Cooper Kupp is now 2 years removed from his ACL injury, and he’s got a new QB. I can’t help but think about the connection between Matt Stafford and slot WR Golden Tate back in the day when projecting the connection between these two.
One of the reasons I was vocal about avoiding Kupp in 2020 was because of Gerald Everett’s return to the lineup, and the departure of Brandin Cooks.
It became obvious to me that the Rams were going to go into 12-personnel a lot more, and they did.
What that meant was less time for Kupp in the slot, which is really the only spot on the field where Kupp can win consistently. He played a smaller percentage in the slot and less overall routes/game last year compared to the years prior.
Now that Gerald Everett is out of town, and considering the presence/additions of Van Jefferson, DeSean Jackson, and Tutu Atwell, there is no need for Sean McVay to have 2 TEs on the field consistently. Instead of the 65% of 11-personnel he ran last season, he can get closer to the 73% he ran in 2019 or the 89% in 2018.
Kupp’s TD rate has correlated with those percentages as well. In 2018, he scored at a 15% rate (TDs/reception). In 2019, it was 10.6%, and then scored on only 3% of his receptions in 2020. His YPRR was also 8th overall in 2019 (min. 100 targets), and was still 16th in 2020 despite the obstacles he had to overcome.
A positive TD regression is coming, and that’s not even considering the QB upgrade.
He’s being drafted as the WR22- that’s his floor. He has WR1 upside, so he’ll definitely be on my radar in the 5th round.