This year's camp is significant: new Head Coach Sean McVay is implementing his offense, so he will want to sort through his rolodex of weapons to figure out which fits best. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips will be doing the same as well.
Let’s take a look at the biggest roster battle as we head into the first full week of practices.
There is no question WR Robert Woods is the player being tasked as the Rams' numero uno. The mystery is who will step up besides him. Fourth-year gadget receiver Tavon Austin is penciled in as the other starter, but there is no guarantee Austin will stay in the role – hell, he is still trying to figure out his role.
Then we have third-round pick Cooper Kupp. He's reportedly already memorized the playbook for all three different receiver positions. Good for him. But what does that have to say about the others?
There isn't much of a battle between second-year TE Tyler Higbee and newcomer Gerald Everett. The question is which TE will get the larger share of the passes. Both present big-body, athletic targets. Higbee can be lined up next to the tackles, in a traditional TE alignment. Everett is the Rams' move-end – a tight end that can be shifted out into the slot.
There are a few question marks along the offensive line. The right side of the line is definitely one of the biggest concerns. Will big Rob Havenstein adjust well to playing at right guard after playing tackle? Dunno. How 'bout Jamon Brown? Can he kick outside to tackle after being part of the revolving door at RG in 2016? We will have to wait and see.
Trumaine Johnson and new addition Kayvon Webster are penciled in with the first team. Can a fully healthy E.J. Gaines usurp Webster? The slot/nickel corner position is another area the Rams need answers in. Will Lamarcus Joyner shift back and forth from his new free safety position? Will newcomer Nickell Robey-Coleman supplant Joyner and make the nickel his? So many inquiries.
As I mentioned above, the Rams are drastically shifting schematic philosophies. Outside linebacker depth is largely unknown. Behind veterans Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin, the Rams just have question marks. Will fourth-round draft pick Samson Ebukam and seventh-rounder Ejuan Price spell the first-stringers? Safety depth also needs to be clear as well. Will third-round safety John Johnson be part of a rotation if/when Joyner steps into the slot?
Stay tuned y'all. It's gonna be fun.