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2016 Rams Roster Preview: OLB Cory Littleton Looks To Add Pass Rush Depth

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An athletic defender who moved from defensive end to outside linebacker at Washington, Littleton's versatility could land him at the back of the roster.

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For two years, Cory Littleton was a developing defensive end at the University of Washington. An undersized pass rusher who had come from the San Diego area, Littleton blossomed in his sophomore 2013 season starting every game and racking up 10 sacks. Between the 2013 and 2014 season though, Littleton was pushed to outside linebacker as Head Coach Chris Petersen moved around some of the parts of his front seven, including Hau'oli Kikaha (a second-round pick for the New Orleans Saints in the 2015 NFL Draft), Travis Feeney (sixth-round pick in this year's draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers) and Danny Shelton (a first-rounder for the Cleveland Browns a year ago).

Littleton got lost in the shuffle.

But after learning the position in 2014, he had a comeback year in 2015 that got him invited to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. With solid measurables and a frame that could make him stick in the NFL if he can bulk up a bit more, does Littleton have a realistic shot to make the Los Angeles Rams' 2016 roster?

Roster Battle

We've already covered three potential linebackers in our roster preview series (the first two courtesy of QBKlass, the latter from RamBuck): Zach HodgesMatthew Wells and Ian Seau. The battle for first place among those four could end up being the battle for a spot on the 53-man, especially with Daren Bates (and his special teams offerings) now a free agent signing for the Oakland Raiders after three years with the Rams.

Expectations

He's got a decent resume with up and down production after a position change in the Pac-12. Perhaps that has earned him a leg up?

Chances of Making the Roster (3.5/10)

RamBuck had Seau the highest of the three other linebackers at the back of the position depth chart as a 3/10. I'll give Littleton the nod for versatility, athleticism and production. His lack of physicality is an issue at LB, but if he's angling for a special teams spot first and linebacking depth second (note: he is), it's going to come down to his performance between possessions.