Last week we all told ourselves "It's only preseason". The same is true for this week. The Rams played very well. The first team offense had two picture perfect drives and the defense was very solid, but again, "It's only preseason".
There are still many positives to take out of the game and many players shined. After the jump, I'll look at 5 non-starters who increased their stock.
1. Chris Givens
Givens made this list last week for showing off his fantastic speed. He makes it again this week. Givens has looked fantastic in practice, and so far is played well in preseason. Right now, he is ahead of 2nd round pick Brain Quick. Marshall Faulk even picked Givens to lead the team in receiving yards this season (but that was probably an overreaction after a nice catch by Givens.) Chris has solid hands, runs crisp routes, and most importantly, he is fast. He can bring a dimension to this offense that no one else brings. He could be a very important player this season.
2. Jermelle Cudjo
Jermele was also featured in last weeks list. Cudjo is living in offensive backfields so far this preseason. Granted it's mostly against 2nd string offensive linemen, but Cudjo has been dominate. He appears to be on the fast track to becoming the Rams 3rd DT.
Rocky was all over the field against Kansas City. He played both OLB positions, and even put in a lot of special teams work. He made plays all over the field and forced one fumble and recovered another. Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Mario Hagans seem to have the SAM and WILL backer spots locked up, but Rocky's versatility will come in handy for the Rams this season.
Rok was a bulldozer in the second half. He opened many holes in the run game and showed great movement ability for his size. He is still very raw and is likely out of the LG battle as Quinn Ojnnaka is doing well. Watkins has potential and very well could find himself as a contributer later in the season.
5. Jason Smith
No other offensive linemen played as much as Jason Smith. Coaches wanted him to get more practice in games and see what they have in the former 2nd overall pick. He performed exceptionally. As always, Smith was solid in the run game. In pass protection, Smith mirrored his man well and didn't lunge at him. His technique looked much improved. Barry Richardson is working with the first team, but Smith has looked better in preseason. One has to wonder if Smith's demotion was a motivation tactic by Jeff Fisher, and he knew that Jason Smith was likely the starter all along. There is still a few weeks left in the RT battle, but Jason Smith seems to be responding well.