As we get closer to the 2021 NFL season, fans are hopeful that their favorite team is progressing and getting ready to try and win the Super Bowl. But, of course, it takes an entire roster to win a Super Bowl, and there is usually a player that comes out of nowhere for a team and plays a significant role in a team being successful. In 2021, one player that fits this description perfectly is former Florida Gators and current Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson.
Jefferson, who was selected in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft, did not have as big of a year as fans had hoped for. In his rookie season, the 57th overall pick in the draft only had 19 receptions for 220 yards and one score.
The former Gators receiver entered the NFL regarded as a great route-runner and a sure-handed receiver. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 offseason clearly played a role in Jefferson not playing as well as many thought he would, but luckily for Jefferson, things are slowly getting back to normal.
During the Rams’ OTA’s, Jefferson has impressive, and don’t take my word for it. According to Rams’ head coach Sean McVay, Jefferson has “established himself as a legitimate dude.” Here is the full quote via Heavy.com.
“He’s got a great ability to work the edges and separate. He’s got good, aggressive hands. You can see he’s really put the work in. He’s come back and established himself as a legitimate dude, a guy that we’re counting on for big things, and I think the future is so bright for this guy.”
Rams fans should expect a breakout year from Van Jefferson.
When the head coach praises a player like this in OTA’s, it is time to tweet the eye emojis. McVay has no reason to talk Jefferson up other than to reward him for his hard work. Clearly, Jefferson has taken a jump from Year 1 to Year 2, which should excite Rams fans.
The Rams are loaded at receiver, with the top two guys being Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, both catching 90 or more passes and having over 900 yards last year. However, Los Angeles’ No. 3 receiver in 2020, Josh Reynolds, left for the Tennessee Titans, so the Rams need someone to become their No. 3 guy.
They did sign future Hall of Famer and the greatest deep threat in NFL history DeSean Jackson and draft TuTu Atwell in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, I think it will be Jefferson who will win the No. 3 wide receiver job.
Reynolds had 52 catches for 618 yards and two scores last season in that position. Jefferson should easily match that production, and even more in 2021 because he will be a breakout player for the Rams.