On Thursday last week, I had my final 53-man roster and practice squad projection. Here’s what differed and what I missed on:
|Jared Goff||Jared Goff|
|Case Keenum||Case Keenum|
|Sean Mannion||Sean Mannion|
This one was always going to hinge on Mannion. His preseason performance was strong enough to keep him in the action.
|Malcolm Brown||Malcolm Brown|
|Benny Cunningham||Benny Cunningham|
|Todd Gurley||Todd Gurley|
|Chase Reynolds||Chase Reynolds|
I had this one nailed from mid-July once I took Tre Mason out of the mix. Aaron Green made a nice challenge, but his rookie availability for the practice squad was always going to make it easy to stash him.
|Tavon Austin||Tavon Austin|
|Kenny Britt||Kenny Britt|
|Pharoh Cooper||Pharoh Cooper|
|Bradley Marquez||Bradley Marquez|
|Brian Quick||Brian Quick|
|Nelson Spruce||Nelson Spruce|
Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher alluded to injuries at the position being part of the reason why the Rams went 7-deep. The question is who would go when they trim down. Brian Quick can’t be stashed on the practice squad, so he’d require an outright release. Mike Thomas would be PS-available, which is why I didn’t have him in the final projection.
|Cory Harkey||Cory Harkey|
|Tyler Higbee||Temarrick Hemingway|
|Lance Kendricks||Tyler Higbee|
Happy to be wrong on T-Way. Not sure if he’s going to dress early on, but making the roster over the practice squad indicates the team wants to use him this year.
|Tim Barnes||David Arkin|
|Jamon Brown||Tim Barnes|
|Andrew Donnal||Jamon Brown|
|Rob Havenstein||Andrew Donnal|
|Garrett Reynolds||Rob Havenstein|
|Demetrius Rhaney||Pace Murphy|
|Greg Robinson||Demetrius Rhaney|
|Rodger Saffold||Greg Robinson|
|Cody Wichmann||Rodger Saffold|
|Darrell Williams||Cody Wichmann|
Injuries always throw a wrench into projections. Couldn’t have guessed Garrett Reynolds and Darrell Williams would go on injured reserve to start the season. Even more difficult would have been taking David Arkin and Pace Murphy to replace them instead of stocking up at another position...
|Michael Brockers||Michael Brockers|
|Aaron Donald||Aaron Donald|
|Dominique Easley||Dominique Easley|
|William Hayes||William Hayes|
|Matt Longacre||Matt Longacre|
|Robert Quinn||Robert Quinn|
|Eugene Sims||Eugene Sims|
|Cam Thomas||Ethan Westbrooks|
To be completely honest, I would’ve had them 10-deep had Quinton Coples not been a surprise cut for the 75-man trimming.
And while Ian Seau had his fans (no doubt helped by his presence on Hard Knocks), the practice squad was always a soft landing spot for him.
|Akeem Ayers||Josh Forrest|
|Brandon Chubb||Nic Grigsby|
|Bryce Hager||Bryce Hager|
|Cameron Lynch||Cory Littleton|
|Alec Ogletree||Alec Ogletree|
I’m still floored here. To shed Ayers and Lynch in favor of Grigsby and Littleton...that’s where I might have expected the offensive linemen who went to IR or some DL vet cuts to make room at LB.
|E.J. Gaines||E.J. Gaines|
|Trumaine Johnson||Troy Hill|
|Lamarcus Joyner||Trumaine Johnson|
|Marcus Roberson||Lamarcus Joyner|
|Coty Sensabaugh||Coty Sensabaugh|
The Rams went big on the WR and LB youth. Couldn’t extend here for special teams slots.
|Maurice Alexander||Maurice Alexander|
|Mark Barron||Mark Barron|
|Christian Bryant||Cody Davis|
|Cody Davis||T.J. McDonald|
Brian Quick might just have Christian Bryant to thank for his roster spot...
|Johnny Hekker||Johnny Hekker|
|Jake McQuaide||Jake McQuaide|
|Greg Zuerlein||Greg Zuerlein|
Never in doubt.
|Josh Forrest||Isaiah Battle|
|Morgan Fox||Brandon Chubb|
|Rohan Gaines||Blake Countess|
|Aaron Green||Morgan Fox|
|Nic Grigsby||Aaron Green|
|Temarrick Hemingway||Isaiah Johnson|
|Paul McRoberts||Michael Jordan|
|Ian Seau||Terrence Magee|
|Mike Thomas||Paul McRoberts|
|Duke Williams||Bryce Williams|
Isaiah Battle? We know Jeff Fisher stubbornly likes to hold on to his selections for years beyond what you could argue against (see: Brian Quick), but that’s...well, maybe one day he’ll actually play NFL football.
And the LBs from my projection made the 53-man in favor of some vets, so that opened up the room for the three newest Rams in Countess, Johnson and Williams.
Overall, not a bad projection. If anything, I didn’t have more surprises which was foolish since there are always surprises.
It’s just hard to predict the unpredictable.