This year's WR camp battle is set to be intense, but how do the past Rams WR battles stack up?

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Wide receiver is always the most flashy position in football. Right now, arguably the most popular player in the league is a WR. As we move into the Rams training camp season we start to think about the obvious position battle, Wide receiver. That is why we have decided to put together a list of the last ten years at the position and what the battles looked like going into camp.

 

2007

 

Torry Holt

 

 

Isaac Bruce

 

 

Drew Bennett

 

 

Dane Looker

 

 

Derek Stanley

 

 

Marques Hagans

 

 

Shaine Smith

 

 

Dominique Thompson

 

 

Fred Gibson  

 

 

Overview: The last year Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were together in St. Louis. The Rams knew the time was nearly up for the once superstar duo so they decided to go out and sign 28-year old WR Drew Bennett to a 6-year $30 million deal. Going into camp the Rams looked good at WR for a year, but instead it became the a dominant year of Holt, a solid year for Bruce and an extremely disappointing campaign for highly touted free agency acquisition Bennett. 

 

2008 

 

Torry Holt

 

Donnie Avery

 

Drew Bennett

 

Keenan Burton

 

Dane Looker

 

Derek Stanley

 

Dante Hall

 

Reche Caldwell

 

Marques Hagans

 

Matt Caddell

 

Brandon Williams

 

 

Overview: Just as expected, Isaac Bruce left and the Rams decided to draft Houston track star WR Donnie Avery in the second round of the draft. This would end up being Torry Holt’s last year as a Ram and the organization viewed Avery as the future along with fellow rookie Keenan Burton. Even Marques Hagans looked primed to make an impact after some flashes in preseason, but this position group of course was banking on Drew Bennett’s bounce back year that never ended up happening…

 

2009 

 

Donnie Avery

 

Brandon Gibson

 

Keenan Burton

 

Laurent Robinson

 

Jordan Kent 

 

Ruvell Martin

 

Brooks Foster 

 

Sean Walker

 

Ronald Curry

 

Tim Carter

 

Derek Stanley

 

Nate Jones

 

 

 

Overview: With Torry Holt bolting to Jacksonville, the Rams officially made Donnie Avery the number one receiver. Clearly though, the team was missing firepower at the receiver position which they later addressed after preseason in signing Danny Amendola off the Eagles practice squad. The emergence of Brandon Gibson helped, but make no mistake this was a year Keenan Burton was supposed to take off and he was a complete non-factor. 

 

2010

 

Danny Amendola

 

Brandon Gibson

 

Donnie Avery

 

Danario Alexander 

 

Mardy Gilyard 

 

Laurent Robinson

 

Keenan Burton

 

Jordan Kent

 

Dominique Curry

 

Brandon McRae 

 

 

Overview: What is most interesting about this season was that the Rams had finally left the Marc Bulger era and gone onto the Sam Bradford era. In preseason unfortunately Bradford lost his number one receiver Donnie Avery to an ACL injury that would his season and his time with the Rams. Luckily, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and even UDFA Danario Alexander bubbled to the top to bail out Bradford. Still, the Rams didn’t feel they had enough, especially with rookie Mardy Gilyard showing serious struggles with the playbook and so they ended up acquiring WR Mark Clayton from the Ravens right before opening day. 

 

2011

Mike Sims-Walker

 

Danario Alexander

 

Danny Amendola

 

Mark Clayton

 

Donnie Avery

 

Brandon Gibson

 

Mardy Gilyard

 

Dominique Curry

 

Greg Salas

 

Austin Pettis 

 

Andrew Hawkins

 

Joe West 

 

Overview: The Rams ended up drafting more WR’s this year in Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, nether did anything, but were given opportunities in camp. To add more to the pool of talent the Rams signed Jaguars standout WR Mike Sims-Walker. This was considered the year of the injury for the Rams which was a shame because Danny Amendola and Danario Alexander were looking like a nice duo. 

 

2012

Steve Smith

 

Danny Amendola

 

Brandon Gibson

 

Brian Quick 

 

Chris Givens

 

Austin Pettis 

 

Danario Alexander

 

Michael Campbell

 

Nick Johnson

 

Greg Salas

 

Overview: If you didn’t notice the pattern of the Rams signing that standout free agent WR well, it happened again in 2012. This time it was former Pro Bowler Steve Smith from the Giants. Smith didn’t work out for the Rams, however, their rookie out of Wake Forest Chris Givens did. Him and the duo of Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola. Danario Alexander ended up being bothered by lingering injuries that forced his way out of the organization only to explode at the second half of the year in San Diego. 

 

2013

 

Chris Givens

 

Stedman Bailey

 

Tavon Austin

 

Brian Quick

 

Raymond Radway

 

Justin Veltung

 

Nick Johnson

 

Andrew Helmick

 

Emory Blake 

 

Overview: Once again the Rams drafted another batch of wide receivers. This time they even decided to trade up to No.8 overall in the draft to select Tavon Austin. The Rams didn’t stop there and ended up double dipping on West Virginia WR’s with Stedman Bailey in the third round. Brian Quick who was the second round pick the year before received a minimally larger role. Austin Pettis started to pick up the pace a little, but it was all Tavon and Givens for the most part. 

2014

 

Tavon Austin

 

Stedman Bailey

 

Kenny Britt

 

Chris Givens

 

Austin Pettis

 

Brian Quick

 

Austin Franklin

 

Emory Blake

 

T.J. Moe

 

Jordan Harris

 

Overview: Once again, the Rams continued their hot trend of signing hopeful talents at wide receiver. In this free agency period it was the signing of former Fisher guy Kenny Britt. Britt was the only free agent acquisition at wide receiver to truly work and it happened almost instantly. With Sam Bradford going down in preseason it was Austin Davis and Shaun Hill in charge of the offense. Tavon struggled mightily after high expectations and his teammate Stedman Bailey started to pick up the pace. This was also the year Brian Quick looked to make significant strides but an unfortunate injury in Kansas City ended his season. 

 

2015

Tavon Austin

 

Kenny Britt

 

Stedman Bailey

 

Chris Givens

 

Bradley Marquez

 

Brian Quick

 

Isiah Ferguson

 

Emory Blake

 

Tyler Slavin

 

Daniel Rodriguez

 

Damian Williams

 

Overview: The passing game took a hit big time in 2015. Kenny Britt was still the obvious No.1 guy, but you could make the argument Tavon Austin was the best weapon due to his almost 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Going into this training camp battle it seemed like many didn’t give UDFA Bradley Marquez a chance to make the squad. Well, he made it. 

 

2016

 

Kenny Britt

 

Brian Quick

 

Tavon Austin

 

Pharoh Cooper

 

Bradley Marquez

 

Mike Thomas

 

Nelson Spruce

 

Paul McRoberts

 

Duke Williams

 

Austin Hill

 

David Richards 

 

Marquez North

 

Deon Long

 

J.J. Worton

 

 

Overview: This was likely the first real full-on WR battle in camp that was worth talking about. The Rams had their guys like Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas who were shoe-ins to make the roster. However, no one could have foreseen the emergence of Nelson Spruce in week one of the preseason. The most talked about storyline was who is going to sneak onto the roster at WR between the likes of Spruce, Duke Williams, Paul McRoberts and Marquez North. It turns out McRoberts would end up finding the field towards the end of the season as a full-year member of the practice squad, Spruce, who made the roster would not play a game after his performance week one of preseason, Duke Williams wouldn’t get another look again and North would end up landing on season-ending IR that would allow him to come back and compete next season. 

 

2017

 

Tavon Austin

 

Robert Woods

 

Cooper Kupp

 

Pharoh Cooper

 

Nelson Spruce

 

Josh Reynolds

 

Bradley Marquez

 

Paul McRoberts

 

Brandon Shippen

 

Shakeir Ryan

 

Mike Thomas 

 

I think it’s safe to say there has been some interesting names over the years, but this is the best and likely the most competitive Rams receiver battle we have seen. Tavon Austin comes back as the oldest WR of the bunch, but there is plenty of newcomers around him including the one pictured above Cooper Kupp. The Rams made their usual high-profile or not high-profile signing of Robert Woods in free agency. With a new regime in play no one is truly guaranteed any specific role which is why this group in itself is going to be the hardest to predict come cut day. 

 

After looking through the last ten years what season would you give the edge to best camp battle? Let us know!

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