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St. Louis Rams: Parsing Players For 2015

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Just what will happen in the Rams - Giants game today is anyone's guess. Lacking any kind of post season meaning for either team, this one is for job security headed into the post season. But this is the NFL, so the idea that playing hard the last couple games of the year can somehow help keep a roster spot is suspect at best... Which Rams players could be playing their last game for St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome today? Forget for a moment those pesky salary cap figures, which I'll leave for Frank  Dobozy to parse. The truth of it as I see it - for the St. Louis Rams going forward - is they're in that dangerous, "flip of a coin" time as they look toward the 2015 season...

This team is getting to the point where "rebuilding" is being replaced with "dialing in" when it come to their next baby-steps toward a competitive NFL team. A move or two any which way will more than likely decide the fate of Jeff Fisher and Les Snead's efforts since they arrived in St. Louis. It's a fine line they'll be walking as they analyze the young players on their roster, as well as veterans who carry free agent contract.

If Rams fans have focused their collective ire on anyone this season, it has to be offensive guard Davin Joseph. Ineffective in pass protection, he's had a tough time in 2014, A former Pro Bowl guard from Tampa Bay, he was brought in to fill the shoes of Harvey Dahl at right guard. Most don't realize just how hard this position is to play in the NFL. Defenses pick on right guards heavily, and they try to single out this position in blitz packages. Joseph has had a few good games for the Rams, while at other times he's seemed to channel a matador's spirit? As the season's progressed, he's done better at protecting the quarterback, and if he has anyone to thank for staying on the roster next year, it may very well be Barrett Jones... Jones hasn't played much for the Rams since being taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. The former "all-everything" lineman at Alabama has morphed into a project player for Jeff Fisher. Envisioned as a utility lineman out the gate, it's never really clear just where he fits into the long term scheme? Is he a guard? Center? Swing tackle? At the moment, no one really knows, but his lack of defining characteristics could very well mean Joseph - and even Scott Wells - are safe?

Kenny Britt was a huge surprise for me. Based on his past off-field exploits and injury history, I wasn't crazy about Jeff Fisher bringing him in. Arrests and sex tapes aside, he appears to have grown up enough to piece together a decent season for the Rams. On a one year " show me" deal, I think the Rams will try to find a way to re-sign him. He's shown a leadership role with young players, which was a point of fear for me when he was signed in the off season. The "old" Britt, and impressionable players like Janoris Jenkins, was a cause for a few sleepless nights. But Britt has done enough in my eyes to earn a nod going forward...

Kendall Langford is a quality defensive tackle, but he's been relegated to the depth chart with the rise of rookie phenom Aaron Donald. Langford could very well be headed to the door if Fisher and Snead decide to grab one of the many defensive tackle prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft. Personally, I'd like to see Langford remain in a Rams' uniform. Quality depth is key, and we've seen enough to know just what happens to any position when the injury bug hits.

Jake Long is a very good left tackle - when he's healthy. What a caveat to hang on the 4 time Pro Bowl player, eh? But it's true, and I just don't see it changing anytime soon. Yet, if there's even a slight chance Long can play, isn't he worth the money to keep around to mentor Greg Robinson? Not really, since Robinson's trial by fire in 2014 should see him well on his way to being a solid left tackle in his own right in 2015. Long is a fantastic player,when he's healthy, and an even better person. But his contract is a burden that'll have to be addressed, and unless he's willing to substantially re-negotiate I don't see him back with the Rams in 2015...

What players for the Rams do you feel will be on the bubble moving toward 2015?