- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
As excited as the Rams are about second-round receiver Donnie Avery, they also know rookies tend to struggle at the position. Experience has taught me to greet with skepticism young receivers who perform well early in camp. More than a few of them have faltered once veterans started hitting stride later in camp.
NFC West teams have significant decisions to make at the position. The chart shows how many receivers each team in the division has carried into Week 1 since 2003. We averaged these numbers and compared them to how many receivers teams are carrying now.
This allows us to see how many receivers have realistic shots at earning roster spots.
Every team in the division enters camp with uncertainties in the top three receiving spots.
The Cardinals lack an established third receiver after watching Bryant Johnson sign with the 49ers. Steve Breaston and rookie Early Doucet are leading candidates for the role, with Jerheme Urban battling through injury concerns.
The Rams are plugging Drew Bennett into the starting lineup opposite Torry Holt after releasing Isaac Bruce. Reche Caldwell is the likely third receiver, but Avery could be in the mix as well. Dane Looker is 32 but always seems to secure a roster spot.
The Seahawks will be without injured starter Deion Branch through, and possibly beyond, camp. Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson are the logical starters for now, with Logan Payne, Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Jordan Kent among those fighting to emerge from background roles.
Note that the Rams' receiving totals include return specialist Dante Hall. Receiver Derrick Stanley also has value as a potential return man for the Rams.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando Season ARI SF STL SEA 2007 6 6 6 6 2006 4 5 5 4 2005 6 7 5 7 2004 6 6 6 5 2003 6 6 5 4 Average 5.