Cooper Kupp-Undervalued or Overrated?September 1, 2019
By: Mike Nelson, Football Analyst
The 2019 NFL season is about to kick off next week. It will be an interesting season for the Los Angeles Rams, a team that is coming off a good season that ended in an embarrassing 13-3 loss against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. A team that led the league in offense all season long, was shut down in the biggest game of the season and only scored 3 points. It was the worst offensive performance for a team in Super Bowl history. That’s saying a lot considering there have been 53 of them. Cooper Kupp was absent from that game after suffering a torn ACL in Week 10. His presence was really missed in this game and probably the defining reason why the Rams didn’t win the Super Bowl.
Kupp was drafted in the 3rd round, a 69th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Rams had just hired Sean McVay a few months earlier and this draft pick made a lot of sense for a team that was moving toward a stronger offensive attack than what previous head coach Jeff Fisher had constructed. Kupp was an amazing player for Eastern Washington University. Kupp had over 6,000 receiving yards with 428 receptions in his 4 years with the team. What is shocking is the Kupp fell all the way to the 3rd round in the draft. The only possible reason was that Kupp went to Eastern Washington a school not known to produce NFL talent and that makes a huge difference when it comes to scouting and draft order.
As a rookie in the 2017 NFL season his impact with the Rams was evident. Kupp became the best receiver on the team with 62 receptions and 869 receiving yards for the season. He led the entire team in those two categories and as a rookie that is unheard of in the NFL. The connection between QB Jared Goff and Kupp was instant, right from the start. Going into the 2018 season Kupp and Robert Woods were going to be the top two receivers for this team. In the 8 games Kupp appeared in for the Rams he was great, 40 receptions and 566 receiving yards. Had he stayed healthy he probably would have eclipsed 1,000 yards. After Kupp’s injury you can argue the Rams were just never the same. They only scored over 30 points once after that against teams that would eventually become playoff teams. The team was 9-1 when Kupp went down, they finished 13-3. Robert Woods was forced into a larger role and it affected the team in the long run. Woods didn’t have a great playoffs only having 172 receiving yards in 3 games and no touchdowns. The Patriots focused their attention on Woods in the Super Bowl and shut down the offense for the entire game.
For the 2019 season the Rams will rely on Kupp and Woods along with Brandin Cooks to be the top wide receivers for this team. Kupp is fully healthy and will be a starter. He will get the ball thrown to him quite a bit. His impact on this team is essential to the success of the Rams. If Kupp plays at high level once again, this team will have the top offense in the league. His value to the team is not talked about enough and his presence really makes a difference. It should be another great NFL season and the Rams cannot wait to get it started at Carolina in Week 1.