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2018 Los Angeles Rams roster position battles: Preseason week 2

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With some major position battles cropping up across the roster, the 2018 Los Angeles Rams’ preseason got off to an inauspicious start against the Baltimore Ravens. 3k looks at the battles that will shape the Rams’ roster.

Los Angeles Rams QB Sean Mannion looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the Rams’ preseason opener, August 9, 2018.
Los Angeles Rams QB Sean Mannion looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the Rams’ preseason opener, August 9, 2018.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

QB

Sean Mannion v. Brandon Allen

Roster battle heat level: Three Anaheim peppers out of five

Obviously, Mannion didn’t do himself any favors on Thursday in the Los Angeles Rams’ preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. I still think the gap might be too wide for Allen to close it, but just given how blatantly poor Mannion was I’ll bump this up to three Anaheims.

RB

Malcolm Brown v. role/special teams v. John Kelly/Justin Davis

Roster battle heat level: 1/5

This one isn’t really a heated competition for me. It’ll be interesting to see the rotation throughout the rest of the preseason, but I think it’ll come down to whether or not Davis can offer something on special teams to stick on the 53-man roster. I didn’t have Davis making it in my last 53-man roster projection yesterday, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he gets in.

WR

N/A/?/¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hard to really get a sense of this given how bad things were early on. Maybe we’ll get more clarity this weekend.

TE

Henry Krieger-Coble v. Johnny Mundt

Roster battle heat level: 2/5

A decent battle for the TE4 spot. Not the most important battle, but a close one. Could be affected by Mundt’s injury this week, though that hasn’t really been cleared up by the media.

OL

Darrell Williams & Cornelius Lucas v. Joseph Noteboom

Roster battle heat level: 5/5

This is the top battle of importance on the roster right now. Noteboom’s got some prestige as the Rams’ first pick of their class from the 2018 NFL Draft while Williams and Lucas are coming off of horrorshows on Thursday.

Noteboom is the only other reserve tackle listed, but you could argue the battle is really more open than just him.

DL

Omarius Bryant v. Sebastian Joseph-Day v. Tanzel Smart

Roster battle heat level: 4/5

EDGE

TBD

This one will heat up once we get guys like Matt Longacre and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo healthy. Until then, there’s a bit of a false positive to the depth battles involved with Justin Lawler and Ejuan Price.

ILB

Micah Kiser v. Tegray Scales v. Bryce Hager

Roster battle heat level: 4/5

Clear 53-man roster implications here. Special teams will play a crucial role here too. I think Ramik Wilson is locked in next to Mark Barron as of right now, but with two rookies in play, they’ve got the most room to climb.

CB

Sam Shields v. Troy Hill

Roster battle heat level: 2/5

Dominique Hatfield v. Curtis Mikell/Taurean Nixon

Roster battle heat level: 3/5

For the first battle, it’s about who comes in as the CB3 behind Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Hill came into training camp and the preseason with the edge given his experience under Head Coach Sean McVay and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips last season along with his high level of play late in the season into the playoffs. But Shields is the stronger talent given his history with the Green Bay Packers. Tough to really say how much of his former self we’ll get out of Shields, but it makes for a compelling roster battle.

As for the other battle, I really think that one is a spot on the 53-man. I do think some position versatility will be key here with an opportunity to get snaps in the slot behind Nickell Robey-Coleman.

S

Blake Countess v. Marqui Christian v. Isaiah Johnson v. Steven Parker

Roster battle heat level: 3/5

We know Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson III have things set for the starting lineup. Behind them? The next three weeks will be huge.