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2015 St. Louis Rams: 53-Man Roster Projection, Roster Bubble Candidates Ahead Of Rams-Chiefs

Breaking down the roster bubble and seeing who has the most to gain and lose in tonight's final game of the Rams' 2015 preseason.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

We've got a couple hours before kickoff between the Rams and the Chiefs, and since roster cuts are on Saturday I thought we could isolate the players who are looking at tonight's game as a legitimate audition.

First, here are my locks:

Locked Down

QB: Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Sean Mannion

I think this is already set in stone on the 53.

RB: Todd Gurley, Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham, Chase Reynolds

The Rams went with five last year, so this would leave a 2014 slot open.

TE/FB: Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, Cory Harkey

Another position where they went with five a year ago. This leaves a pair open.

WR: Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens

I'm hesitant to call Givens a lock, but I'll ride with it here. The Rams also went with five wideouts last season.

OL: Greg Robinson, Rodger Saffold, Barrett Jones, Jamon Brown, Rob Havenstein, Andrew Donnal, Garrett Reynolds

There's bound to be some argument here with as many moving parts, but these are the only locks I'm confident in.

DL: Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Nick Fairley, William Hayes, Eugene Sims

Two spots from the 53. One notable omission...

LB: James Laurinaitis, Alec Ogletree, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Akeem Ayers, Daren Bates

I reaaaaaaaaaaaaally struggled with Dunbar here.

CB: Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner, Marcus Roberson

Now hiring.

S: T.J. McDonald, Rodney McLeod, Mark Barron, Maurice Alexander, Cody Davis

This might be the position unit I'm most comfortable with after QB.

ST: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide

Wait, no. This  is.

Job Openings

So against the 53-man, here's the difference between my locks and how many we carried in 2014:

POS 2014 2015 Diff
QB 2 3 -1
RB 5 4 1
TE 5 3 2
WR 5 5 0
OL 9 7 4
DL 9 7 2
LB 5 5 0
CB 6 4 2
S 4 5 -1
Total 53 46 8

That's seven job openings for me, though the coaches likely have a few more locked in.

That being said, here's my bubble list.

Bubble Watch

QB: None

Sorry, Austin Davis.

RB: Trey Watts, Isaiah Pead, Malcolm Brown

Watts is the favorite here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams tap either Pead or Brown. Watts has played well, but consider who he's playing against and his style. They may even go with Brown for the physicality.

TE/FB: Justice Cunningham, Zach Laskey

I don't see how Alex Bayer makes it this year. There is room, though, to backup Cory Harkey. And I'm leaning hard toward a four-man personnel group here to give a spot to another position.

WR: Bradley Marquez

Daniel Rodriguez is a great story, but it's not going to happen for the 53-man. Marquez, though, has enough athleticism to entice an extra spot here perhaps.

OL: Tim Barnes, Demetrius Rhaney, Brandon Washington, Cody Wichmann, Isaiah Battle

Man, I dunno.

DL: Ethan Westbrooks, Louis Trinca-Pasat, Martin Ifedi

This is also "man, I dunno" territory, but I'd be surprised if they went with less than nine here.

LB: Cameron Lynch, Bryce Hager

Special team openings are everything tonight, especially with future injuries untold in 2015.

CB: Brandon McGee, Montell Garner, Trovon Reed

The Imoan Claiborne cut tells you they're serious about isolating the options here. There's a reason.

S: None

ST: None

Audition Super Bowl

That's 19 out of 22 in the bubble mix. Certainly, the staff has it down to much less than that, but it's difficult to decipher from the outside.

What will be most interesting to contrast with this weekend's 53-man is if one of these candidates plays well tonight and doesn't make it...or vice versa.

There was one Imoan Claiborne in the first 15 cuts. There will be several more in the next 22.