The Rams first team offense and defense came away from their performance in Denver much improved from the first two weeks of preseason. We have much more clarity on defense but the WR group is still muddied.
Case Keenum has outplayed number one overall pick Jared Goff all training camp. It hasn't even been a battle, really. Its not surprising to some but it's noteworthy on many levels, the biggest being that Keenum at least looks ready to effectively facilitate what the Rams want to do on offense. It's weird to say, this is Keenum’s team right now
Todd Gurley is healthy and still Just Todd Gurley. Benny Cunningham and Malcolm Brown have shown that they both would be more than suitable subsitutes if they're number is called. With the top three backs set, the fourth RB is likely going to have to contribute heavily on special teams. For that reason, Chase Reynolds has the leg up. After all, Reynolds has held on to a special teams role for over four years now.
Welp. The good news is that the Rams have their top three WRs set in stone with Kenng Britt, Tavon Austin and Pharoh Cooper. The bad news is Cooper is out a few weeks with a shoulder injury and this position group still suffers from drops no matter who is in or what year it is. Nelson Spruce could be back and is sort of an unconventional lock after producing in just one game vs third stringers. That's not a knock on Spruce but rather the rest of the competition. Brian Quick is likely to make the initial roster with Coopers injury. Bradley Marquez, while on the bubble for some, has benefited from younger players like Mike Thomas, Duke Williams and Paul McRoberts either playing poorly or being totally non-existent.
Lance Kendricks and rookie Tyler Higbee both of looked good in camp and preseason games. They both figure to see a lot of playing time when the real games start. Cory Harkey remains a grinder and a leader for the Rams. Temmarick Hemingway is on the outside looking in to push the tight end group to four players.
The Rams current starters of Greg Robinson, Cody Wichmann, Tim Barnes, Jamon Brown and Rodger Saffold have all held their own. Last year's starting RT Rob Havenstein is very close to returning to the lineup, kicking Saffold back to LG. After them are OT/OGs Andrew Donnal and Garret Reynolds. In the event that Robinson or Havenstein go down, Saffold is going to be the third OT. Darrell Williams had a horrendous game vs many player throughout Denver’s depth chart and Isaiah Battle only logged 7 snaps.
Quinton Coples was just released possibly opening up a spot for Matt Longacre, who has had a great camp. Ian Seau will have one last game to make it a tough decision whether to keep him or use the extra roster spot elswehere. The starting four and key backups of Sims, Easley, and Westbrooks haven't done anything to suggest their spots aren't safe.
MLB Alec Ogletree was involved early in Denver and certainly looked a little pissed off. The first team defense responded and shut down their offense early. Akeem Ayers is lucky the depth at LB is very young and unproven, he's struggled. This could be a group that sticks with just four or five guys with Mark Barron, Bryce Hager and possibly a rookie LB that will be a special teamer. It's still hard to get a read on the depth behind those four after three weeks of games.
Aside from Jared Goff fans, this could be most disappointing development of camp. E.J. Gaines made his sorely missed return just to suffer another injury setback, this time a hamstring. Coty Sensabaugh is safe due to his contract status and Lamarcus Joyner because of draft status but they haven't exactly played inspiring defense yet. Troy Hill has been steadily working his way up the depth chart and may be pushing Marcus Roberson for more snaps. At safety, Cody Davis probably played his way into the week one starting FS role. Be it Maurice Alexander’s injury unavailability or Davis’ more complimentary playing style to T.J. McDonald, Davis gets the nod in my book as it stands today. Christian Bryant may find himself earning the fourth safety spot due to a lack of competition.