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2018 Los Angeles Rams 53-Man roster projection: Training camp week 1 edition

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Now with training camp underway, let’s take a look at the roster fringe fights.

Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly stretches
Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly stretches
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Now that training camp is underway for the 2018 Los Angeles Rams, it’s a good time to talk about the 53-man roster. Worth noting the transactions that went down on Tuesday.

Previous versions

Post-2018 NFL Draft (April 30)


QB (2)

(2017: 2 kept on initial 53-man roster)

In: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion
Out: Brandon Allen, Luis Perez
No longer on roster: N/A
Changes from last projection: N/A

I said heading into the draft, I thought the Rams could use a draft pick to offer some potential behind Goff as the starter. Stretching for Perez seems desperate for 2018.

It’s all in for Goff, which of course isn’t the worst thing. But with Mannion in a contract year, it forces an interesting decision for next offseason.

RB (3)

(2017: 3)

In: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, John Kelly
Out: Justin Davis, Nick Holley
No longer on roster: Lenard Tillery, Larry Rose III
Changes from last projection: N/A

This is one of those positions that training camp and the preseason always have space for ESPECIALLY for special teams value. So while I like the trio in this projection, I could see a fourth in the unit.

WR (6)

(2017: 6)

In: Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas
Out: Steven Mitchell, Fred Brown, KhaDarel Hodge, Steven Lacombe, Jojo Natson, Codey McElroy
No longer on roster: LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Ricky Jeune
Changes from last projection: N/A

Remember that last year, Thomas spent the first four games suspended and that WR Tavon Austin was traded during the draft to the Dallas Cowboys.

Personally, I’m not confident in all at the Thomas selection here, but this is more of a placeholder to wait and see what happens in camp and on the field in preseason action where we’ll see tons of the depth get playing time.

TE/FB (3)

(2017: 3)

In: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Temarrick Hemingway
Out: Johnny Mundt, Henry Krieger-Coble
No longer on roster: Sam Rogers
Changes from last projection: Rogers OUT

I really thoughts Rogers would have a shot as a special team add, but he didn’t even make it to camp. Could Mundt or Joey O’s favorite HKC surprise? Absolutely. I’ll give T-Ham the edge heading into the tryout period.

OL (9)

(2017: 10)

In: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Rodger Saffold, Jamil Demby, John Sullivan, Darrell Williams, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe
Out: Jake Eldrenkamp, Cornelius Lucas, Aaron Neary, Jeremiah Kolone
Suspended: Jamon Brown
No longer on roster: Michael Dunn
Changes from last projection: N/A

No change for me yet, but the next few weeks are crucial. Brown’s picked up that two-game suspension since the last projection which changes things a bit.

And it’s worth remembering the nature of the practice squad. Just because guys don’t make the 53-man doesn’t mean you have to move on from them. So don’t take my nonet missing out on Demby to mean that the Rams should move on from him. I could totally see the Rams coaching him up and turning him into a viable option.

DL (7)

(2017: 5)

In: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh, Dominique Easley, Ethan Westbrooks, Sebastian Joseph-Day, John Franklin-Myers
Out: Tanzel Smart, Omarius Bryant, McKay Murphy, Chunky Clements
No longer on roster: Dalton Keene
Changes from last projection: N/A

I’ve got a big jump here mainly for defensive depth. We know that Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ positional priority doesn’t lean heavily on linebackers, so I’ll invest in positional priority depth here. With rookies in RJD and JFM with Easley and Westbrooks, you have a rotation to roll up variable fronts and significant unpredictability.

OLB/EDGE (4)

(2017: 6)

In: Samson Ebukam, Matt Longacre, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Lawler
Out: Brian Womac, Ejuan Price, Garrett Sickels, Trevon Young, Ryan Davis
IR: Morgan Fox
No longer on roster: Carlos Thompson
Changes from last projection: Lawler IN

This is a position rife for special teams depth. Last year, the Rams had EDGE Robert Quinn and OLB Connor Barwin as the starters and supported them for depth with Ebukam, Longace, Price and Quinton Jefferson. So uh...change!

ILB (5)

(2017: 4)

In: Mark Barron, Micah Kiser, Ramik Wilson, Cory Littleton, Tegray Scales
Out: Bryce Hager
No longer on roster: N/A
Changes from last projection: N/A

It seems a bit circumspect to go this wild on inside linebackers, but there’s versatility here in nickel looks.

CB (6)

(2017: 5)

In: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill, Sam Shields, Dominique Hatfield
Out: Taurean Nixon, Kevin Peterson, Ramon Richards, Curtis Mikell
No longer on roster: N/A
Changes from last projection: N/A

The strength at the top relegates a lot of the battle to special teams among the depth. Plenty to fight for, but not necessarily among defensive snaps.

S (5)

(2017: 6)

In: Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson III, Marqui Christian, Blake Countess, Travin Howard
Out: Steven Parker, Isaiah Johnson, Afolabi Laguda, Nate Holley
No longer on roster: Chucky Williams
Changes from last projection: Countess IN, Parker OUT, Howard OUT

Howard was my #54 pick here squeezed out by Lawler for defensive depth, but he gets in on the Jamon Brown suspension. The next man out at #55? Womac.

ST (3)

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

Bet.