With the Los Angeles Rams rookies in the building and vets now joining them on the practice field, training camp is right around the corner. 90 players will enter camp and play in the three preseason games, but only 53 will make the final roster, with an additional 16 on the practice squad.
Now, let’s take a look at my projected 53 man roster pre-training camp.
It might be surprising to see the Rams keeping two quarterbacks after Bryce Perkins made the roster last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams kept three, but am going to go with two for now.
Running Back (4)
Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Kyren Williams are locks to make the roster. My feel is that the Rams will keep four running backs. Jake Funk is on the bubble and with his value on special team, he gets the edge over Buddy Howell, Raymond Calais, and Xavier Jones.
Tight End (3)
Three tight ends isn’t a lot, but the Rams don’t have a lot of depth here. I do expect the Rams to put effort into developing undrafted free agents Jamal Pettigrew or Roger Carter. Still, it seems more likely that they end up on the practice squad. Higbee is still the guy here while Blanton showed what he’s capable of last season. While Brycen Hopkins hadn’t seen the field, he stepped up in the Super Bowl.
Wide Receiver (6)
The one player to really keep an eye on here is Brandon Howell. I have him on the outside looking in, but it would not be surprising to see him make the final roster. The issue is, the Rams simply might not have enough spots. They have yet to sign Odell Beckham Jr. as well, but he wouldn’t count against the roster until the middle of the season.
While not the biggest fan of Skowronek, he had an impact on special teams, leading the Los Angeles Rams in special teams tackles.
Offensive Line (9)
Offensive line is where things get interesting because the Rams actually have a lot of depth here. All eyes will be on Bobby Evans. He could end up being a surprise cut. With that said, I think he still makes the final roster. Jack Snyder is a name to keep an eye on. Snyder is an undrafted free agent. If he doesn’t make the roster, he’ll be a sure practice squad candidate.
Defensive Line (6)
The defensive line looks very good for the Los Angeles Rams. The sixth spot will be a battle between guys like Marquise Copeland and Elijah Garcia. The top four are pretty much set in stone and the coaching staff really likes Hoecht. That final spot may come down to a pair of undrafted free agents in Dion Novil and Elijah Garcia. Novil is the guy to watch. He had 184 career tackles as a nose tackle in college.
Edge is another spot that the Rams are very thin at. Leonard Floyd provides stability on one side, but Lewis and Hollins are on the other. There’s a reason the Rams traded for Von Miller last season. Hollins actually started last season well and we’ll see if he can pick up where he left off. There are some questions here. Chris Garrett is an intriguing guy to watch.
It still feels weird writing Bobby Wagner’s name as a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Yet, here we are. I have the Rams keeping just four linebackers. Jake Hummel is an undrafted free agent and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him follow a similar path as Troy Reeder.
David Long Jr.
David Long is a name to watch here. I’m not sure the Rams can cut him, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they do, especially if Derion Kendrick performs well. Still, it makes sense for the Rams to stash Kendrick on the possible. My guess is that he’d make it through waivers as teams are afraid of his past.
The top four in this group are pretty much set in stone. However, Quentin Lake will be battling it out with guys like Russ Yeast and Jairon McVea. Yeast could be a surprise to make the roster as an undrafted free agent.
Special Teams (3)
There should be a lot less of a competition this year at kicker. The one competition that will draw everyone’s attention is at punter. Don’t be surprised if Cameron Dicker makes a push as the team’s punter.
This is pretty good … the only change I would make would be Novil, that’s too many players that play NT, I would pencil in Copeland, he’s come a long ways and is the only real fill in for Donald.