St. Louis Rams 2014 Roster Projection: Take One

Offense Starter Back Up 3rd String 4th String Total Players Cut
Quarterback Sam Bradford Shaun Hill Garrett Gilbert 3 Austin Davis
Running Back Zac Stacy Benny Cunningham Tre Mason Chase Reynolds 4 Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead, Trey Watts
Wide Receiver Tavon Austin Chris Givens Stedman Bailey 3 Emory Blake, Justin Veltung, TJ Moe
Wide Receiver Kenny Britt Brian Quick Austin Pettis 3 Austin Franklin, Jamaine Sherman
Tight End Jared Cook Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey 3 Mason Brodine, Justice Cunningham, Alex Bayer, Kadeem Jones
Left Tackle Jake Long Mike Person 2 Demetrius Rhaney, Mitchell Van Dyk
Left Guard Greg Robinson Brandon Washington 2 Emmanual McCray
Center Scott Wells Tim Barnes 2 Graham Pocic
Right Guard Roger Saffold Barrett Jones 2
Right Tackle Joe Barksdale Sean Hooey 2
Left Defensive End Chris Long William Hayes 2 Ethan Westbrooks
Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers Alex Carrington 2 Deandre Harlan
Defensive Tackle Kendall Langford Aaron Donald 2 Matt Conrath, Jermelle Cudjo
Right Defensive End Robert Quinn Eugene Sims 2 Michael Sam
Outside Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar Ray-Ray Armstrong Phillip Steward 3 Sammy Brown, Etienne Sabino
Middle Linebacker James Laurinaitis Caleb McSurdy 2 Tavarius Wilson
Outside Linebacker Alec Ogletree Daren Bates 2 Aaron Hill, Johnny Millard
Left Corner Trumaine Johnson Lamarcus Joyner Brandon McGee 3 Marcus Roberson, Greg Reid
Right Corner Janoris Jenkins EJ Gaines 2 Darren Woodard, Quinton Pointer
Strong Safety TJ McDonald Cody Davis Avery Cunningham* 2 Matt Daniels, CB Bryant, Jarrid Bryant
Free Safety Maurice Alexander Rodney McLeod 2
Special Teams
Kicker Greg Zuerlein 1
Punter Johnny Hekker 1 Bobby Cowan
Long Snapper Jake McQuaide 1 Jorgen Hus
Total Players: 53
*Avery Cunningham on roster until Stedman Bailey returns

It is damn hard to cut down a roster. You want to keep all these players, but you have to find a balance.

Here are my thoughts on the Rams’ options and my projections:

The Rams have a "swing" spot available to them. They can either keep an extra safety, linebacker, or offensive lineman. In my projection, I kept an extra linebacker and an extra safety. The extra safety would be cut when Stedman Bailey returns from suspension. I really do think that the Rams will use that "swing" spot for an offensive lineman, but I decided to use it for the linebacker position. I don’t have a specific reason other than I think Phillip Steward is a solid player to have on the active roster.

The battle for the 4th and 5th cornerback spots are going to be fierce. Right now, I think EJ Gaines definitely makes it and the last spot comes down to Darren Woodard (who I think the staff likes a lot), Quinton Pointer (somehow always sticks around), Brandon McGee, Greg Reid, and Marcus Roberson. I have McGee with the edge due to experience, but it really is open for the taking. Special teams play will be a huge factor in deciding the last spot(s).

Safety is also going to be extremely interesting to watch. Obviously, TJ McDonald is going to make it and so is Rodney McLeod (his versatility is great). I think Greg Williams is going to love Alexander and he will end up starting. I believe Cody Davis is a solid back up and pretty good on special teams to warrant a spot. I have Matt Daniels being cut because he never stays healthy, which sucks because he has so much potential. I listed Avery Cunningham as the 5th safety while Bailey is on suspension. I’m sure my opinion will change once we get into training camp.

The offensive depth is where there is a lot of opportunity for the new guys. I went with the same guys from last year, but it will change once we see more in training camp.

While Bailey is on suspension, the Rams will most likely keep an extra offensive lineman or maybe a linebacker, but probably not a 5th safety like I did. Something the Rams could possibly do, which I am against, is to give Michael Sam the extra spot while Bailey is on the team and the put him on the practice squad or cut him once Bailey returns.

That is my 53 man roster projection as of now. Besides the bottom third of the roster and barring any injuries or surprises, the top of the roster is pretty much set.

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