When the Los Angeles Rams traded Brandin Cooks to Houston, it opened an opportunity in the receiver corps for a young player to potentially step in right away.
The Rams then made Florida product Van Jefferson a second-round pick in the 2020 draft. Quarterback Jared Goff compared Jefferson to receiver Cooper Kupp, who showed out as a rookie.
"Van has been really good, man," Goff said, per the team's official transcript. "He's been really good. I say that cautiously because you never want these young guys to get too far ahead of themselves (laughs). But he's been really impressive and done a good job. It reminds me a lot of when Cooper was a rookie, and he was just so far ahead of where a rookie kind of should be. He's done a great job. He's really picking things up fast. He's obviously extremely athletic, but I think his ability to be able to pick up the offense mentally and understand the little intricacies of it has been really impressive, and I'm excited to play with him."
NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported that Jefferson has been a "darling of training camp" thus far.
At 6-foot-1, with a big catch radius, the rookie -- and son of former NFL receiver Shawn Jefferson -- could carve out a role as an outside receiver alongside Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Jefferson enters camp battling Josh Reynolds for reps as the No. 3 wideout.
Many rookies struggle out of the gate with the transition from college to pros. Goff believes Jefferson could contribute right away, given the offense he played in at Florida.
"Yeah, I'm sure that's part of it," he said. "Just being in an offense that does, maybe, some similar things at Florida. I'm not sure how much was similar, but more than anything it's the way he approaches it every day. The way he comes to work and is a pro. Not surprised, you know, his dad is an NFL coach and he kind of gets it. So, you can tell when those young guys are the ones that get it and he certainly up to this point is one of those guys."
The 24-year-old rookie didn't have huge production at Florida but enters the NFL with stellar route-running ability. Not having an offseason hurts all rookies, especially those battling with veterans for playing time. It could take a few weeks -- or injury -- for first-year players like Jefferson to bust into the rotation, but he's a young player to watch in L.A. as the Rams revamp their offense following offseason changes.