The St. Louis Rams kick off their preseason schedule on Thursday in Cleveland. It also means the Rams, for the first time since camp opened, released an unofficial depth chart. Let's take a look.
A few thoughts about the offense ...
- Smith and Williams have been, essentially, interchangeable at the left guard spot. Williams seems to have an edge based on what we've seen in practice, but the games will go a lot further toward deciding that.
- Quick has improved since his rookie season, but he's still battling consistency issues. The Post-Dispatch said "he still has work to do." Not a huge surprise. The good thing is that he's getting plenty of reps, the kind that you just don't get in OTAs or off-site workouts. Keep a close eye on Quick as we head into the regular season.
- Offensive line depth is a little more of a concern than initially thought, mostly at the tackle position. Remember, both Long and Saffold missed time with injuries last year.
- Depth on the interior line in much better. Remember too that Barrett Jones got a late start to camp because he was recovering from a foot injury.
- It's a long shot, but watch to see if any of the other tight ends on the roster leap Kendricks on the depth chart. He's still not practicing, and will likely miss this week's game.
Left Defensive End
Left Defensive Tackle
Right Defensive Tackle
Right Defensive End
A few thoughts about the defense ...
- No real surprises here. The only positions with new faces in the starting lineup are the two safety spots and the linebacker spot Ogletree is manning.
- Speaking of linebackers, this group could end up being one of the strongest units on the team. If Ogletree plays as well in coverage as he's practiced in camp (and did in college), it gives the Rams that much more flexibility with their defensive backs.
- Trumaine Johnson is listed as the fourth corner, but he'll see the third most reps of any corner because the Rams play so much in the nickel and dime.
- There it is, writ large for all the world to see ... Tavon Austin, kick and punt returner. That's fluid too, if one of the other players can step up or if they get concerned about the impact on his offensive workload.
- Long snappers don't get much love, but the Rams have two pretty good ones. Of course, McQuaide has a new long-term contract. Hus will catch on somewhere else, I'd be willing to bet.