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2015 Rams Roster Preview: Bradley Marquez Puts Baseball on Hold for NFL Dream

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He put his baseball career on hold to chase his NFL dreams. Did he make the right call?

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Two-sport stars are common in high school and small colleges, but when you get into the upper levels of FBS and the professional realm, they are pretty rarely seen. WR Bradley Marquez was - and still is - under contract with the New York Mets, so he has avenues open to pursue both sports.

Prior to his senior season at Texas Tech, Marquez informed the Mets that he would be focusing on football full-time. He was able parlay that senior season into a UDFA contract with the Rams in the hours following the draft.

Roster Battle

The WR position was last discussed by 3k in the Tyler Slavin preview piece. Here's what it boils down to: four roster spots are all but locked up. The WVU twins (Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey) pair with the big bodies (Brian Quick and Kenny Britt) to make up the core of the WR corps.

The Rams ended last season with five WRs on the 53-man roster, but have carried six in the past. After the four players listed above, the remainder of the group will be fighting for 1 - maybe 2 - roster spots. After a promising rookie campaign, Chris Givens has somewhat fallen off of the map. If he can find some value on special teams, he would likely have a leg up on the rest of the players.

What it essentially comes down to is who offers the best combination of WR versatility and special teams contributions. Fisher and WR Coach Ray Sherman will have their work cut out for them here. It's worth noting that Marquez thinks he fits that mold perfectly.

I’m a guy who’s going to work hard and do whatever the coaches ask me to do," he said. "I can play inside or outside and I have experience on special teams, too. I’m excited to be here, to learn the playbook and show the coaches what I can do.

Expectations

Marquez struggled some with injuries in his college/minor-league career. First and foremost, he will have to show that his can stay healthy. Expectations can't be high for any UDFA. If Marquez can showcase his flexibility and value on special teams in camp, he'll have a chance to rise above the Rams' secondary group of WRs.

Chances of Making Final Roster (4/10)

3k recently put Slavin at a 4/10 and I think that Marquez is right there with him. Any time you can be of value as a positional and special teams player, it increases your chances. He's shown that he can compete in a FBS power conference (the Big 12 still counts right?), and has a leg up over Slavin where learning curves are concerned.

It's quite possible that Marquez and Slavin end up as the final two players in the WR group pushing to make the roster. They will push Emory Blake and Devon Wylie for their practice squad spots and possibly even Givens for his roster spot.