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2015 St. Louis Rams: 53-Man Roster Projection

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Who will make the Rams' 53-man roster and Practice Squad? Many quality players will not make the 2015 edition of the St. Louis Rams. It's an enviable position for the team to be in. Under Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, the Rams' talent level has increased exponentially. It's now time to turn all that talent into results on the field!!

On Saturday, September 5 (prior to 4:00 p.m. EDT), all 32 NFL teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List. Once the waiver process is completed (on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. EDT), clubs may establish a Practice Squad comprised of 10 players. Who will make the Rams' 53-man roster and Practice Squad?

Many quality players will not make the 2015 edition of the St. Louis Rams. It's an enviable position for the team to be in. Under Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, the level of talent on the roster has increased exponentially. It's now time to turn all that talent into results on the field! Preparation - that's on Jeff Fisher and the coaching staff. Execution - that's strictly on the players.

St. Louis Rams Current 75-Man Roster & Depth Chart

The accompanying chart presents the St. Louis Rams' current 75-Man roster and my personal Rams depth chart:

C Barrett Jones Tim Barnes Demetrius Rhaney
RG Rodger Saffold Garrett Reynolds
LG Jamon Brown Cody Wichmann Brandon Washington
RT Rob Havenstein Andrew Donnal
LT Greg Robinson Isaiah Battle Darrell Williams
TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey
TE Jared Cook Justice Cunningham Alex Bayer
WR Brian Quick Bradley Marquez
WR Tavon Austin Chris Givens Emory Blake
WR Kenny Britt Stedman Bailey Daniel Rodriguez
RB Tre Mason Benny Cunningham Chase Reynolds Malcolm Brown
RB Todd Gurley Isaiah Pead Trey Watts Zach Laskey
QB Nick Foles Case Keenum Sean Mannion Austin Davis
PK Greg Zuerlein
P John Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
DT Aaron Donald Nick Fairley Louis Trinca-Pasat
DT Michael Brockers Ethan Westbrooks Marcus Forston
DE Chris Long William Hayes Martin Ifedi
DE Robert Quinn Eugene Sims Matt Longacre
MLB James Laurinaitis Daren Bates Bryce Hager
OLB Alec Ogletree Marshall McFadden
OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Akeem Ayers Cameron Lynch
CB Janoris Jenkins Marcus Roberson
CB Lamarcus Joyner Montell Garner
CB Trumaine Johnson Brandon McGee Trovon Reed
SS T.J. McDonald Mark Barron Maurice Alexander Jacob Hagen
FS Rodney McLeod Cody Davis Christian Bryant
75 Players

53-Man Roster & Practice Squad Predictions

C Barrett Jones Tim Barnes
RG Rodger Saffold Garrett Reynolds
LG Jamon Brown Cody Wichmann
RT Rob Havenstein Andrew Donnal
LT Greg Robinson Isaiah Battle
TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey
TE Jared Cook Justice Cunningham
WR Brian Quick Tavon Austin Chris Givens
WR Kenny Britt Stedman Bailey
RB Tre Mason Benny Cunningham Chase Reynolds
RB Todd Gurley Isaiah Pead
QB Nick Foles Case Keenum Sean Mannion
PK Greg Zuerlein
P John Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
DT Aaron Donald Nick Fairley
DT Michael Brockers Ethan Westbrooks
DE Chris Long William Hayes
DE Robert Quinn Eugene Sims
MLB James Laurinaitis Daren Bates
OLB Alec Ogletree
OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Akeem Ayers
CB Janoris Jenkins Marcus Roberson
CB Trumaine Johnson Lamarcus Joyner Brandon McGee
SS T.J. McDonald Mark Barron Maurice Alexander
FS Rodney McLeod Cody Davis
Practice Squad Injured Reserve
WR Bradley Marquez CB   E.J. Gaines
C Demetrius Rhaney
LT Darrell Williams
RB Malcolm Brown
DT Louis Trinca-Pasat
DE Martin Ifedi
MLB Bryce Hager
OLB Cameron Lynch
CB Montell Garner
FS Christian Bryant

Rationale & Observations

Quarterback (3)

Earlier this week, Jeff Fisher left little doubt as to who would be Nick Foles' primary backup this coming season:

"But I think that Case has done a good enough job right now at this point that he’s got No. 2 locked up."

Sean Mannion will be the 3rd QB to make the roster. The Rams will not risk losing Mannion by placing him on the Practice Squad.

Running Back (5)

Although it's not likely to happen, I still believe Todd Gurley should begin the season on the PUP List. Clearly he's not 100% recovered from the ACL tear. With a fine training camp and preseason, Isaiah Pead has earned a place on the roster. Ace special teamer Chase Reynolds is a virtual lock to make the final roster. The Rams could place Trey Watts on the reserve/suspended list to start the season (he wouldn't count against the 53-man roster, but 13/17 of his salary would count against the salary cap). A more likely scenario is a repeat of what the Rams did with Jo-Lonn Dunbar a couple of seasons ago: releasing him, then re-signing him after his 4 game suspension is served. Hopefully the Rams can stash the promising Malcolm Brown on the Practice Squad.

Wide Receiver (5)

The only question remaining with this unit is whether the Rams will keep a 6th WR (Bradley Marquez). They kept 5 on the roster last season and will likely do the same this year.

Tight End (4)

Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey are all locks to make the final 53. Justice Cunningham beats out Alex Bayer this year for the 4th TE spot, mostly because of his superior blocking skills.

Offensive Line (10)

The Rams will carry 10 OL on the roster...but it will feel like 9. The Rams can't risk losing Isaiah Battle to another team by signing him to the Practice Squad (after releasing him), but there's still a lot for him to learn before he can become a significant contributor in the NFL. It's tempting to include Demetrius Rhaney on the final 53-man roster. Instead, the Rams will likely stash him on the Practice Squad and opt for the much-needed experience of Tim Barnes at center. Has Rhaney shown enough at the guard position during the preseason to warrant consideration over Cody Wichmann?

Defensive Line (8)

Will the Rams go with 8 or 9 defensive linemen on the final 53-man roster? If they go with 8, Ethan Westbrooks' positional versatility wins out over Louis Trinca-Pasat's Aaron Donald-like qualities. Trinca-Pasat joins the roster if the Rams decide to keep 9 defensive linemen.

Linebacker (5)

For much of the 2014 season the Rams kept only 5 linebackers on the roster. The Rams run a nickel, dime, or big nickel sub-package around 60% of the time/defensive snaps (with only 2 linebackers on the field). It's reasonable to expect the same this season. The signing of Akeem Ayers as a Free Agent adds quality and depth to the unit. For these reasons, it wouldn't come as a surprise to see the Rams carry only 5 linebackers once again in 2015. If they do opt for a 6th linebacker, MLB Bryce Hager gets the nod. Both Hager and Cameron Lynch are ideal Practice Squad stashes/depth (and future insurance, as both Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Daren Bates become Free Agents in 2016).

Cornerback (5)

The season-ending injury to probable starter E.J. Gaines threw a wrench into the Rams' plans for this position. The injury allowed the likes of Brandon McGee, Montell Garner and Trovon Reed the opportunity to compete for the 5th cornerback spot. McGee makes the roster by a nose over Garner (who the Rams sign to the Practice Squad).

Safety (5)

Little doubt in my mind...Barron, Alexander, McLeod, Davis and McDonald all make the roster.

Specialists (3)

McQuaide...Zuerlein...Hekker. Set in stone.

Follow up with us over the weekend as more roster moves are made on the way to 53.

Update: The Rams release the first player on the march to 53: