While we haven’t yet hit the preseason - and can’t effectively armchair manage the Rams yet because of it - we still have an opportunity to think about who is trending up, and who is trending down. Keep these players in mind while watching week one of the preseason.
QB Jared Goff
His stock is tied to his draft position. The Rams traded almost everything away this year (and then some) to draft Goff, who currently sits behind Case Keenum on the depth chart. Say what you want about Keenum, but he wasn’t drafted first overall. Goff has been improving daily, but the best stress test is against live competition.
CB EJ Gaines
Gaines hasn’t played meaningful football since 2014. That’s a long time for anyone and the rust is evident. He’s out for the preseason opener, but the loss of Janoris Jenkins was offset by the fact that EJ Gaines was finally returning. We’re still waiting.
RT Rob Havenstein
Injuries suck. The offensive line needs reps to mesh together. That’s not yet happening, and the Brown/Havenstein combo on the right side was one of the best surprises of 2015.
TE Tyler Higbee
The Rams had a loaded TE group last year with Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks. Just kidding. Higbee (otherwise known as LBG - Little Baby Gronk, as Fisher calls him) has come in and impressed in camp so far with his receiving skills. He will be on the watch list during the preseason to see if he can keep it up against NFL defenses.
Nelson Spruce, Duke Williams and Mike Thomas are all getting play with the offense (and playing well - for the most part). Spruce is a fan favorite and has been playing well so far. Williams seemingly cannot stop getting open, but whether or not he catches the ball is up to chance and Mike Thomas is quickly becoming Goff’s go-to-receiver, not a bad title to have.
They’re likely fighting for one, possibly two spots at best, so someone isn’t making the cut. The first preseason game will be important to set the terms for who’ll get playing time in future games.
With the conjecture done, it’s time to let the games begin.