The Los Angeles Rams wrapped up OTA’s and minicamp last week. The next time fans see the Rams will be at training camp which begins July 29. As it is before every season, there will be roster battles at several positions. Here are three players who made an early case for the final 53 during OTA’s.
1. NT, Sebastian Joseph-Day
When the Los Angeles Rams drafted Greg Gaines out of Washington, it was presumed that the rookie would take over at nose tackle with Ndamukong Suh not re-signing with the team. The Rams also brought in Boogie Roberts as an undrafted free agent who can play nose tackle.
Joseph-Day was drafted in the sixth round last year and while he was inactive for every game, he will be competing for not only a spot on the roster, but potentially the starting job. Said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips,
“I think a lot of our second-year players have really stepped up too,” Phillips said. “They’ve been through it for a year and I think especially Sebastian Joseph-Day has really stepped up. We thought he had potential last year, he kept working at it through the year. He’s a real strong, powerful guy inside, so he’s stepped in there and looked good this spring, so we’re looking forward to him coming through the second year, too.”
A three-year starter at Rutgers, Joseph-Day finished with 35 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2017 as a fifth-year senior. He was not invited to the NFL Combine which make the Rams drafting him that much more surprising.
Just ran into Sebastian Joseph-Day at #Rams HQ in Thousand Oaks. He looks to be in incredible shape & told me he’s been working out at the facility Mondays through Fridays this offseason. Big year coming up for the 2nd year DT from Rutgers and he’s obviously putting the work in
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 21, 2019
Joseph-Day enters a big year two in which a spot on the roster will be far from a guarantee. While he was inactive for every game last season, the Rams essentially red-shirted him like they did Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, and Micah Kiser. The sophomore does have a year in the system, but he’ll need to continue impressing coaches during training camp and the preseason if he wants to make the roster. At least during OTA’s, he’s off to a good start.
2. OL, Jamil Demby
The Los Angeles Rams head into a year at offensive line with a lot of inexperience and a lot of questions. Behind the three returning starters Rob Havenstein, Austin Blythe, and Andrew Whitworth, the Rams have second-year players Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen. Behind them, the Rams drafted David Edwards and Bobby Evans. Behind them, the competition at offensive line is wide open.
When it comes to the offensive line, you can never have too much depth and that’s where Demby comes in. Demby was drafted by the Rams last year but was cut as he did not make the final roster. The Rams brought him back in December after he spent some time on the Detroit Lions practice squad.
I was in the room. A question was asked about OL depth that’s stood out during OTA’s. Kramer answered the question. by talking entirely about Jamil Demby …
— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) June 12, 2019
Kromer says young OL Jamil Demby has been taking reps at all five offensive line positions during OTAs. The Maine product is part of that 2018 draft class that includes OT Joe Noteboom and C Brian Allen @CVRamsClub @DowntownRams
— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) June 11, 2019
Not only does Demby have experience with the Rams, but what he brings in depth and versatility is invaluable and could be what earns him a spot on the final roster this season. Being able to play multiple positions and being ready to play whatever position called upon when needed, is important, specifically on the offensive line where injuries are more prone to occur.
Demby may have been seen as a long shot to make the roster prior to OTA’s, but given the fact that he’s caught the coach’s attention, playing all five positions on the offensive line, he should be a favorite to make the roster headed into training camp.
3. WR, Nsimba Webster
Making the roster for Webster will be as much of an uphill battle as they come. The Rams have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position and JoJo Natson and Alex Bachman will already be battling it out for a returner spot on special teams. The five and six wide receiver spots are open, but Khadarel Hodge showed promise last season as well.
He was upbeat in our talk.
“To be in this position to learn from Cooper all over again – it’s been great. Every kid wants to be in this position.” pic.twitter.com/a4VNMoSucq
— Ryan Collingwood (@SR_Collingwood) June 12, 2019
Webster apparently caught passes from Blake Bortles in practices and showed the same explosion that he had at Eastern Washington. He is the second wide receiver from Eastern Washington that the Rams have on the roster as well as of course, Cooper Kupp.
Having a connection with Kupp certainly won’t hurt. He’s just 5’10, but if he can continue to make plays and show off his explosiveness, he may just have a shot to surprise people and make the final cut.