Season Preview Question #7 - Which Rookies Factor?

Dilip Vishwanat

The SBN NFL preview dives headfirst into the Rams' wheelhouse as we look at the rookies.

There have been a couple of questions in this SB Nation NFL Preview Series that haven't applied to the Rams all that well.

Not this one.

Welcome to our world, SB Nation...

Which rookies will see regular playing time this year?

Oh hai. We're a young team. We has rookies for days. Let's list em out:

Name POS School
Ray Ray Armstrong LB Miami
Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
Stedman Bailey WR West Virginia
Daren Bates LB Auburn
Emory Blake WR Auburn
Benny Cunningham RB Middle Tennessee St.
Cody Davis SS Texas Tech
Garrett Goebel DT Ohio St.
Rashard Hall FS Clemson
Sean Hooey OT Cincinnati
Barrett Jones OL Alabama
Philip Lutzenkirchen TE Auburn
Andre Martin, Jr. CB North Dakota St.
T.J. McDonald FS USC
Brandon McGee CB Miami
Alec Ogletree OLB Georgia
Gerald Rivers DE Ole Miss
Zac Stacy RB Vanderbilt
Eric Stevens FB Cal
Jonathan Stewart LB Texas A&M
Justin Veltung WR Idaho
R.J. Washington DE Oklahoma
Darren Woodard CB UTEP

Well that's damn near a football team in and of itself.

The reality is, HC Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead are building a core in their image, and that starts with bringing in young players they can groom to fit the identity of the team they want to carve out.

With so many first-year options, there's two groups. The starters and the contenders.

Rookies who will start

Tavon Austin

The question was which rookies will see regular playing time. Tavon Austin will see regular playing time.

Alec Ogletree

The Jo-Lonn Dunbar suspension only opened a door that was already opened. Ogletree will be a key part of the 2013 Rams.

T.J. McDonald

The safety spots may be the softest on the roster, outside of left guard. There's no reason McDonald can't log 16 starts this season if injuries don't make that an impossibility.

Rookies who could contend

Ray Ray Armstrong/Daren Bates/Jonathan Stewart

Armstrong's gotten plenty of playing time at linebacker this preseason and looks the part of an NFL contributor. With the aforementioned Dunbar suspension, Armstrong is in contention to get some reserve snaps at some point along with...

Bates has impressed this preseason, despite a notable lack of size. If he makes the 53-man, it's an indicator the staff is willing to see if he can produce in spite of his stature.

Stewart seems to have a leg up on both, but the final preseason game might separate one of these three from the others.

Stedman Bailey

Bailey's a bit deep on the depth chart right now with Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin all in front of him, but the Rams will likely find a way to get him involved.

Benny Cunningham

Cunningham's had perhaps the best preseason of anyone, and it might be good enough to convince the Rams to keep four running backs on the roster along with Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and...

Zac Stacy

Stacy's been limited throughout the preseason due to injury, but he'll likely be in the mix in the regular season. Tomorrow's final preseason game might be a good indicator of where he's at.

Cody Davis

The safety battle rages on. It looks as if Davis might make the cut.

Which rookies do you expect to make an impact this season outside of Tavon, Ogletree & TJ?

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