The July 26 start of training camp is about one week away. Last month we predicted the Los Angeles Rams 53-man roster. Below we’ll take a look at the training camp depth chart and look at each position. The Rams don’t have to put out an official depth chart for another month, but even then it will be unofficial.
Quarterback: Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen, John Wolford
The top two here is set. Goff is the undisputed starter and the Los Angeles Rams signed Bortles as a free agent in the offseason. If the Rams decide to keep a third quarterback, Allen and Wolford will duke it out all training camp and preseason. Wolford could make a push for the practice squad.
Running Back: Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, John Kelly, Justin Davis, Matt Colburn (R)
Gurley is the unquestioned No. 1 back despite his potential knee injury. Henderson and Brown will split time as the backup, serving different roles. Henderson will be the change-of-pace and receiving back while Brown may giver Gurley a breather here and there.
Behind them is where this gets interesting. Kelly and Davis were underwhelming last year, and Colburn isn’t going to go down without a fight. Kelly had an impressive preseason last year while Davis enters his third year on the team. Don’t count Colburn out though.
X Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks, JoJo Natson, Austin Proehl, Johnathan Lloyd (R)
Z Wide Receiver: Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Jalen Greene (R)
Y Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp, KhaDarel Hodge, Mike Thomas, Alex Bachman (R), Nsimba Webster (R)
The Rams are incredibly top-heavy and extremely deep at wide receiver. There isn’t a lot of room here. Cooks, Woods, Kupp, and Reynolds, occupy the top-4 spots. The team liked Hodge last year, and Natson was the team’s return-man. Mike Thomas also returns for the fourth year.
With that said, there will still be a lot of competition. Natson and Hodge’s spots are hardly locked up. Bachman and Webster each bring a lot of upsides and could make noise in the preseason. Those last two spots will be worth watching.
Tight End: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Keenan Brown (R), Romello Brooker (R), Kendall Blanton (R)
Everett and Higbee are the 1-2 punch here at tight end. Mundt made the roster as the third guy last season, but Brown, Brooker, and Blanton are all high-upside undrafted free agents. Brown and Brooker each bring a lot as a receiver and could push for roster spots or the practice squad.
Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards (R), Matt Kaskey (R)
Right Tackle: Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans (R), Brandon Hitner (R)
Left Guard: Joseph Noteboom
Right Guard: Austin Blythe, Jamil Demby
Center: Brian Allen, Aaron Neary, Vitas Hrynkiewicz (R), Chandler Brewer (R), Jeremiah Kolone
The Los Angeles Rams starting five on the offensive line is set, and then after drafting Evans and Edwards, it is assumed that they make the roster as well. This is going to be a numbers game and whether the Rams keep eight or nine offensive linemen.
Demby has been playing all five spots on the offensive line and will be a favorite to make the roster. Undrafted free agents Kaskey and Hrynkiewicz bring a lot of talent as well. This is going to be a group to watch and don’t be surprised if someone like Kaskey gets cut and then brought onto the practice squad.
Defensive End: Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, John Franklin-Myers, Morgan Fox, Boogie Roberts (R), Marquise Copeland (R)
Nose Tackle: Greg Gaines (R), Sebastian Joseph Day, Tanzel Smart, Bryant Jones (R)
The defensive line is going to be a difficult position to break into. Brockers, Donald, and Gaines will be the presumed starters with Joseph-Day and Franklin-Myers as the first guys off of the bench. Fox and Smart will be a players to watch as well. Don’t be surprised if Roberts is a practice squad candidate.
Inside Linebacker: Cory Littleton, Micah Kiser, Bryce Hager, Natrez Patrick (R), Dakota Allen (R), Troy Reeder (R),
Outside Linebacker: Dante Fowler, Clay Matthews, Samson Ebukam, Trevon Young, Justin Lawler, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Landis Durham (R), Josh Carraway, Ketner Kupp (R)
The Rams don’t have a lot of depth or experience at inside linebacker which is going to make it easy from someone like Allen or Patrick to make the roster. If one of those guys shows out during camp, there will be a roster spot for them.
Edge is also slim-picking, but Fowler and Matthews bring experience while Ebukam adds some depth. Young, Lawler, and Okoronkwo will be guys to watch as well. There are a lot of players at linebacker, but only 7-8 roster spots. Special teams value and versatility are going to matter.
Left Cornerback: Marcus Peters, David Long (R), Dominique Hatfield
Nickel Cornerback: Aqib Talib, Troy Hill, Kevin Peterson, Darious Williams
Right Cornerback: Nickell Robey-Coleman, Donte Daeyon
The Rams have their top-5 set with Peters, Talib, Robey-Coleman, Hill, and Long, WIth that said, it’s going to be very hard for a sixth guy to break through.
Strong Safety: John Johnson, Travin Howard, Nick Scott (R), Ramon Richards, Jake Gervase (R)
Free Safety: Eric Weddle, Taylor Rapp (R), Marqui Christian, Steven Parker
Johnson, Weddle, and Rapp are the roster locks, whereas Christian has experience in the scheme. The team drafted Nick Scott in the seventh round, but he’ll compete with Parker, Richards, and Gervase.
Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
Punter: Johnny Hekker
Long Snapper: Jake McQuaide
Kick Returner: JoJo Natson
Punt Returner: JoJo Natson
This is one of the best special teams units in the league. Zuerlein and Hekker are a great 1-2 punch at punter and kicker. Where there is room is at the return spot. If someone like Bachman or Colburn can beat out Natson, they could earn a spot on the final roster.