Time for a little audience participation.
Two weeks ago with the first wave of free agency complete, we looked at the Los Angeles Rams’ depth chart just for awareness. Now with a month to go to the 2017 NFL Draft, let’s take a look at how each position is shaping up in terms of a roster need...and then do our civic duty to vote.
Jared Goff, Sean Mannion, Aaron Murray
Clearly, Goff is being handed the starting gig as we begin the first year under new Head Coach Sean McVay. Is Mannion a lock to be the backup? Could a Day 3 pick challenge for that spot either this year or down the road?
Todd Gurley, Lance Dunbar, Malcolm Brown, Aaron Green, Brandon Wegher
Was the Dunbar addition the final stock up behind Just Todd Gurley? Bear in mind that RB Skip Peete is one of two coaches who joined McVay’s staff from the Jeff Fisher/John Fassel staff. The other was John Fassel. I offer this only to note that perhaps Peete has offered confidence in the roster depth chart as is as opposed to the other coaches who have yet to even hold a practice with their depth charts.
Robert Woods, Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas, Bradley Marquez, Nelson Spruce, Marquez North, Paul McRoberts, Brandon Shippen
The question isn’t whether the Rams will add talent here but at what point. It could be as early as their first pick of the draft at #37. It could be as late as...well how late could they conceivably wait?
Tyler Higbee, Temarrick Hemingway, Cory Harkey, Bryce Williams, Zach Laskey, Travis Wilson
Tyler Higbee is your starting tight end as it stands. How committed are the Rams are to finding a backup? Or is the stronger consensus in the building at Rams HQ to find a starter to supplant Higbee and leave him as the TE2?
Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Andrew Donnal, Darrell Williams, Pace Murphy
This one is already sounding up in the air as Greg Robinson, who was previously thought to be headed inside to guard, is reportedly heading to the right tackle position with Havenstein kicking inside. As it stands, I’m going to keep Hav at tackle and GRob at guard until we see some snaps confirming otherwise.
The question is whether that report suggests the Rams are interested in drafting a tackle this year to take over the RT spot. Hav’s move inside could be as a starter while GRob and Andrew Donnal would figure as backups at both tackle spots.
Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown, Greg Robinson, Cody Wichmann, David Arkin
See above. Or hell, don’t. It’s not going to help much anyway.
“The question isn’t whether the Rams will add talent here but at what point.”
I said that about wide receiver. It applies here as well.
Could the Rams conceivably hit Week 1 with either a UDFA or free agent TBD as their starting center?
Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Tyrunn Walker
I’m sticking with the depth chart positions from two weeks ago, but I suppose if we’re going to start plugging in the 3-4 positions, this would be a NT spot manned by Brockers...and that’s it? Perhaps Walker could man the backup spot after signing a week ago, though his experience was as a 3-4 end. New normal and whatnot.
Robert Quinn, Dominique Easley, Morgan Fox
Once we start using the 3-4 positions, I’d have Donald in here with Quinn going to OLB. Would Easley and Fox both stay here? And both Matt Longacre and Louis Trinca-Pasat are exclusive rights free agents who would factor in if they re-sign.
Connor Barwin, Cory Littleton, Cassanova McKinzy
Is a Quinn-Barwin pairing enough at 3-4 OLB at the top or does new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips want more punch?
Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Josh Forrest, Bryce Hager, Nic Grigsby, Reggie Northrup
Trumaine Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner, E.J. Gaines, Kayvon Webster, Troy Hill, Blake Countess, Michael Jordan, Kevin Peterson, Kevin Short
The tag kicks in at July 15. Until then, this is a two-state depth chart: one with Tru and one without.
A decision re: Joyner pushing back to safety would obviously have a significant effect here as well.
Maurice Alexander, Cody Davis, Marqui Christian, Brian Randolph, Isaiah Johnson, Jerome Couplin
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pt. II
Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide, Andrew East
Is GZ locked in as unassailable on his new three-year deal even though a year ago plenty of fans were hoping to see him beat out in camp? I recognize the position is subject to the fickle whims of immediacy, but damn that’s uncomfortably thin margins.
So here’s how this works. You get to vote. What value of need would you assign each position on a scale of 1-10?
If you think a position is a top-tier need and the Rams have to get more talent immediately, it’s a 10. If you think the Rams can stand pat and everything’s hunky-dory, that’s a 1.
I say this again (knowing some of you are still going to vote backwards because it happens every year God Bless America), a huge need is a 10 and a position of no need is a 1.
Drop your vote and I’ll post in a while with the results.
(If for some reason the form doesn’t embed for you, you can access it here)