You can tell the end of the preseason is getting close. The first round of NFL roster cuts are due by the end of the day tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30. Teams must cut down to 80 players, which is usually the size of the roster at the beginning of training camp. This, however, is no ordinary year.
Because of the lockout, teams were allowed 90-man rosters. That change helped teams, but made it tougher for undrafted free agents to stand out with more players competing for reps in camp. The St. Louis Rams cut three yesterday, including one of their more intriguing UDFA prospects, TE Schuylar Oordt.
Hidden at Northern Iowa and sharing reps with another tight end on his college roster, not many had the chance to see Oordt's raw talent. Unfortunately, he plays at a crowded position for the Rams, where more established players are vying for a roster spot. Oordt is a classic example of an undrafted free agent that would have likely benefited from spring minicamps and organized team activities. In those sessions with a smaller roster, he would have seen more work and had some opportunity chance to refine his skills.
The Rams also eliminated some competition in the wide receiver race. They released Jared Jenkins and Joe West. West was with the practice squad late last year.
Teams have to cut down to their final 53-man rosters by September 5.