The Los Angeles Rams have wrapped up OTA’s and will now prepare for training camp and the beginning of the 2021 season. We got our first look at some personnel groupings and who took first and second team reps. Here is a post-OTA’s projection of the Rams depth chart. This is not a 53-man roster prediction.
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, Bryce Perkins
There should be no real surprises here. Matthew Stafford is going to be the starting quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams with Wolford sting up behind him. However, don’t be surprised if Bryce Perkins ends up having a Taysom Hill-like role in this Rams offense. Sean McVay has eluded to potentially designing some packages specifically for Perkins.
Running Back: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Jacob Funk, Raymond Calais
The top two running backs here come as no surprise. This is Cam Akers’ backfield and Henderson will be there to compliment him and take over if Akers gets banged up. Behind them, it’ll be interesting to see who becomes the number three. As it stands, Xavier Jones is likely the favorite, but Jacob Funk could certainly take that role with a good training camp and preseason. He will likely at least provide good value on special teams. Calais could be lucky to make the final roster.
Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, TuTu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Trishton Jackson, Nsimba Webster, Landen Akers, Jeremiah Haydel, JJ Koski
The Los Angeles Rams have a lot of wide receivers which will give Sean McVay some difficult decisions to make at the end of training camp. How many wide receivers do the Rams keep? As it stands, Kupp, Woods, Jackson, Jefferson, Atwell, and Skowronek are likely the top-6. The order here could be debated, but if he’s healthy, Jackson should be the third wide receiver over Jefferson give the extra dynamic that he brings to the field.
There will likely be a very competitive battle for a seventh among five players. Who comes out on top? Nsimba Webster has experience in the system while Trishton Jackson has shown some promise. Jeremiah Haydel could also provide strong value as a returner on special teams.
Tight End: Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins, Jacob Harris, Kendall Blanton
Tyler Higbee is without a doubt the starter. However, behind him is where things get interesting. I believe Mundt will be the two as he provides good blocking and can be a pass-catcher when needed. He’s a veteran that McVay will likely rely on.
Hopkins and Harris are two young players with a lot of promise. Right now, Hopkins might have a slight edge given a year of experience in the system, but Harris could surpass him during the year. Harris had a strong OTAs, but he is still switching positions and has a lot to learn. Either way, I believe his role will be minimal in year one.
Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Joe Noteboom, Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
With Andrew Whitworth, the Rams are very steady at left tackle. That proves even more true with Joseph Noteboom behind him. Noteboom played well for Whitworth in his absence last season. The Rams also really like what they have in Tremayne Anchrum.
Left Guard: David Edwards, Joe Noteboom, Jamil Demby, Chandler Brewer, Max Pircher
David Edwards is becoming one of the better, young guards in the NFL. He’ll likely play on the left side with Noteboom backing him up. Both players have starting experience at the position which is good to have. Demby is where things get dicey. He has starting experience, but could be on his way out.
Center: Austin Corbett, Coleman Shelton, Brian Allen
Austin Corbett will start at center for the first time since the preseason in his time with the Cleveland Browns. The Rams are taking a slight risk here as Corbett played very well at left guard last season. However, he is the only realistic option at center. Coleman Shelton has taken snaps with the twos and could be the backup.
Right Guard: Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Jamil Demby, AJ Jackson, Jordan Meredith
Bobby Evans should start the season at right guard. However, if Evans suffered an injury, it would not be surprising to see the Rams move Edwards to right guard and then play Noteboom at left guard given the starting experience of both players. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense to slide in Brian Allen there as the two unless the Rams would just be looking to maintain some consistency.
The Rams do have a lot of depth here though with Demby as well as Alaric Jackson and Jordan Meredith. McVay will have some tough decisions to make at the end of camp. Don’t be surprised to see at least one on the practice squad.
Right Tackle: Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans
The Rams are pretty solid at right tackle, although I am interested what the Rams would do in the case of a Havenstein injury. Would someone like Tremayne Anchrum get plugged in? The Rams could also play Evans there as he has experience at the position and then play Edwards at right guard and Noteboom at left guard.
There are a lot of options on the offensive line which is a very good problem to have.
Defensive Tackle: Sebastian Joseph-Day, Greg Gaines, Bobby Brown III, Michael Hoecht
Sebastian Joseph-Day has carved himself out a starting role on the Rams defense. He’s played very well in the middle of the Rams defensive line over the last two years. He’ll look to build on that this season. Gaines sits behind him and the Rams just drafted Bobby Brown to add some depth.
Defensive End: Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Earnest Brown IV, Eric Banks, Marquise Copeland, Jonah Williams, John Daka, George Silvanic
You can never have too many defensive linemen to rotate. Aaron Donald is the obvious star of the show. However, A’Shawn Robinson is a very good option as well and will play a full season this year. Earnest Brown IV could also carve out a large role in year one.
EDGE: Leonard Floyd, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis, Justin Hollins, Justin Lawler, Chris Garrett, Max Roberts
Leonard Floyd is the unquestioned top pass rusher coming off of the edge for the Rams. However, behind him is where things get interesting. As things stand, I believe Okoronkwo will be the primary player to play opposite of Floyd. After signing a big contract, the Rams will expect a lot out of Floyd.
Terrell Lewis has his knee issues. If he plays, it won’t be as an every down guy. Right now, Lewis is focusing on rehab and strengthening his knee. If he’s healthy, the Rams will need to manage that. Justin Hollins could rotate as well.
Linebacker: Micah Kiser, Travin Howard, Ernest Jones, Troy Reeder, Kenny Young, Christian Rozeboom, Derrick Moncrief
Linebacker is where things get interesting. If I had to guess, Micah Kiser and Travin Howard could be the starting pair early on. With that said, there will be a lot of rotation here based on different situations, matchups, and personnel. This is going to be a battle that everyone will have their eyes on during training camp.
Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long, Robert Rochell, Dont’e Deayon, Brontae Harris, Kareem Orr,
The Rams are very thin at cornerback. Ramsey and Williams lead the group, but behind the, the Rams will be looking at someone like Davis Long to step up and be the number three.
Safety: Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Paris Ford, Jake Gervase, JuJu Hughes, Jovan Grant, Troy Warner, Dayan Lake, J.R. Reed
The Rams have a lot of depth at safety, but it’s unproven depth. This group has a lot of potential, but there could be some learning curves and some bumps that come with it. Fuller and Burgess will likely be the two starters with Rapp as an interchangeable third safety. Nick Scott has also played well in spurts.
How many safeties the Rams end up keeping and who separates themselves in training camp will be something to keep an eye on.