Training camp is finally upon us. With the dawn of camp comes the start of the battles at the back end of the roster. Unlike years past, when the Rams roster was barren, the Rams will have some seriously tough decisions ahead of them before they break camp.
On one hand, it's good to see fringe players - the ones that were commonplace before the Fisher-Snead era - getting pushed off of the roster. It's a gentle reminder that this team is improving - maybe not in record but undoubtedly in overall talent level. On the other hand, it's tough to see draft picks go by the wayside.
It's a situation that all 32 NFL teams are dealing with this month. Every team will cut players that have played a previous role. For the Rams it's a mix of draft mistakes, players that failed to develop, and players that the team has replaced via the draft.
Drafted in the 5th Round of the 2013 draft, McGee has done pretty much what you'd expect of a 5th round pick. He's flashed ability and was even penciled in as the #3 CB last offseason, but rookies E.J. Gaines, Marcus Roberson, and Lamarcus Joyner have all hopped him since last year at this time.
McGee will have to fare better against this year's crop of undrafted DBs than he did last year if he is going to break camp on the final 53 man roster.
I'm fairly certain that every Rams fan has been disappointed at some point by Givens. After a pretty outstanding rookie season, he has fallen off of the map - and seemingly out of favor with the coaching staff. Nowadays, you can find him buried on the depth chart behind Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, and Stedman Bailey. That's not to mention Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, or any of the Rams RBs.
As far as targets go, they're looking pretty slim for Givens in 2015. The Rams could decide that a 5th receiver needs to contribute more on special teams and move on from the once promising WR.
Trey Watts and Isaiah Pead
Todd Gurley. Tre Mason. Benny Cunningham. Chase Reynolds. Defacto FB/TEs Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey.
That makes six players that are ahead of the pecking order in the backfield than Watts and Pead. Pead's story is well known and doesn't need rehashed here. Watts isn't doing himself any favors either. He's suspended for the first 4 games of the season. Both will need to show that they can stay out of Fisher's dog house if they are going to crack the roster.
The Rams have an on-again, off-again relationship with Austin Davis. He's been around the Rams for a few years now and has yet solidify his spot on the roster. After a hot start last season in place of the injured Shaun Hill, Davis was quickly exposed as a sub-par option at QB.
The Rams clearly see something in Case Keenum. They acquired him - twice - in the past 12 months to shore up the QB position. Davis will have to show significant improvement if he is going to beat out Keenum.