Evidently, Cooper Kupp has made a big impression with the Los Angeles Rams.
With fall camp a few days away, the former Eastern Washington All-American already is atop the preseason depth chart for the team that drafted him in April.
The Rams recently provided an unofficial list of preseason starters. There were few surprises, but Kupp was one of them.
From the first minicamp, the Yakima native impressed coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur with his reliability.
“I think the first thing you know about Cooper is he’s a pro and you can see that,” LaFleur said.
“He came in here not like most rookies do. He’s an extremely polished route runner who’s got great hands, is a precise route-runner. You can tell he works at his craft each and every day,” LaFleur said.
Kupp likely made the top of the depth chart because the list is based on a three-wide receiver set. The other projected starters are Tavon Austin, a four-year veteran out of West Virginia; and projected go-to receiver Robert Woods.
Woods, a former USC star who played the last four years at Buffalo, signed a five-year, $39 million contract with the Rams this spring.
Kupp’s chances for early playing time increased on July 14, when second-year receiver Mike Thomas was hit with a four-game suspension for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Thomas won’t be eligible to play until Oct. 2.
Expectations for Kupp are all over the board. NumberFire.com recently projected that Kupp would have 29 catches this year. However, Peter Schrager from Good Morning Football predicts a 70-catch season.
The Rams open camp on Wednesday afternoon at UC Irvine, with rookies reporting first. Full camp begins on Saturday.
The Rams open the preseason at home on Aug. 12 against the Dallas Cowboys.