Before today’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, us here at Downtown Rams decided we should illustrate players we thought are on the bubble to make the roster. Most of the players covered will be rookies and with the talent Fisher and Snead have compiled, it would not be surprising if they all did not make it. However, I would expect at least one of these players to make the team and those decisions could be helped today at 6:00 PM at the Coliseum.
RB – Aaron Green
We will start with Aaron Green, who has become a favorite of mine due to his shiftiness and pass catching abilities. If the Rams keep five as they did last year he would nearly be a lock for the roster but it is anticipated by many that Fisher will only keep four, which will make Fisher decide between the three of Chase Reynolds, Malcolm Brown, and Green. This roster battle may be more about, Fisher favorites, Brown and Reynolds, although reports say Reynolds has been in somewhat of a slump recently, good play rather than Green’s bad play if Green is unable to make the roster. As Green showed last week he can catch the ball out of the backfield, something I believe this roster is missing. His quick feet and good vision allows him to make plays after the catch something another TCU Horned Frog did as well. I’m not saying Green is the next LT but with his quickness, pass catching abilities, and ability to pass protect he could add another flavor to our already diverse backfield. The only issue this week is that Green is nursing an injury so he may or may not be on the field to keep his good play going. If nothing else, this could secure Green a spot on the roster next year if the team can’t retain Benny Cunningham.
WR – Brian Quick/Duke Williams/Mike Thomas
You may be wondering why these three are grouped together but when looking at it, all three bring similar traits and all three somewhat disappointed in the first preseason game compared to what they did on the practice field. During Fisher’s 8/18 post-practice press conference he stated that the Wide Receiver competition is wide open. Fisher also mentioned that they have kept anywhere from four to seven Wide Receivers in the past and this year I anticipate keeping six or seven depending who can contribute on Special Teams. There are four who I believe are locks to make this roster being Britt, Austin, Cooper, and Marquez leaving more than likely two and at most three spots left for competition and that’s not accounting for Nelson Spruce making the roster. Also during his presser, Fisher did omit Brian Quick’s name which may mean he, like a lot of us, has given up on Quick, barring an excellent showing in subsequent preseason games. Fan favorites Duke Williams and Mike Thomas should have more of an opportunity based on another fan favorite, Nelson Spruce, likely to miss at least this weeks game and likely next weeks as well. With Spruce showing he belongs on this roster, it could be likely the Rams decide to go with Thomas and/or Williams’ potential over Quick’s uninspiring experience. If there was an edge to give to either of Williams or Thomas, I’d go with Thomas just based on the fact that he was drafted at this point, although his drops last week did not help his case. This week could be telling with the starters getting a decent run to allow Jared Goff some burn with the ones and if one or two of these players can show they have a connection with the future at QB then that could keep them around.
TE – Temarrick Hemingway
Temarrick Hemingway is another player the Rams drafted in the 6th round that is on the roster bubble. In the past the Rams have kept three or four Tight Ends on the roster and this year three spots are pretty much locked up barring injury. Lance Kendricks just received an extension, Cory Harkey is a do it all player, and Tyler Higbee, or “Baby Gronk” as Fisher has called him, has flashed his ability already. Hemingway will be competing with veteran Justice Cunningham who has ability as a blocker but is still in need of improving in the passing game if he wants any playing time. What worries me is that Hemingway is listed behind Cunningham on the current depth chart although that may change this week after Fisher stated Hemingway had a good week of practice. With his catching ability and athleticism, he could give the Rams another pass catcher from the Tight End position. Another factor that could help his chances is the fact that Fisher also said that they will increase Hemingway’s Special Teams role next week. In terms of this week however, with Higbee possibly missing today’s game it could give Hemingway a chance to mesh with Goff and Mannion to showcase his pass catching ability. If the Rams don’t keep four Tight Ends, which I believe they will, Hemingway would almost certainly make the practice squad and look to contribute next season.
DL – Ian Seau
This was a position group I did not expect any surprises but once again I have found this team can find diamonds in the rough on the defensive line. Ian Seau played a hell of a game last week with a sack and multiple hurries against the Cowboys and was even called out by Jon Gruden. With almost every spot in this group locked up it would take another good showing and possibly two before he could edge out some of the veterans but it could earn him a spot on the practice squad. There is an outside chance that Fisher decides to keep nine players on the defense line but that has only happened once since Fisher has been with the Rams and with talent elsewhere I don’t see it happening. The most likely player to be edged out would be Coples but even that is a long shot given his experience and versatility. Seau has shown that he could help a team, it just may be tough for him to do that on this team. Don’t be surprised to see him playing in real games this year, either with the Rams or another team. Maybe even the team he got his first NFL sack against.
LB – Josh Forrest
Linebacker Josh Forrest is an interesting case for the Rams as I have yet to see much in terms of production and in pressers about the 6th round draftee. With the thin depth behind the starters at Linebacker one would think a drafted player would nearly be a lock to make the roster but it appears as though the players the Rams acquired last year, in Cameron Lynch and Bryce Hager, have really improved and also provide Special Teams ability. If the Rams continue the trend of keeping six Linebackers then Forrest should have the upper hand being a draftee but if one of the UDFA make an impact today or in coming weeks it could cost Forrest the last spot on the Linebacker crew. Forrest being a former Safety, one would think his extra speed and athleticism would also allow him to excel on Special Teams which is where he will contribute this year if he makes the roster. If Forrest can produce a couple nice plays in the coming preseason games he would almost force the hand of Fisher in keeping six instead of five Linebackers.