In: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion
Out: Aaron Murray
I could see a late FA signing to press the back end of the group. It’s tough for me to see the need for a third QB on the 53-man. If you throw an Aaron Murray or FA to come in there, that’s a spot you’re taking away somewhere else. Not sure how I could get behind that.
In: Todd Gurley, Lance Dunbar, Malcolm Brown, Aaron Green
Out: Brandon Wegher, Justin Davis
Toyed with going with just 3 here. Like QB, I could see another body in camp who’s not on this list. If JTG has another season just like this one, I’d be shocked if the Rams don’t add another RB to this group either as a short-yard specialist or a speedster.
In: Robert Woods, Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas, Bradley Marquez, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds
Out: Nelson Spruce, Marquez North, Paul McRoberts, Brandon Shippen
Gonna need training camp and the preseason to sort this one out.
I could see Rogers to the practice squad and Harkey keeping his old slot for one more year. I do wonder how Hemingway will be taken to by the new coaching staff. We know Rams Head Coach Sean McVay loves tight ends, but is Hemingway what he wants from a TE3?
In: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Andrew Donnal, Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown, Greg Robinson, Cody Wichmann, John Sullivan, Demetrius Rhaney
Out: Darrell Williams, Pace Murphy, Jake Eldrenkamp, Anthony McMeans
Yes, the surprise of the draft was that the Rams didn’t add a single option to this list. But since the team has gone public with their desire to coach these guys up instead of adding any new youth to the mix, I could see them shaving down a roster spot.
The Wade Phillips turnover is going to be a spectacle. Transitioning the front seven from the 4-3 to a 3-4 will require some patience and flexibility, both for the players and on the part of the fans.
In: Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin, Samson Ebukam, Ejuan Price, Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Josh Forrest, Bryce Hager
Out: Morgan Fox, Cassanova McKinzy, Carlos Thompson, Nic Grigsby, Reggie Northrup, Cory Littleton, Kevin Davis, Folarin Orimolade
The OLB quartet was much easier to roll with than inside. I’ve got the 2016 Rams Rookie of the Year, Littleton, and Grigsby on the outside...and not comfortably so. The entire defensive construction is in the mix in training camp.
In: Trumaine Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner, E.J. Gaines, Kayvon Webster, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Ishmael Adams
Out: Troy Hill, Blake Countess, Michael Jordan, Kevin Peterson, Jared Collins, Aarion Penton, Dravious Wright
This one’s a little interesting because of Joyner. If the Rams indeed push him over into some work at safety, I could see this getting stretched to a six-man rotation to cover more depth. Who that would be? Camp + preseason would be the testing grounds. I’m just stabbing relatively randomly at Adams who I liked at UCLA. He set the bar high (too high?) with his redshirt freshman season back in 2013. Perhaps his athleticism carries him through the mix.
In: Maurice Alexander, Cody Davis, Brian Randolph, John Johnson
Out: Marqui Christian, Isaiah Johnson, Jerome Couplin
This is another spot of significant unpredictability. If Joyner ends up remaining largely in a cornerback role, the room left for safety depth is massive.
In: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide
Out (but beloved): Andrew East
WE ARE WITH YOU, EASTMODE.
The draft class buffered several positions with fresh talent. It’s a class that’s going to require functional coaching, but we’re forced to accede to hoping for as much given the state of the roster after the Jeff Fisher era.
I’d certainly prefer either (a) more top talents at several premium positions a la WR, OL or OLB or (b) more long-term security with the best players on the roster, but alas. The Jeff Fisher era. Again.
It’s a multi-year project now under McVay. If he’s successful in turning the Rams into a winning franchise with postseason football when the stadium opens in 2019, nobody will decry the time spent in 2017 engineering that turnaround. Expecting him to accelerate that plan with a roster that delivered the NFL’s worst offense without the help of a first-round pick let alone five first-round picks in McVay’s first three years is foolhardy.
This roster does, though, offer the opportunity to set a bar of expectations and manifest some coaching skill with a roster that doesn’t contain the star power that most other NFL rosters offer.
Let the McVay era begin.