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2016 Rams Roster Preview: Could Eric Kush Challenge Tim Barnes?

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I'll do my best to avoid the pot puns - I know y'all will hit it in the comments

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Kush spent the first two years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs as the understudy to one of the best centers in the NFL: Rodney Hudson. After years of seeing Scott Wells being overpaid and Demetrius Rhaney / Barrett Jones disappoint, the Los Angeles Rams finally brought in some fresh faces at the position late last season.

Roster Battle

For better or worse, Jeff Fisher seems to be content with Tim Barnes as his starting center. Barnes is overrated in my opinion and is the definition of 'meh'. I couldn't pull all 32 rankings, but PFF had him in the bottom quarter of starting NFL centers in 2015. That's not someone who should have job security.

Under most other coaches, the center position would be up for grabs, but this is Jeff Fisher - loyal to a fault. Barnes is going to be the starting center and, now that Demetrius Rhaney is officially listed as a guard, Kush will likely be battling with Brian Folkerts to be the primary backup to Barnes.

Expectations

You're no longer the padawan. We're three years removed from the 2013 NFL draft, and Kush has a realistic opportunity to compete for a starting gig. He likely won't win it because of Fisher's philosophy, but he is in a position to put himself in good standing if Barnes stumbles.

Chances of Making Final Roster (6/10)

This was a tough one. At the end of the 2015 season, the Rams were carrying three centers, but I'm not certain that they will go that route in 2016 especially with uncertainty elsewhere on the roster (namely the secondary and receivers) that might dictate an extra roster spot.

So 5/10 seemed too low, but 7/10 seemed to high. I went right in the middle primarily due to his exposure to Hudson early in his career.