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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: LB Travin Howard asks if athleticism is enough for the Rams’ linebackers in 2018

The Rams don’t have top talents at LB in 2018. Does that leave the door open for a bit of a Swiss army knife in the TCU product?

Valero Alamo Bowl - Stanford v TCU Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams LB Travin Howard enters into a unique situation. From the outside looking in, he seems like the perfect backup and special teams player. He is the same sort of linebacker-safety hybrid as lead starting ILB Mark Barron. His athleticism and physical prowess would suggest he is a good fit for special teams, and his ability to cover and sideline-to-sideline ability would lead you to believe he could be ideal at playing in a similar role as Barron especially when you consider this could be Barron’s last season in the horns.

Quite the setup for the 231st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Roster Battle

Howard has no guarantees coming his way. This of course is the case for pretty much anyone that enters the league outside of the first three rounds of a draft, but entering this offseason with all the holes the Rams had at linebacker adding Howard would normally have seemed like he had a wide open lane to a roster spot and a legit rotational role.

However, the Rams added a bunch of linebackers inside including ILB Ramik Wilson, ILB Micah Kiser and LB Tegray Scales (roster preview). His ability to play some safety could play a factor in his path to a roster spot.


Expect physicality from Howard in the preseason. If he has a kill shot, I fully expect him to take it. I will be looking for some tackles for loss and how well he covers kicks. If he can get a big tackle or a hit or two when covering kicks as well as get in the backfield a few times on defense (regardless of position/role), he might steal a spot.

I fully expect that role to be on special teams and for him to have a Daren Bates-type of role.

Chances of making roster (5/10)

I don’t think his chances are as slim as most guys drafted as late as he was, but he carries more special teams value than almost all of his late round draft peers on this roster.