As the preseason is about to end, the question on a lot of our readers' minds is how's the wide receiver battle going? Who's making the team? I decided to write this short article to help answer some of these questions.
To start with, not much has happened since the beginning of camp to separate anyone. The battle will continue into next week's game. Everyone is pretty much in the same boat they were in a month ago.
Click on the jump button!!!The players who I think are locks right now are Brandon Gibson, Austin Petits, Greg Salas, Mike Sims Walker and Danny Amendola. Gibson has performed well enough to earn a starting spot opening day, Danny is still Danny, Mike Sims Walker has a lot of talent, and I don't see any way the Rams cut either of the rookies since they were mid-round draft picks.
Now Donnie Avery is a near lock. He will probably make the roster unless he just falls flat on his face next week. He has impressed the coaches enough after coming back from injury to keep him around. A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article saying that Avery would have to impress or he would be cut. He has and he deserves a spot.
Now there's been a lot of talk about the Rams keeping 7 WRs this year. This has been mostly speculation as it was thought that the Rams would not keep a FB on the roster. The only bad thing about that thinking is that the Rams most likely will have a FB on the roster, Brit Miller. Miller has had a lot of work with the first team and he has played exceptionally well. So that extra roster spot doesn't exist anymore.
That doesn't mean that the Rams won't keep 7 WRs though, it's not likely but it can happen. The two candidates for the 7th spot, if the Rams have one, would be Danario Alexander and Mardy Gilyard. They both bring very different skill sets to the team, DX is a tall, physical receiver, and Mardy is a shifty receiver, but his best contribution comes as a special teams gunner.
Now I know I'm going to take a lot of heat for this, but if I had to pick between the two to be the 7th WR, I would have to go with Gilyard. The thing people have to remember is that if we keep 7 WRs, the last guy in will have to contribute on special teams. Alexander has only limited experience in that role, but Mardy has shown great play as a special teams gunner in camp. I would pick 5 or 6 good gunner plays a game from Mardy over 2 or 3 plays a game from DX.
For my final prediction for the Ram's WRs, I will say that only 6 WRs will make the team. If we keep more pass catchers, expect it to be a TE. We need more TEs this year due to the 2 TE offense and with the injury problems of Michael Hoomanawanui, it would be nice to have some injury protection. Fendi Onobon or Ben Guidugli are two possible candidates for the fourth tight end.
As for my 6 WRs, they are Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, Mike Sims-Walker, Austin Petits, Greg Salas, and Donnie Avery. This could early change over the next week, but for now this is where I think it stands.
Another question readers have been posting is when is Mark Clayton coming back? The answer is no one knows. Right now he isn't healthy enough to even be signed by anyone so the Rams have to make their roster assuming that he isn't going to be available.
Thanks for reading.