NFC West: Melvin Bullitt

Rookie Lance Kendricks keeps strengthening the St. Louis Rams' belief that he can become an integral part of their offense, even as a rookie.

The second-round draft choice from Wisconsin won over quarterback Sam Bradford right away in training camp.

Kendricks won over a broader audience Saturday night with five receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown during the Rams' 33-10 victory over Indianapolis in the preseason opener.

Kendricks made four of his five receptions on third-and-5 or longer. He lined up just outside and behind right tackle Jason Smith before catching his touchdown pass on third-and-goal from the 6 on the Rams' first possession.

Kendricks stood up in his stance, ran across the formation and cut past linebacker Kavell Conner to make the reception at about the 2-yard line. He turned upfield and in the same motion secured the ball in his outside arm. Cornerback Jerraud Powers tried to take out Kendricks at the legs, but Kendricks ran over him and then through safety Melvin Bullitt.

Whether the Rams have sufficient front-line talent at wide receiver remains a subject for discussion. Kendricks' pass-catching ability increasingly must figure into the mix.

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