Over the last couple of years, the Los Angeles Rams have had one of the strongest rosters in the NFL. This is night and day compared to where the team was even five years ago. With a strong roster, it makes training camp and roster cuts that much more difficult. In all likelihood, players who would have made the roster four or five years ago, will be cut on the 2021 roster.
While it’s obviously a good thing that the Rams have a strong roster, it can be difficult to see promising fringe roster players get cut. In the NFL there are only so many roster spots and when it comes to good teams, those roster spots are more difficult to come by with fewer available.
Under head coach Sean McVay, the Los Angeles Rams have had strong rosters with depth. However, that seems to be even more so the case this year, especially at specific positions. As mentioned, the Rams will likely have to cut players that would have made the roster even two years ago.
Trishton Jackson Complicating Wide Receiver
The first position that this is the most noticeable is at wide receiver. The Los Angeles Rams will have very difficult decisions to make when it comes to the wide receiver position. In the NFL Draft, the Rams selected TuTu Atwell and Ben Skowronek to add to the wide receiver. room.
With Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, and DeSean Jackson already on the roster, the additions of Atwell and Skowronek seemed to push Trishton Jackson off of the roster. However, Jackson hasn’t gone down without a fight. The 2020 undrafted free agent took advantage of time Atwell missed on the COVID/Reserved list and time Skowronek missed with a hamstring.
At this point, it would be fair to say that Jackson has had an impressive training camp. With Woods, Kupp, and DeSean Jackson likely not playing in the preseason, Trishton Jackson will get plenty of opportunity in the preseason as well.
This complicates things.
It’s most likely that the Los Angeles Rams will only keep six wide receivers. However, Trishton Jackson is at least making them consider keeping seven. In order to keep Jackson, the Rams have a few options. The first option is keeping seven wide receivers which takes away a roster spot from another position. If the Rams opt to stay with the traditional six, they would have to cut Ben Skowronek and risk losing him on waivers in order to sign to the practice squad. The Rams could also cut Jackson and risk losing him in order to stash him on the practice squad as well.
With how Trishton Jackson has performed throughout camp, he’s made this one of many very difficult decisions for the Rams during roster cuts.
Similar Situations Throughout The Roster
The Los Angeles Rams are going to have some very difficult decisions when it comes to the 53-man roster. Things only get more complicated as fringe roster players continue to play well.
Another one of those players is Justin Lawler who has performed well in camp. According to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, Lawler could have a real shot of backing up Leonard Floyd at edge.
Justin Lawler is having a good camp. Think he could have a real shot at backing up Floyd on that side. Other side seems firmly combo of Hollins, Okoronkwo and Lewis (latter DNP today)
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 9, 2021
Where this gets complicated is that while the Rams aren’t deep at edge, they have some players that would be very difficult to cut. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has just 2.5 sacks in two years, but with his physical build and the camp that he’s having, he’s not someone that the Rams can afford to cut.
The same can be said about Justin Hollins who is in line to start opposite of Floyd. This leaves Terrell Lewis as a fourth, but Lewis can’t seem to stay healthy. We also can’t forget about Chris Garrett who the Rams drafted in the seventh round.
That’s five players and it doesn’t even mention Lawler who looks to be pushing for a roster spot. It would be very difficult for the Los Angeles Rams to keep six edge rushers, therefore difficult decisions are going to have to be made. This is especially the case when it comes to Terrell Lewis. Lewis is reportedly having issues with his knee, despite the Rams managing it.
Is Lewis someone that the Rams would place on IR in order to create a spot for Lawler? Lawler would at least give the Rams consistent availability.
Chris Garrett was drafted in the seventh round. However, he’s a developmental prospect to say the least coming from the Division II level. Could the Rams risk cutting Garrett and losing him in order to develop on the practice squad. This becomes even more complicated if Garrett has a good preseason.
Again, if Lawler has performed well throughout camp and pushing for a backup role, this could be another very difficult decision.
A Look at Cornerback and Kareem Orr
A similar situation arises at cornerback where Kareem Orr has performed well throughout the last week of training camp. The Los Angeles Rams aren’t deep at cornerback, but they seem to have a solid top four. It’s possible that they could try to keep five, but again, with someone like Terrell Burgess at safety who can come down and play cornerback, doing so takes a spot away at another position.
As it stands, the Rams have Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long, and Robert Rochell at cornerback. That doesnt mention Tyler Hall who has experience with Raheem Morris. At least three of those guys aren’t even in consideration for being cut. Ramsey, Williams, and Rochell are locks for the roster. Even if the Rams were to cut David Long, it would be a huge surprise given that he was a third round pick in 2019.
Orr seems to have done enough to garner consideration for one spot on the 53-man roster. However, adding Orr complicates things. This is especially the case when you take into consideration the complicated situations described above. The Rams could surprise everyone and cut Long or risk losing Orr on the waiver wire in order to bring him back on the practice squad.
The Rams are clearly going to have some very difficult decisions when it comes to the 53-man roster. Players like Trishton Jackson, Kareem Orr, and Justin Lawler are performing well and making their cases for roster spots. That’s what training camp is all about. However, it’s going to be very difficult to keep them unless the Rams make a surprise cut or roster move elsewhere.
The situations above don’t even begin to mention the backup quarterback situation. Bryce Perkins brings athleticism that could give him a Taysom Hill-like role. However, it’s nearly impossible for the Rams to keep three quarterbacks.
The Rams also have intriguing depth at linebacker with players like Christian Rozeboom and Jake Gervase. Again, it’s just impossible to keep everybody. These are players that would have made the roster in the early McVay years or most certainly throughout the Jeff Fisher era.
Throughout the last decade, the Rams haven’t had a strong roster. The Rams are a very good team and a lot of that has to do with their roster construction and being able to find good talent. However, that also makes roster cuts very difficult and they will be especially difficult in a few weeks.