Keep an eye on Rokevious Watkins, the St. Louis Rams' fifth-round pick in this year's draft. Despite a delayed start to training camp when he showed up out of shape, head coach Jeff Fisher and his staff continue to be big believers in the South Carolina product.
On Tuesday, Watkins got to see some snaps with the first team offense. Rodger Saffold was easing his way back into reps with the first team. When Saffold was off the field, Watkins was on it, with Quinn Ojinnaka sliding over the left tackle spot.
Right now, it looks like Ojinnaka has the starting left guard job locked down, but the Rams have three games left in the preseason for Watkins make it a real competition between the two players.
"Rok, he's really improved since he got out of the practice field a week ago," Fisher said of the rookie.
This was Watkins' first experience at the left guard spot for the Rams. In last week's preseason game against the Colts, he was working on the right side with the second team.
The Ram Casters were pleased with Watkins' performance:
Rok watkins is a large man, but moves well for 330+— Brent Lancaster (@lannyosu) August 14, 2012
Right now, the the starting five for the offensive line looks like this:
LT: Rodger Saffold
LG: Quinn Ojinnaka
C: Scott Wells
RG: Harvey Dahl
RT: Barry Richardson
Onjinnaka's value as a swing man will be important for the depth chart. Even if he does win the starting left guard job, he would be first in line to fill-in for Saffold, meaning the Rams needs capable replacements inside.
Wells' status is the wild card. Robert Turner has done a more than adequate job filling in, and will be closely watched as the preseason continues. If Wells' health is a continual problem this year, Turner will be very important.
A battle rages at right tackle, and will continue as we noted last night. Jason Smith looked like the better choice on Sunday, but Fisher plans to keep the competition going.