Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio still believes that second-year Rams receiver Josh Reynolds is a talent that will blossom into an NFL starter.
As with any segment of life involving human beings, you have to account for fickle and impatient behavior from sports fans. If the player isn’t good immediately, something must be wrong with him. If something is wrong with him, it’s easier to write him off than having even the slightest emotional or intellectual investment to keep tabs on his development with an open mind.
Robert Woods was “just a guy” in Buffalo until he wasn’t last year in Los Angeles. Emmanuel Sanders was an athletic reserve who might contribute low-end starter production in an offense loaded with talent until he went to Denver and earned 256 receptions, 2,571 yards, and 20 touchdowns in 3 years.
Marvin Jones earned 18 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. Antonio Brown earned 16 catches for 167 yards and didn’t score a touchdown as a rookie. Mike Wallace was the talk of Pittsburgh and even fellow rookie Sanders out-played Brown.
Josh Reynolds had 11 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. His most impressive play last year didn’t even happen during the regular season:
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) July 3, 2018
It may not count, but plays like these are evidence worth filing away in the mental Rolodex. So should the fact that later in the same drive, Reynolds beat single coverage up the left sideline for a touchdown a go route.
Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp will start for the Rams in 2018. However, Los Angeles still has plans for Reynold’s future. Although Kupp has some red-zone chops, Reynolds has the best skillset to replace Sammy Watkins on fades and slants in this area of the field. Cooks has proven that this is not his game.
Expect Reynolds to earn excellent matchups in four-receiver sets as well as red zone sub-package opportunities. He may not deliver starter production in 2018, but he’ll continue flashing starter potential.
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