We’re now in the middle of the 2016 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview series, and we’re rapidly approaching the point where the players are locks to make the team. It’s at this point the emphasis shifts from the last section of a player’s chances to make the roster and more toward the roster battle and expectations, essentially what pressure each player is under to perform this season.
Before we get into too many of those, I wanted to gauge Rams fans’ favorites among the back of the roster, the collection of UDFAs and practice squad guys and clingers on hoping to squeak in.
So let’s go through the positions with the major battles heading into training camp and the preseason that will determine the final entries on the 53-man roster and make up the Rams’ 2016 practice squad.
Todd Gurley’s obviously a roster lock. I’ve got Benny Cunningham as one as well. Tre Mason is either a lock to make the team or has seen his last snap as a Ram. And Chase Reynolds and Zach Laskey aren’t really in the mix for meaningful RB snaps.
That leaves Malcolm Brown, Aaron Green and Terrence Magee as your three running backs in the mix at the back. Who of those three is in the lead on the depth chart?
Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Pharoh Cooper, Bradley Marquez, Brian Quick and Mike Thomas are likely beyond the threshold. Marquez might be on the threshold, but I’ve omitted him since this field is big enough without him. Quick, like Mason, is a polar decision. He’s either a lock or he’s done. No middle ground.
Here’s your fringe candidates at WR:
Alec Ogletree, Akeem Ayers and hybrid entry Mark Barron are all in. After that...well, that’s what the poll’s for.
T.J. McDonald is a no-brainer, and I’ll cede Maurice Alexander for the purposes of this exercise. Barron, again, is in as a lock as a hybrid (which raises the question of who’s behind him in that role on the depth chart...). And Cody Davis is either in for special teams or isn’t making this team.
Have at it, folks. I’ll likely be referring back to these polls in the weeks ahead.