. I am still waiting for a thourough article on the Ram's WR's.

  8. #8
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Ofcourse it's rebuilding time. Yes we have two aging receivers. Who knows, we may land a good one in the near future to replace Holt.

    All I know is Holt can still get the job done. So I am still definately excited to see him peform next season.

  9. #9
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Bennett is a 6" 5" receiver

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  10. #10
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Bennett is a 6" 5" receiver
    I know that, you know that, but the media thinks we needed a big WR, when we all know we needed speed not another slow tall WR.

  11. #11
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    Re: St. Louis Rams WRs receive a little upgrade ,,

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Quote:
    Avery is not without his faults, though, as his route running has been almost universally panned for being substandard and is in need of significant improvement at the NFL level. His toughness and willingness to work across the middle have also been brought into question. Plus, at 5-foot-11 and just 186 pounds he is a bit undersized.
    I think some of us here needed to see this one more time.
    I don't think college players needing significant work on their route-running is particularly out of the norm. Isn't that one of the reasons receivers usually take a while to mature in the NFL? I'll admit the objection to going across the middle is something that better change quick if he expects to see time as a slot receiver. But come on, when was the last time a receiver prospect came along who didn't have flaws?

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