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:
|Ray Ray Armstrong||LB||Miami|
|Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|Stedman Bailey||WR||West Virginia|
|Benny Cunningham||RB||Middle Tennessee St.|
|Cody Davis||SS||Texas Tech|
|Garrett Goebel||DT||Ohio St.|
|Andre Martin, Jr.||CB||North Dakota St.|
|Gerald Rivers||DE||Ole Miss|
|Jonathan Stewart||LB||Texas A&M|
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
The question was which rookies will see regular playing time. Tavon Austin will see regular playing time.
The Jo-Lonn Dunbar suspension only opened a door that was already opened. Ogletree will be a key part of the 2013 Rams.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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?