The Los Angeles Rams have somewhat of a quarterback controversy on their hands. It looks unlikely that number one overall pick, Jared Goff, will start and instead it will be Case Keenum under center week one. That may not be the popular choice, but it is the one that Jeff Fisher might be going with and honestly, it makes sense at this point in time.
Goff did not look ready in the opener and looked a step behind which was to be expected, especially after watching him throw in the first episode of Hard Knocks.
While Keemun is the starter, the one player that is flying under the radar and should at the very least be getting a look at the starting job until Goff is ready, is second year quarterback Sean Mannion.
In the preseason opener, Mannion lead the Rams to a 28-24 comeback victory over the Cowboys while throwing for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 18 completions in the process. Playing the entire second half, his game winning touchdown pass to Aaron Green came with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Mannion most likely won’t get a lot of action in the regular season as he’s the consensus third string quarterback on the roster behind Kennum and Goff. However, after his latest performance, until Goff is ready as he is the future, Mannion should be given a fair shot.
The former Oregon State quarterback played with a lot of poise and confidence against the Cowboys. His 147 yards ranked eighth in the first week of the preseason and his 72% completion percentage was best among quarterbacks who threw at least 20 passes.
Mannion was going against Dallas’ second and third string players, but going back to last season, he impressed by completing 6/7 passes against the Cincinnati Bengals in his regular season debut.
Keenum hasn’t done enough to lose the job as he went a steady 6/7 for 58 yards in the preseason opener. However, Mannion did what it takes to at least earn a spot in the conversation. Mannion nor Keenum are the future at quarterback for this team. Does it really matter which one of the two starts?
Fisher and Snead did draft Mannion in the 3rd round last year, and it’s time to see what they have with him. If they don’t, it might as well have been a wasted pick. If he has another good performance against a team’s first string guys, it might be possible to find someone that’s desperate enough to trade for a young guy like Mannion. Nobody is going to trade for Keenum.
As Charles Woodson said during the broadcast about Mannion, “This is an audition for 31 other teams…He is making a statement, ‘I want to play football.’” Mannion wants to start and is playing like it. As the stats indicate, Mannion should at the very least be given a chance to compete for the starting role until Goff is ready.