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Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp 'consistently showed up' in rookie camp

By
Alex Butler
Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp catches a pass in rookie minicamp. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams/Twitter
Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp catches a pass in rookie minicamp. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams/Twitter

May 14 (UPI) -- Wide receiver Cooper Kupp is already making an impression for the Los Angeles Rams, according to coach Sean McVay.

The rookie coach praised the rookie player Saturday after the last day of rookie minicamp.

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"Yeah. I think when you look at it, we did a lot more 7-on-7 than sometimes you're accustomed to because we just were a little bit limited with our numbers on O-line and D-line," McVay told reporters. "Cooper was a guy that consistently showed up."

Kupp, 23, was one of the Rams' third-round selections in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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"I think the first thing you know about Cooper is he's a pro and you can see that," Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur told the team website. "He came in here not like most rookies do. He's an extremely polished route runner, got great hands, is a precise route-runner. You can tell he works at his craft each and every day. He does a great job."

The Eastern Washington product had 428 receptions for 6,464 yards and 73 receiving touchdowns in four seasons for the Eagles. He also threw four touchdown passes and ran for a score.

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"He got a lot of touches and I think it was predicated on the routes that he was running," McVay said of Kupp. "The quarterbacks did a good job finding him. So, he got a lot of touches. But like we mentioned yesterday, I thought Josh [Reynolds] showed really well. Gerald [Everett] had his moments where he did some really good things. Even Sam Rogers, he catches a couple balls coming out of the backfield and showed his versatility and athleticism, why you like him at Virginia Tech. It was good."

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Fifth-year speedster Tavon Austin enters the 2017 season as Jared Goff's top returning target, but will miss OTAs after getting surgery Thursday on his left wrist. He is expected to be ready for training camp in July, but has been unable to perform to a level justifying his high draft selection. Austin, 26, was the No. 8 pick overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has never had more than 434 yards or four receiving touchdowns in a season. He has also never eclipsed 58 catches in a season.

The Rams drafted Austin over Pro Bowlers DeAndre Hopkins, Cordarrelle Patterson and a slew of talented tight ends in 2013.

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Los Angeles lost Kenny Britt and Lance Kendricks in free agency and brought in former Buffalo Bills wide out Robert Woods.

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Woods signed in March for five-years and $39 million. He has never had a season with more than 700 yards receiving or eclipsed five touchdown catches.

McVay said that Kupp and the other rookies could play immediately.

"Yeah. I think the idea is that we're expecting some of these guys to contribute and they certainly have to earn it and we know that we're always looking to create competition at all spots," McVay told reporters. "Whoever we think is the best player to give us the best chance to have success is who's going to play. I think what you see from some of those players at the receiver, at the tight end position, you're encouraged and you're hoping that it'll project when we get out here with all the veterans and you really see where things are ramped up a little bit."

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The youngest coach in the NFL added that Austin's injury won't change the roles for his wide receivers during the offseason.

Kupp told the Rams website that he "can't wait" to work with Goff.

"This isn't the first time I've seen Jared around," Kupp said. "I worked out with him in during this draft process. And it was very clear the tenacity he has, and the desire he has to win. And that's going to show. It just so happens that there's people here to see it, but that's something that's going to be going on when there's no cameras here."

The former Eagles standout recently said he wasn't trying to prove doubters wrong during his time at the NFL combine and during workouts.

"No. Anytime you come out there and you're trying to prove something, you're trying to be something more than what you are. If you're trying to prove something, you've got a weight on your chest," Kupp told the Rams website. "There's no room for error. But I'm just trying to come out and be who I am. I'm just going to play football. I know I'm a great player. So I'm going to come out and just let that show. That should be enough."

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The Rams haven't had a wide receiver eclipse 1,000 yards since Torry Holt in 2007. It hasn't had a wide receiver catch at least 10 touchdown passes since Holt did so in 2006.

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