Alright, let’s run this back. In a preseason rematch of the 2018 playoff matchup, the Cowboys are playing the Rams in Honolulu, Hawaii. Now, I know the Rams aren’t playing the starters, in fact, the starters stayed in Los Angeles for this game. Just like last week, I’ll go over who impressed and who disappointed for the Rams in preseason week two.
Natrez Patrick, Inside Linebacker
Natrez Patrick has quietly had one of the best individual pre seasons on the Rams roster. Against the Cowboys, playing some quality snaps, Patrick made his presence felt. On the stat sheet, his half-a-sack and one solo tackle don’t look too impressive, but the stats don’t tell the whole story. Patrick got a lot of run partially due to Micah Kiser’s injury, and he took advantage of it. Patrick has a real shot of making the Rams roster, especially if Kiser’s condition worsens or keeps him off the field for the rest of preseason. The more snaps Patrick gets, the more blocks he can shed, and the more quarterbacks he can sack. He’s sure to impress in the 3rd preseason game against the Denver Broncos.
Nsimba Webster, Wide Receiver
Nsimba Webster is in a tough spot. The Rams are getting increasingly deep at the wide receiver position and Webster has been playing great in the preseason. Against the Cowboys, Webster acted as a security blanket for the Rams’ leading passer Brandon Allen; he caught 4 passes for 38 yards on an average of 6.3 yards-per-reception for the game. He’s been impressive and his showing against Dallas should either inch him closer to making the Rams roster or making something of an NFL career with another team. Not to mention his returning skills! The rams could use someone at that spot…. Keep an eye out for Webster.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE
FINALLY. The official NFL debut of outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was as highly-anticipated as a preseason debut could be. The EDGE defender had missed his first two NFL training camps with injury, and with some impressive tape coming out of Oklahoma, Rams fans were expecting a lot from Ogbo. Again the stats didn’t show what he did on Saturday night. Pressure after pressure, holding call after holding call. Add in a pass break-up, and he had himself a day. Okoronkwo was somewhat of a force off of the edge, and I think this one showing gave him a good shot at making the 53. I am excited to see Ogbo go at it again, but if he plays motivated once again, expect to see his name show up on Sundays for your Los Angeles Rams.
Donte Deayon, Cornerback
Here we are again. Another player with high-upside facing an uphill challenge to make the rams’ final roster. Donte Deayon showed out against the Cowboys. One athletic interception and some good coverage and tackling all-around, Deayon was the best corner on the field Saturday night in Hawaii. Unfortunately for him, he is fighting for a roster spot where the Rams are five-to-six players deep. Corner has been an endless bag of riches for LA, and Deayon is the latest rendition of this luck. If he shows up again, the Rams would be crazy to let him start the season on another team.
Dakota Allen, Linebacker
A potential player of the game candidate for preseason week two is linebacker Dakota Allen. Allen showed up on the screen with some wow plays and led the rams in solo tackles with five, not to mention three assists. Allen was a force along with his defensive standouts Donte Deayon and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. I’ll have more on Allen’s performance on my players of the game piece coming out today!
Rams Offensive Line
Whew. The protection for Blake Bortles and Brandon Allen against the Cowboys was suspect at best. Getting blown by, pushed over, and tossed around, the Rams offensive protectors didn’t do their job on Saturday. With few highlights, and most successful plays coming from fast-action, the Rams fell apart upfront. This isn’t only concerning for the players themselves, but it’s nerve-racking for the rams and their depth as a whole. The most durable group of the Los Angeles Rams from last year is getting older and younger at the same time, and if they get hurt, can we trust the group behind them?
Jamil Demby, Offensive Lineman
The offensive line was bad, yes. The group didn’t play with the same cohesiveness us Rams fans are used to, but one player stood out. Seeing it with my own eyes I didn’t know if I was seeing it correctly. This is a player that the Rams have trusted to move all along the line and play multiple positions, and he was vastly underperformed at every spot. At center, bad snaps, at the guard and tackle spots, he got bullied: in both games. Seeing Demby = garbage tweets wasn’t a fun experience, but you can’t ignore his play through two preseason games.
Dominique Hatfield, Cornerback
Another disappointing performance for Dominique Hatfield leaves me wondering if he will make the Rams’ roster this year. Things are looking rough for the former starting corner, and with Donte Deayon playing his way onto the 53, Hatfield is on the outside looking in. Hatfield just keeps showing up on screen on the wrong end of a big play, or a missed tackle, or a big mistake. One thing is for sure: Hatfield needs a monstrous second half of the preseason to make the Rams roster.
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