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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: OL Aaron Neary nearly on the outs looking back

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Three years, three teams. Neary is hoping to find a permanent home in LA in 2018.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are bringing back their five starting offensive linemen from the 2017 season, but the constant shuffling of the depth behind them is still ongoing.

While it’s wishful to think the starting five will make it a whole season without significant missed time again, the Rams aren’t going to bank on that, having already bolstered the depth behind veterans C John Sullivan and LT Andrew Whitworth in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Enter Aaron Neary. An undrafted free agent from 2016, Neary joined the Denver Broncos in 2016 before being waived and picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles for their practice squad. Last year, it was the Eagles’ turn to waive him as the Rams swooped in to add him to their PS. Neary was promoted to the active roster for Week 17 and earned his earned his first NFL start at center as the Rams sat their starters against the San Francisco 49ers ahead of their already-earned playoff berth.

Now, Neary will restart his fight back onto the roster after ending the season on the 53-man roster.

Roster battle

The depth behind the starters has gotten crowded with draft picks. Third-round pick OT Joseph Notebloom, fourth-round C Brian Allen, and late Day 3 OL Jamil Demby are all expected to be in the mix along with holdovers from last season in Austin Blythe, Cornelius Lucas, Jake Eldrenkamp and Darrell Williams. And don’t count out rookie UDFA Jeremiah Kolone!

Unfortunately, Neary will be facing a huge uphill battle. Allen was a draft pick, and Blythe has been touted as a dependable backup on the interior. There frankly isn’t much Neary could do to win a spot unless he makes a dramatic improvement in the next two months.

Expectations

It’s not very likely Neary will make a major impact. The starters are set, and there’s new blood the Rams have invested in. With most offensive linemen having minimal special teams potential, there’s not a ton he has to live up to.

Chances of Making Final Roster (1.5/10)

It’ll be very tough for Neary to make it to the 53-man roster. Barring a wave of serious injuries or some incredible performances by Neary, it’s unlikely he makes it even as a depth piece.