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Surprises on the Rams' depth chart for week 1

For the most part, the St. Louis Rams have their roster set for the start of the season. Though it's likely to change over the weeks ahead, its current shape looks very much like we thought it would. The team also has their depth chart listed - on the team's much improved, much needed new web site - and it contains a couple of surprises. 

Newly acquired WR Mark Clayton is not yet listed, though Keenan Burton is not included. The only real surprise on the offensive depth chart is at tight end, where Daniel Fells follows Billy Bajema for the second spot. Michael Hoomanawanui is listed third. Unlike QB or the various OL spots, TE is one of those positions that the coaches use more situationally. Bajema may start the game when the team most certainly lines up in the classic I formation for the first snap, but those guys all rotate in based on the play call. Hoomanawanui might see fewer snaps early in the season, while the team defers to Fells' experience, what those players do on the downs they do play will ultimately determine who gets more playing time. 

On the other side of the ball, the single minor shocker is Craig Dahl listed ahead of James Butler at SS. I thought maybe that was just because of Butler's injury making his availability questionable for this week, but that is not the case. Dahl has unseated Butler as the starting strong safety. Of course, Butler's injury is mostly responsible for that since it kept him out through most of training camp. 

In July, before camp started, I looked at some stats and thought that there should at least be a good competition between Dahl and Butler for the SS job. Dahl's numbers were better than Butler's last season, both against the run and the pass.