The Los Angeles Rams cut their roster down to 53, signed 15 players to the practice squad but have one more spot remaining. With that being said, here’s who is available that the Rams could and should consider adding to their practice squad.
WR Hakeem Butler, Cardinals
I will make this very clear, if the Rams can’t get the 6-foot-5 and 227 pound Hakeem Butler that’s fine. However, the Rams opted to not keep Earnest Edwards IV or Easop Winston Jr. on the practice squad and instead Cal Poly’s J.J. Koski. At the end of the day, Butler is an incredibly talented prospect that fell in the draft to the worst situation possible. He was my 2nd-overall receiver in last year’s draft and he went to a team with Andy Isabella, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson and Trent Sherfield. To put it bluntly, they were loaded in the receiver room. Butler then saw the writing on the wall when the Cardinals announced their acquisition of All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Do not hold a broken hand and a loaded receiver room against Butler. If the Rams can add him they should. He offers something they do not have on the active roster right now.
Hakeem Butler (6-5, 225) was released by the Cardinals today. I had a very high opinion of him coming out. He was already considered a raw prospect even before the broken hand. Hopefully he catches on with another team.
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) September 4, 2020
EDGE Breeland Speaks, Chiefs
Speaks is a former 2018 2nd-round pick who as put below flashes now and then the ability to become a very good player in the NFL. His lack of consistency has hurt him but perhaps placing the 24-year-old onto the Rams practice squad the way the team did last year with Jachai Polite might make some sense long term. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound edge defender has the talent and age to stash and develop moving forward.
Every now and then Breeland Speaks will flash you a play to get excited about… pic.twitter.com/9xfWgDYgsZ
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 23, 2018
EDGE Chad Thomas, Browns
The Cleveland Browns cut former 2018 3rd-round pick, 24-year-old Chad Thomas, yesterday and today team reporter Mary Kay Cabot confirmed the team would not be signing Thomas to the practice squad at this time. Thomas is yet another third-round pick that the Rams have an opportunity to snatch and grab. They did it last year with Jachai Polite who was placed on the practice squad and made the team a season later. Thomas stands at 6-foot-5 and 278 pounds, he racked up four sacks last year but there was simply too much in the way for him to get a true shot. Adding Thomas to the practice squad would be a very good move for the Rams as he would be able to get mentorship like Polite did from the likes of Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers.
Chad Thomas flashed on the second series last night.
-Holds backside edge & sheds for tackle.
-Wins inside w a dip/rip pressure.
-Power club w inside arm for pressure.
-Then creates pressure w bend for power.
— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 9, 2019
EDGE Tuzar Skipper, Steelers
As of now, the Pittsburgh Steelers have opted not to sign a 6-foot-3, 246-pound Tuzar Skipper onto their practice squad. He was a preseason terror and flashed significant ability as a pass rusher off the edge. He’s an older second-year linebacker as he just turned 25 years of age but he has a knack for getting to the quarterback and with the uncertainty surrounding Terrell Lewis, it might be smart to stash Skipper on the practice squad with the potential to be called up on game days for extra depth.
— BlitzburghVideos (@BlitzVideos) August 10, 2019
ILB Malik Jefferson, Chargers
A player that was once considered one of the tops of his draft class is now looking at being on his fourth team. That player is former Longhorn linebacker, Malik Jefferson. Jefferson was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Bengals, he suffered a foot injury during the season and was waived in 2019. Jefferson was claimed by the Browns but shortly after was waived. The Chargers signed him to their practice squad and then a futures contract but waived him yesterday. He is surprisingly a 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker with very impressive athleticism that is available for any team to place on their practice squad right now. Jefferson is the first inside linebacker on this least and won’t be the last. The Rams right now have a few linebackers but Jefferson’s upside might be worthy of adding another on an expanded practice squad.
Malik Jefferson pass broken up downfield pic.twitter.com/Y7SELl3Hcq
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) August 31, 2018
ILB Vosean Joseph, Bills
The Buffalo Bills drafted Florida ILB Vosean Joseph in 2019 during round five of the draft. At 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds, Joseph was expected to develop into a quality player for the Bills. I had him as my sixth-overall linebacker in the draft class. Unfortunately, Joseph suffered an injury right before the 2019 season and was placed on injured reserve. He flashed a decent bit in preseason last year but this year he was unable to take part since preseason had been canceled. The only 22-year-old is available and has met with the Los Angeles Rams previously during the pre-draft process. Joseph would be a perfect addition to the Rams practice squad.
I’m ready to see what the Bills have in Vosean Joseph pic.twitter.com/kDvCJKGle9
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 14, 2020
ILB Marquel Lee, Raiders
Marquel Lee was named the starting inside linebacker for the Raiders back in 2017. He was the Raiders fifth-round selection that same year and would go on to be bounced out of that spot due to an injury and the signing of veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman. He’s been practically living on the injured reserve list as of late but he’s a quality all-around linebacker that has good size at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. While it may seem like Lee’s career has been full of injuries and it’s over, it’s important to keep in mind he’s only 24-years-old. If he’s healthy, the Rams should consider giving him a spot on the practice squad.
One of my favorite plays from the rams game. Marquel Lee looks like our starting MLB. pic.twitter.com/cSgDXcJWAI
— 𝕮𝖎𝖘𝖈𝖔 (@truejillo) August 20, 2018
ILB Josiah Tauaefa, Giants
The former undrafted rookie free agent out of UTSA last year Josiah Tauaefa ended up eventually making the Giants 53-man roster. Tauaefa plays like his hair is on fire and his life depends on it, he’s not the fastest, strongest, or the biggest player on the field. However, Tauaefa is going to outwork anyone and while he has a striking resemblance to Troy Polamalu he kind of plays like him as exhibited below. The Rams met with him during the 2019 draft process, he was my 10th-overall linebacker in the draft class and at 23-years-old he would be a good option to be placed on their practice squad.
Josiah Tauaefa has been promoted to the 53 man roster. I don’t know how ready he is but I like his talent and he’s an ILB with pass rushing skills pic.twitter.com/5bpYbgk4AO
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) October 1, 2019
S Kenny Robinson, Panthers
I watched every snap Kenny Robinson took in the XFL and was highly impressed. He was once a West Virginia Mountaineer ready to start his season until the team ruled him ineligible academically. He initially was planning on transferring but then the XFL opportunity opened up and he pursued that. The 21-year-old safety was just surprisingly cut by the Panthers after being selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He shouldn’t be available but the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder is available and the Rams while they are loaded at safety should consider making room for this talent.
With John Johnson III in a contract year and the fact Robinson is 21-years-old with the talent he possesses, the Rams shouldn’t just let him pass by. Robinson had a meeting with the Rams before the draft so he’s not entirely unfamiliar. It would be a fantastic addition to the practice squad (assuming he somehow clears waivers) if the Rams grabbed Kenny Robinson who once shined for the St. Louis BattleHawks earlier this year.
Kenny Robinson, a prospect in this year's NFL draft with a pick of Matt McGloin — he was rendered academically ineligible at WVU and needed to earn some money to help his mother, diagnosed with cancer, so chose to play in the XFL instead of sitting a year in transfer pic.twitter.com/BwQFfG7zFq
— Arif Hasan, coach of throwing left 🏈🏆 (@ArifHasanNFL) February 23, 2020