The St. Louis Rams, along with the entire NFL, are a few days away from the start of training camp.
With training camp, comes roster battles; an opportunity to set yourself apart in your position group. One group in particular is set to have an intense competition: the running back position.
After seeing their former workhorse ball carrier Steven Jackson depart in free agency, the Rams are left with a cloudy picture at the position at best.
While the team lacks a true "bell cow" running back, it does have some interesting options. Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead, and Terrance Ganaway are back from last season. Add in this year's fifth round pick Zac Stacy, and the Rams have a good mixture of backs, with speed and power.
The logical assumption is the Rams go with a running back by committee approach headlined by Richardson, Pead, and Stacy. But since when does logic get you anywhere? The Rams might end up with one clear-cut starter, and just in case this ends up happening, here is a look at the running backs currently on the roster.
Daryl Richardson (5-10, 196 lbs)
Richardson was a seventh round choice in the 2012 draft. He was not expected to have much production, but he won the backup role in training camp and never relinquished the job. In his change-of-pace back role, Richardson amassed 475 yards on 98 carries, along with a 4.8 yards per carry average. He also racked up 163 receiving yards on 24 catches.
He's the only running back on the roster with somewhat of a professional resume. Because of this, he's been projected as the starter, and not just by some members of the media, but by the Rams themselves.
Isaiah Pead (5-10, 197 lbs)
He was supposed to be heir apparent to Steven Jackson. Pead had a productive collegiate career at Cincinnati. He won the MVP for the Senior Bowl game. Drafted in the second round of last year's draft, he's been compared to Tennessee's Chris Johnson. Then somewhere in between all that positivity, Pead fell behind and was buried in the depth chart for the 2012 season. He had few opportunities to showcase his skills last season. When he did get a chance, he did not look quite comfortable.
If/when he puts it all together, he's a talented back. Head coach Jeff Fisher has been quoted saying that Pead will play a big role in this year's offense. I hope Pead does, because I want the offense to succeed, but I'll wait 'n see.
Zac Stacy (5-8, 216 lbs)
The Rams traded up into the 5th round to grab the SEC product, so it must mean they like him, even if its a little bit. Stacy had success against the tough SEC defenses, so he is not a player to scoff at. His measurables, height and weight, are eerily similar to Ray Rice. Maybe that is just a coincidence, but it would be great if Stacy pans out for the Rams like Rice did for the Ravens.
Terrance Ganaway (6'1, 240 lbs)
If the Rams want a big back like Jackson, Ganaway is the guy. The team scooped him up last season off of the waiver wire from the New York Jets, and kept him on the roster the entire season. He was not used at all during the season, most likely because SJ39 was in the "big back" role. It seemed Ganaway was poised to be an integral part of the running game, but the addition of Stacy muddies his status on the team a bit, and he might be the forgotten man.
Dude has been around with the Rams for a while, albeit with the Practice Squad. I don't see how he makes it onto the roster.
Benjamin Cunningham (5-10, 210 lbs)
Cunningham is an undrafted free agent rookie. Other than a camp body, I do not see him making the team.