Teams are permitted to hold minicamp during one of the two weekends following the NFL Draft. After Sunday’s conclusion of minicamp, just nine days remain in front of Phase III and the Rams’ first organized team activity Tuesday after next.
As always with practices, the biggest angle is always, always, always injuries. At this point, it’s not just about avoiding the major injuries that impact readiness three months from now or beyond. With position battles coming up for even the drafted rookies, everyone in minicamp this weekend needs the time in front of coaches. For those rookies at the back end of the roster, this is about trying to stay employed.
Here are the major fault lines being felt out in camp:
With the news that the Rams have waived QB Aaron Murray yesterday, the QB depth chart now officially consists of just Jared Goff and Sean Mannion. The Rams have three quarterbacks in minicamp this weekend. Can any of them convince the staff to consider a three-man group into training camp and the preseason? If so, could that rookie push Mannion at the QB2 spot?
The big “surprise” of the Rams’ approach to the 2017 NFL Draft was the publicly stated preference to work with the existing line depth chart (plus the UDFA additions) as opposed to spending any draft capital on any linemen. Will any of the attendees this weekend impress to the point of finding snaps in August?
Wade Phillips’ Takeover
The Rams have a new defensive coordinator. He’s under no pressure to assume the same personnel constraints that applied to the previous regime. Thus the rookies in camp this weekend may enjoy an additional level of potential that they would have otherwise had Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams not been fired. Should any rookie exhibit any skills that suggest a scheme fit, that will only help their chances over the next three months.
Burst of Energy
As is the case every year, special teams offers the best chance for the depth rookies to land a spot either on the Week 1 53-man or at some point during the season. Will anyone standout as a possible member on teams?
Here is an unofficial, unfinalized roster for the weekend:
Matt Davis, Bryan Scott, Dylan Thompson
Davis had a fine 2015 at SMU but tore his ACL. Scott’s coming out of Occidental as a local scouting add. And Thompson was a summer addition last year, so he has some familiarity with some of the roster. Could he follow the Austin Davis path?
Justin Davis, Aaron Green, De'mard Llorens, Lenard Tillery
VERY interesting group here. Fair to expect the top performer/s to pop up in sincerity in camp.
C.J. Germany, Cooper Kupp, Justice Liggins, Paul McRoberts, Josh Reynolds, Shakeir Ryan, Brandon Shippen, Jeremy Tabuyo
Kupp and Reynolds headline, given their draft status. Is there a Nelson Spruce in the group who can impress?
Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Sam Rogers, Travis Wilson
It’s Everett’s weekend. There’s just so much more to investigate at this position in training camp.
Michael Dunn, Jake Eldrenkamp, Tayo Fabuluje, Anthony McMeans, Kwayde Miller, Jon Toth, Christopher Watt, Jordan Walsh
There’s going to be availability at this spot over the summer. Will be very interesting to see who capitalizes on these early opportunities.
Casey Sayles, Tanzel Smart, Dimitrius Smith
Not sure how much space there is, but it’s Wade’s show now. Maybe he’s open to the idea? Smart likely has the leg up as a draft pick, but I wouldn’t close the door on Sayles.
Drew Davis, Samson Ebukam, Cassanova McKinzy, Ejuan Price, Teidrick Smith
Unlike the DL, there’s some space here at the back end. A fair indication of as much is that two of these, Ebukam and Price, were both selected through the draft.
Kevin Davis, Salamo Fiso, Reggie Northrup, Adefolarin Orimolade
There might not be a more entertaining position to watch this weekend than the inside backers. Whomever comes out of this group for camp is going to be someone to watch. The tenacity needed is going to be obvious.
Jared Collins, Dominique Hatfield, William Likely, Alfonso Mack, Dominique Martin, Jay’onn Myles, Aarion Penton, Kevin Peterson
Anything harder to gauge than cornerback play? One random fact of note: none of these CBs comes in at 6’ or taller. I think Wade has a type...
Steffon Herd, Kalen Jackson, John Johnson, Dravious Wright
Special teams is screaming at the top of its lungs here. Johnson has defensive depth chart implications, but the other three have a path to the roster on teams if they can show out.
Here’s an unofficial schedule for the weekend (all practices are closed to the public, times PT):