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Post-2018 NFL Draft Los Angeles Rams depth chart review, 53-man roster projection

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Here’s an early guess at who might make the cut and who might be left out.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

QB (2)

In: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion
Out: Brandon Allen

I was a little surprised the Los Angeles Rams didn’t bring in someone to press Mannion for the QB2 spot. Considering we’re coming off of a season in which the two teams in the NFC Championship were both playing their backup quarterback (and for the Minnesota Vikings, they were actually on their QB3), the consideration of having to rely on Mannion for any stretch this season is pretty uncomfortable. And given that the last time we heard of Allen he was headed to injured reserve with a back injury, let’s just wrap Jared in a protective sheath until August.

RB (3)

In: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, John Kelly
Out: Justin Davis, Lenard Tillery

It will be interesting to see how this battle develops in training camp. Since Kelly was just drafted, many fans are sure to immediately plug him in as the automatic RB2. I wouldn’t be so quick to do so. That slot, like many other rotational spots, is one the Rams can use the offseason program and camp to really hone in on since RB1 is locked down. Just like the draft itself, the state of the Rams roster has afforded the staff and front office the luxury position of working largely on depth. That applies here too.

WR (6)

In: Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas
Out: Steven Mitchell, Fred Brown, LaQuvionte Gonzalez

There could be a battle on at the back here. Thomas played just 41 snaps prior to the Week 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers in which the Rams rested their starters. I wonder on both fronts: is someone eclipses his value to the offense and if someone overcomes his special teams capabilities. As it stands, I’m going to guess not, but I’d leave the door open.

TE/FB (4)

In: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Temarrick Hemingway, Sam Rogers
Out: Johnny Mundt, Henry Krieger-Coble, Codey McElroy

This one’s gonna be fun. Is T-Ham back to full strength? Mundt popped up and down the roster fringe. Clearly the staff likes him. And McElroy is a ridiculous athlete who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2014 before retiring from baseball to play college basketball for the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015-16 season and then turning to football this last year.

OL (9)

In: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown, John Sullivan, Darrell Williams, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe
Out: Jake Eldrenkamp, Cornelius Lucas, Michael Dunn, Jamil Demby, Aaron Neary

The rotational battle is gonna be on. Noteboom and Allen are likely in as the new kids on the block, but after that I’m not sure. I think Demby might get going on the practice squad to allow for some more experience across the second string, but we’ll see. Given that both Allen and Blythe have experience at guard, I could see them covering the LG-C-RG reserve spots together.

DL (7)

In: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh, Dominique Easley, Ethan Westbrooks, Sebastian Joseph, John Franklin-Myers
Out: Morgan Fox, Justin Lawler, Tanzel Smart, Omarius Bryant, Dalton Keene, McKay Murphy

This is another one that’s pretty unpredictable after the top line. The Donald-Brockers-Suh trio is locked in. After that, there’s all kinds of availability.

LB (8)

In: Mark Barron, Micah Kiser, Ramik Wilson, Cory Littleton, Samson Ebukam, Matt Longacre, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Tegray Scales
Out: Bryce Hager, Carlos Thompson, Ejuan Price, Garrett Sickels, Trevon Young

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips, Linebackers Coach Joe Barry and Assistant Linebackers Coach Chris Shula are gonna have their hands full sorting through this group.

CB (6)

In: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill, Sam Shields, Dominique Hatfield
Out: Blake Countess, Taurean Nixon, Kevin Peterson

Small field compared to years past, but the talent at the top means the Rams need to use depth spots at weaker positions (see: linebackers, offensive and defensive line). And I’ll give Hatfield a nod over Countess if only because I like his fit most as a NRC replacement for rotation and/or injury.

S (5)

In: Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson III, Marqui Christian, Travin Howard, Steven Parker
Out: Isaiah Johnson, Afolabi Laguda, Chucky Williams

The fact the Rams scooped up three UDFAs here tells you they’re pressed for depth. I think Howard will get some play here, but could slide back to linebacker. A bit of a hybrid as Barron was coming out.

ST (3)

In: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide
Out: Sam Ficken

I would be very happy if the Rams had an update for us that Greg Zuerlein’s back is stronger than ever. That would be just swell.


Overall

The draft class has created TONS of interesting battle to sort out. And until we have official confirmation of the UDFA crop we can’t be quite certain that this is how the back end of the roster has shaped up. As of this count, we’re at 85 strong for a 90-man roster, so there are a couple slots to fill over the next three weeks of Phase II of the offseason program which begins today.

Training camp looms a long three months over the horizon. The chances this is how the 53-man roster looks heading into Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders is about 0.14%. But it at least lays out the major position battles and the landscape of the depth chart the Rams have to sort through as we get through the summer.