July 27, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams linebacker Aaron Brown (50) walks to the next drill during training camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The roster battle for the St. Louis Rams starting offensive line is well chronicled. There are other hotly contested positions at stake this week when in the second preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Let's review.
Janoris Jenkins has cemented his status as the starting corner opposite Cortland Finnegan. It looks like Bradley Fletcher has a leg up on the third spot, but with an injury keeping him on the sidelines, one of the other players could sneak in there. The most likely candidates are Jerome Murphy and Trumaine Johnson. Both are long shots to unseat Fletcher, but his injury is a reminder that the Rams need depth at the position.
Craig Dahl has done most of the work with the first team. Andrew Luck caught him way out of position on a deep touchdown to Austin Collie last week. It was a reminder that Dahl's best fit is as a safety closer to the line. Darian Stewart has a world of potential, but missed last week's game and practice this week with the soft tissue issues.
Rodeny McLeod, a Virginia product, played a nice game against the Colts and has a leg up on the fourth safety spot.
At this point, I have a hard time imagining anyone other than Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Mario Haggan exiting camp with the starting outside jobs. Rocky McIntosh is sort of a 1c in that equation, as another veteran who can play either spot.
Beyond those three, the situation gets a little cloudier. Aaron Brown, a seventh round pick, earned praise from Jeff Fisher for his work on special teams in Sunday's game. Being a contributor on special teams makes it more likely for a rookie to crack the lineup. In my initial stab at predicting a 53-man roster, I penciled in Sammy Brown, a UDFA out of Houston, for the final linebacker spot. He has some upside as a pass rusher and the speed to contribute on special teams. Those last two of the likely six linebacker jobs are up for grabs.
You can take it to the bank that Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer will be keeping a fullback on the final roster. Go watch the tape from Sunday's game and count how many plays the Rams had a fullback on the field. The question is do they opt for veteran Pro-Bowl FB Ovie Mughelli, who has an injury history, or Brit Miller who is a special teams contributor? If they kept Ovie, they could stash Todd Anderson on the practice squad.
I'm going to leave wide receiver off this list, because it deserves a post all its own.