In preparation for the St. Louis Rams preseason opener against New Orleans this Friday, the Rams released their first unofficial depth chart. This depth chart could (and will) change, but it gives us a rough estimation of where the players stand with the team.
After viewing the depth chart, don't be expected to be surprised too much since most of the positions are clearly written in stone. Let's look at the surprises on the depth chart.
The big surprises on the depth chart are on the offensive side of the ball. The wide receiver position is the hardest to decipher, since Tavon Austin is starting with Kenny Britt. You wouldn't think that Austin will start on the outside, but it's possible. The thing is the chart doesn't have a position for the slot, so that might have messed things up.
Next is Chris Givens who has gone from a starter last season to hanging with the third string. Stedman Bailey is with the second stringers. Has Bailey, who will be suspended for the first four games of the season, impressed that much?
At running back the biggest surprise is that Tre Mason hasn't earned the third string job over Isaiah Pead yet. We're expecting that to occur after the preseason is wrapped up. Of course, some were expecting Mason to challenge Stacy for the starting job. Is Benny Cunningham the clear No. 2?
Will this be the year that center Barrett Jones can at least become a second stringer? The second-year pro has bulked up after injuries compromised his rookie season. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.
There are no big surprises on the defensive side. What's interesting is where the rookie defensive players are on the depth chart. Rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who has been impressive in training camp is with the second stringers, but the defensive line rotates so much that there's nothing to worry about with Donald.
Lamarcus Joyner is listed as a third string safety, but he is expected to be the starter as a nickel back unless things fall apart for him.
Speaking of safeties Maurice Alexander and Christian Bryant are the second- and third-string strong safeties.
Michael Sam is listed with the third string defensive ends and will battle to stay on the roster.
Punter: Johnny Hekker, Bobby Cowan
Kicker: Greg Zuerlein, Bobby Cowan
Holder: Johnny Hekker
Long Snapper: Jake McQuaide, Jorgen Hus
Punt Returner: Tavon Austin, Justin Veltung
Kick Returner: Benny Cunningham, Tavon Austin Isaiah Pead
The return specialist position is basically wide open. The Rams could decide not to risk Austin getting an injury, maybe someone not listed will surprise during preseason and take a job, time will tell.