As the Los Angeles Rams continue through the Training camp circuit towards preseason week one, let’s take a look at which players are trending upwards, and which are trending downwards.
TE Gerald Everett
As noted yesterday, Everett suffered a shoulder injury in practice. The severity is unknown, but the missed time (regardless of how long) wont help the second-year tight end looking to make an impact on offense. Not only that, but first-string tight end Tyler Higbee has been impressive through training camp thus far. For a player looking to move up the depth chart and acquire more playing time, Everett needs to find a way to heal quickly and return to the field. The more work he can get with starting QB Jared Goff, the better of a chance he has to play a more featured role.
QB Sean Mannion
By all accounts, Mannion has struggled so far throughout camp. Luckily for the Rams, Mannion has never had to play an extended amount of time in the league so he’s still a relative “unknown”. What’s known about Mannion is that he’s a dink-and-dunk type QB who lacks any athleticism and has yet to cement himself as a viable backup QB option through three years.
OLB Matt Longacre
This has nothing to do with Longacre’s performance. Not only is Longacre recovering from offseason back surgery, but he’s now being held out with a biceps injury too. Longacre is likely the Rams most reliable edge rusher going into 2018, but we just seen how severe a back injury can ruin a pass rusher (see: Robert Quinn). With the Rams counting on him for major contributions, hopefully Longacre can have some good luck with his health moving forward.
ILB Mark Barron
Like Longacre, this has nothing to do with performance for Barron, just strictly injury. Barron spent majority of the 2017 season with a club on his hand, and still has yet to practice seriously as the nicks and bruises have held him out. Regardless of all the minor injury woes, the Rams had a chance to shed Barron’s large salary this offseason but chose to have him return instead. It’s clear they’re high on him, and so long as Barron can play, he’ll have a big role on the defense.
OT Joseph Noteboom
Not only has Noteboom practiced as a reserve left tackle, he’s also getting some run at right guard. The most ideal situation above all is that he’s registered some practice time on the first-team with veterans Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, and John Sullivan receiving days off. Noteboom has a shot to start the season as the starting right guard with Jamon Brown serving a two-week suspension.
DE John Franklin-Myers
With Aaron Donald missing training camp again (#paytheman), rookie defensive end John Franklin-Myers has gotten plenty of run. Getting to learn from two of the premier defensive lineman in the league in Michael Brockers and Ndamkuong Suh doesn’t hurt either. Charles Robinson of Yahoo had this to say after visiting Rams camp:
2. Rookie DE John Franklin-Myers is one to watch for the #Rams. Big, active. Staff likes what they see.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) July 30, 2018
3. TE Gerald Everett is comfortable. Processing faster. He'll take a step.
4. Aqib Talib & Marcus Peters are already vibing. Great fit. Far more chemistry in this secondary.
Franklin-Myers will carve out a role as a depth defender who can rotate in and wreak havoc on offensive lines who have to block Donald, Suh, and Brockers all game.
CB Marcus Peters
Are you surprised to see this one? I’m not. Peters is one of the premier cornerbacks in the league. Peters has already proven his worth in camp as a ball-hawking play-making ball magnet. Possessing top notch ball-skills, Peters has already preyed on Rams quarterbacks looking to force passes into tight windows. It also doesn’t hurt to have Peters follow fellow cornerback Aqib Talib around, as he’s been one of the most decorated CB’s in the league since being drafted in 2008.
WR Robert Woods
By the sounds of it, Woods and Jared Goff haven’t skipped a beat since last season. Woods instantly clicked with Goff, and the relationship has continued to evolve with more training time together. An intermediate WR who has no limitations to his game, Woods has grown his rapport as a dependent WR and playmaker within Head Coach Sean McVay’s scheme. Look for the connection to maintain a strong duo.