Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Preview: Position Battles to Watch

by Blaine Grisak
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Los Angeles Rams training camp is just over a week away. Rookies report next Wednesday the 24th with veterans reporting two days later on the 26th. The Rams will field one of their better rosters in recent memory, meaning roster spots for the final 53 will be challenging to come by. Below are the top position battles as the Rams head into training camp.

Running Back

The Rams trio of running backs Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown might be one of the best in the league. However, behind them will be a fun battle to watch during camp.

John Kelly was drafted out of Tennessee last season in the sixth-round but struggled after an impressive preseason. Justin Davis out from USC is also a familiar face on the roster. However, do not be surprised if Matt Colburn puts up a good fight for a roster spot. The running back out Wake Forest had an outstanding college career and won’t go down without a fight.

Inside Linebacker

The inside linebacker position for the Rams is wide open. Micah Kiser will head into training camp with the starting role, but even that isn’t a certainty. The only thing that’s a given here is Cory Littleton.

Kiser has yet to start a game at inside linebacker for the Rams despite being drafted last season. However, behind him, Bryce Hager could make a run at the starting role, and Dakota Allen could surprise. Behind them, Natrez Patrick, Troy Reeder,  and Ketner Kupp will be players to keep an eye on.

This is a deep position for the Rams, but a lot of inexperience and youth.

Wide Receiver

Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and  Josh Reynolds aren’t going anywhere. However,  the fifth, sixth, and potentially seventh spots are wide open.

It’s all going to depend on how many receivers the Rams keep, but they have a lot of talent competing for not a lot of roster spots. Jojo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge, and Mike Thomas are the veterans on the roster from a season ago, but Alex Bachman, Nsimba Webster, and Austin Proehl will have something to say about that this year.

Defensive Line

The Rams defensive line may not be as deep as it once was, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of talent here. Sebastian Joseph-Day impressed during OTA’s and will have an early advantage in training camp.

Outside of him, players like Boogie Roberts and Marquise Copeland will look to beat out players like Tanzel Smart and Morgan Fox. Fox will undoubtedly have the upper-hand, but Robert could make a good case for himself.

Tight End

As is the case with most of the Rams roster, the starting roles here are decided. However, there will be plenty of competition depth-wise. Johnny Mundt has been the third guy behind Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee, however,  the teams signed three very intriguing undrafted free agents.

Keenan Brown out of Texas State and Kendall Blanton out of Missouri are two “tweener” tight ends that bring a lot in the passing game as receivers. Romello Brooker also shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s uncertain how many tight ends the Rams are going to keep. Even if they stick with three however, don’t be surprised if Brown, Blanton, or Brooker, beat out Mundt.

Offensive Line

The offensive line is where cuts are going to be very difficult to make at the end of the preseason. The Rams most likely won’t keep more than eight players, but there are a lot more than eight players worthy of roster spots especially when you take into consideration that Austin Blythe, Rob Haventsein, Brian Allen, Joseph Noteboom,   Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, and Bobby Evans are all locks to make the roster.

Behind them, players like Matt Kaskey, Jamil Demby, Vitas Hrynkiewicz, Austin Neary, Brandon Hitner, and others will compete for one or two roster spots.

This is going to fun to watch because the Rams will have to play it carefully when it comes to cuts. They will not only have to keep in mind of the 53-man roster, but several of these players will be strong candidates for the practice squad.


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