The Rams have invested heavily in their defensive line since Jeff Fisher and Les Snead took the Reigns of the team. They've built the DL both through Free Agency (Kendall Langford, Alex Carringon, William Hayes) and the Draft (most notably with 4 first round picks). The DL is unquestionably the most talented unit on the Rams. They have the high end talent AND the depth to be one of the most dominant units (I apologize for the Bleacher Report reference...it really is worth reading) in the NFL this season.
If you ask CBS Sports or Fox Sports, the starters are slated to be Chris Long, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, and Robert Quinn. There is some room for debate here though. Despite being ejected from the team's Week 17 matchup with the Seahawks, Kendall Langford came on strong at the end of last season. There is no denying that Donald is extremely talented and will be a starter very soon, but I believe that Langford will retain his spot next to Brockers in the starting lineup.
Backups Rotational Players
Just throwing it out there...our DL touted 8 players who could be starters. For all intents and purposes, there are no backups on our DL. When we rotate guys in, the opposing lineman won't sigh in relief... They'll groan and wonder why Roger Goodell hasn't banned teams from stockpiling this much DL talent (for player safety obviously).
In addition to the 5 players mentioned above, William Hayes, Alex Carrington, and Eugene Sims could all adequately fill in as a starter if asked. The interesting part of the equation is how DL coach Mike Wauffle and Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams utilize this abundance of talent to create mismatches, keep legs fresh, and maximize production.
Trying to Stick on the Roster
Needless to say, the Rams are absolutely stacked along the DL and finding playing time for 'developmental' players will be extremely tough. While that's a good problem to have, that also means that you will have good players on the outside looking in.
First you have Matt Conrath, who has admirably filled in as a backup the past few years in St. Louis. Problem is.... he's just that - a backup. There are only so many roster spots that you can allocate to the DL. With 8 starting quality players on the roster, it's hard to imagine the Rams carrying an additional D-lineman to accommodate a backup-quality player.
You've probably noticed by now that I have yet to mention Michael Sam. As much as fans (and undoubtedly the NFL) want him to make the team, it's a longshot. However, the coaching staff has praised the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year at every opportunity. If Sam can do enough to impress on Special Teams in the preseason, he might be able to snag one of the last few roster spots. Either way, you will have pundits from one side of the argument or the other chastising the Rams, so be prepared.
Then you have Deantre Harlan and Ethan Westbrooks. They have to see the writing on the wall. I feel bad for the guys...their NFL dreams will at the bare minimum be put on hold until the roster cuts start happening. They will either be cut or signed to the practice squad if they can impress in camp.