There was a time when predicting the Los Angeles Rams’ final roster would have been easy. However, that has since changed now that the team has acquired talent and therefore made deep positions more difficult to predict. The Rams wrapped up OTA’s last week. Here is my pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction.
The Rams very easily could keep three quarterbacks, but I just don’t see them wasting a roster spot on a No. 3 quarterback. Goff is obviously a lock as the starter and after signing Bortles in the offseason, the backup quarterback situation has been solidified. The Rams kept three quarterbacks last year, and if they did so again, it would not be surprising if they went with Brian Allen, but I’ll stick with two given the stability at No. 2 with Bortles.
The first three running backs here should be locks. Gurley is Gurley and then Brown is about as stable of a backup running back as they get. The Rams drafted Henderson in the third round, therefore he will make the roster. This will be a battle for the fourth spot. I give the edge to John Kelly after the preseason he had last year, but I’m not even confident in that. Justin Davis has earned a spot on the roster the last two years and undrafted rookie Matt Colburn out of Wake Forest won’t go down without a fight. I think this spot will come down to Kelly or Colburn and right now, I give the edge to Kelly.
The last two years, fans have questioned whether or not the Rams might keep seven wide receivers, because the team is so deep at the position. However, I will stick with six which is how many they kept last year. The top-4 are basically locks. It will get interesting at five and six. I will go with Natson given what he brought as a returner last year. Finally, to finish it off is undrafted rookie Alex Bachman. Bachman is a local kid that will bring a lot to the table on special teams and will become a fan favorite in the preseason. Mike Thomas is also an option, however, the former Mizzou wide receiver hasn’t shown a lot. It may be time to just move on.
When it comes to the tight ends, Everett and Higbee are the leaders. They’ve been in head coach Sean McVay‘s system the last two years and have done nothing to lose their spots. It will get interesting at a third and potentially fourth spot. Mundt gives the Rams a blocking specialist and also has a year under his belt. The Rams have kept guys like that on their roster with McCoy whether it be Derek Carrier or Mundt. With the talent behind them, it would not be surprising if the Rams kept four. Keenan Brown and Kendall Blanton are two undrafted free agents that will be fun to watch and develop. Brown and Blanton are each that wide receiver/tight end in between player similar to Temarrick Hemingway. I give Brown the edge just because of his ability as a receiver as well as his speed, versatility, and play-making ability.
The Rams are set at the tackle position. There won’t be a lot of competition here as who the favorites should keep their spots. Whitworth and Havenstein have solidified their spots on the outside while the team drafted Bobby Evans in the third round and David Edwards in the fifth.
Allen, Blythe, and Noteboom will each have their spots locked away when they get to camp. There is very little chance any get cut. After that however will be a lot of competition. Right now, I give the edge to Demby and Kaskey. Supposedly Demby had a good camp, playing all over the offensive line which is extremely valuable.
After that, Kaskey and Brandon Hitner will be the favorites to take the final spot. Kaskey played tackle at Dartmouth, but will be moved inside. He’s extremely intelligent and was a staple at Dartmouth. Hitner had a solid careers Villanova, but as it stands, I give the slight edge to Kaskey.
Like the offensive line, the defensive line is also difficult once you get out of the top-4. Donald, Brockers, Franklin-Meyers, and Gaines will each find a spot on the roster for obvious reasons. After that, it’s going to be a dog fight. Joseph-Day will give the Rams depth at nose tackle behind Gaines which is why I gave him a spot. He’ll also compete with Boogie Roberts, but Joseph-Day impressed in OTA’s which is why I give him the initial edge. Rounding it out, I go with Morgan Fox, who spent all of last season on injured reserve.
Offensive line and defensive line are always tough, but the linebackers are going to be fun to watch during camp as well. Ebukam, Fowler, and Matthews are the locks, but after that, it’s up in the air. Okoronkwo is a promising player, but didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his abilities last season and the Rams like what they have in Young. The Rams are unproven here, especially depth-wise. If someone like Josh Carraway comes in and makes an impression, he could certainly push for a spot.
The top-2 here should come as no surprise and Hager gives the Rams a valued depth presence. The Rams did draft Dakota Allen in the seventh round, but I really like what Patrick brings to the table. He’s a guy with a chip on his shoulder and will be worth keeping around.
Five cornerbacks may seem like a small number, but the Rams actually have good depth here. Troy Hill signed an extension and the team just drafted Long. Unfortunately Kevin Peterson falls short of a spot.
The top-3 safeties are the consensus top-3 without a question. Johnson is budding into a star while Weddle will be the leader and signal-caller of the defense. The Rams just drafted Rapp, but behind him, there is room for someone to impress and take over. Right now I have Scott who will provide a value on special teams as well and Christian who has not only played well on special teams, but can slide down to cornerback if needed which gives him an added value.
All chalk. This is one of the best units in the league. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.