L.A. Ram Rookie Targets Deliver Samples of Dynamic Plays

This week’s Ram-Rams have been busy, with most of the teams fielding at least one new addition to the roster. The Rams drafted cornerback DeAndre Smelter in the fifth round and he has been quickly spun into the mix. He’s even been getting some playing time during day three of camp, and it’s quite possible he could enter the starting lineup on the right side of the defense. Smelter started out his college career at Texas Tech, where he had two interceptions in each of his first two seasons. In his final year, he had 11 interceptions—more than any other cornerback in the Big 12. In addition to his defensive acumen, Smelter also had the speed to get down the field as a punt

The Ram’s defense has been a major surprise this season, allowing the fewest total points in the league while opposing teams are converting at just a 35.4 percent clip. Their stinginess is a tribute to the play of rookie safety Derwin James, who is already making a name for himself in the NFL with some big play-making ability. You could tell he was a ball-hawking player from his freshman year at Florida State, where he intercepted six passes and recovered three fumbles, earning him a second-team All-ACC honor.

“Every NFL draft has its moments, and the 2018 draft was no exception. The Los Angeles Rams’ selection of defensive tackle Greg Gaines was one of the best they could have made in the first round. The Rams needed a starter at the position and Gaines brings the best possible package: He’s a first-round talent that has the potential to get better and become a long-time starter.. Read more about rams best players 2021 and let us know what you think.

Jacob Harris

Getty The Los Angeles Rams’ Jacob Harris had four receptions for 43 yards in his preseason NFL debut, both team highs.

The Los Angeles Rams offense had a sluggish night, with just 197 total yards inside SoFi Stadium to show for it.

However, two representatives of the Rams’ future faced the Chargers on a night of dynamic sampling.

Tutu Atwell, a second-round pick, displayed the speed that persuaded the Rams to utilize him as the first piece of their draft class in 2021. Jacob Harris, the Rams’ fourth-round pick, broke away from tackles and emerged as the mismatch as the hybrid receiver/tight end option they envisioned when he was chosen.

On a night when the Rams offense only managed to score six points in their 13-6 defeat at SoFi Stadium, the Rams and Rams Twitter were obviously optimistic about the future thanks to these two rookie weapons.


Atwell Shook Off Punt Return Penalty & Early Hit

 

Is this Atwell’s first explosive play? Unfortunately, the play was canceled.

It also appeared on special teams.

Atwell received a long punt and then activated the same jets that made him a lethal player at Miami Northwestern High School and Louisville. And it prompted a flurry of tweets, including this one from The Athletic’s Rams beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue, which included an NSFW warning.

Tutu Atwell gets the first taste of punt returner duty, and holy sh*t, is he quick.

15 August 2021 — Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue)

Rich Hammond, another Rams beat writer, was speechless.

Penalty for the special teams.

But, Tutu Atwell, hello there.

15 August 2021 — Rich Hammond (@Rich Hammond)

Another person who remarked on his quickness was Associated Press Rams writer Greg Beachum.

Tutu Atwell rounds the corner on a huge punt return that will be called back due to a penalty, but it was his speed, not the hold, that sprung him.

15 August 2021 — Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham)

Pro Football Focus’ Sosa Kremenjas was also a fan of the ill-fated comeback.

TuTu Atwell is the Rams’ first-ever PR’er. Has a significant return (30-40 yards). This kid has juiiiiice! Flag will bring it back, but this kid has juiiiiice!

— August 15, 2021, Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)

And if the 155-pound Atwell did have his “Welcome to the NFL” moment, he certainly brushed it off quickly.

On his first target, Atwell raced to his left behind the Rams’ offensive line in the first quarter. During the live broadcast, ESPN personality and Rams color commentator Mina Kimes dubbed it “second rounder on second rounder crime” after he grabbed a little underthrown Devlin Hodges ball but was disrupted by Asante Samuel Jr. for a 1-yard gain.

TuTu Atwell makes his Rams debut, receiving a little underthrown pass from Duck Hodges that rolls out against his body and then being hit hard by Asante Samuel Jr.

15 August 2021 — Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham)

But the 5-foot-9 Atwell didn’t waste any time shaking it off… and break a lengthy winning streak

Atwell, who was playing out of the slot, was left alone at the Rams’ 47 yard line and then put on his jets for the 20-yarder.

And then the supporters started to speak out.

Sean McVay and Tutu Atwell were meant for each other. Some teams are going to get screened to smithereens.

15 August 2021 — Miller (@Canes99)

Atwell finished the game with two receptions for a total of 21 yards. He was one of just three Ram receivers to record a 20-yard reception (the other J.J. Koski, who had his 20-yarder during the fourth).


Harris Exhibits the Presence of Mismatch

 

The Central Florida tight end, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 211 pounds, didn’t have to spend the whole evening sticking his hand in the grass.

The Rams tried him out as a “X” receiver to see if he could generate size advantages.

On the night, he also had a difficult sideline grab.

What was his most enthusiastic response? That one had a rookie blunder: a fumble. However, the Rams gained two first down markers as a result of the play.

Bryce Perkins connects with Jacob Harris for a 20-yard gain, but he fumbles the ball away. The Rams make a comeback. Man. That TE is doing its job!

— August 15, 2021, Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)

Harris finished the night as the Rams’ top receiver with four receptions for 43 yards and an average of 10.8 yards per grab.

And the UCF star received a lot of social media love on Twitter.

Jacob Harris is going to be everything Gerald Everett was supposed to be for the Rams.

August 15, 2021 DOWNTOWN RAMS [DTR] (@DowntownRams)

And here’s what one Ram fan had to say about the two rooks.

The Rams’ bright spots? Jacob Harris and TuTu Atwell are unquestionably the best.

— Tyler Bearde (GET VACCINATED!) (@tbearde) 15 August 2021


The Rams have had a solid offseason of talent acquisition, and they are looking to keep their recent run of success going. The first big test will come in week one when they host the Seahawks in their home opener on Sunday. The Rams have gone up against Seattle in the last couple of years and have been dominated in those games. Will Los Angeles bounce back this year?. Read more about rams talk and rumors and let us know what you think.

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