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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: Running backs unit preview

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Let’s be real: this is all about Todd Gurley.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Todd Gurley (10/10)
Malcolm Brown (9.5/10)
John Kelly (8.5/10)
Nick Holley (3.5/10)
Justin Davis (1/10)

A year ago, there were suggestions that the Todd Gurley 1st-round experience was a bust. Let that be a lesson for anyone who doesn’t believe ‘anything can happen.’

Fast-forward and we’re looking at one of the strongest, if not the most top-heavy along with quarterback, units on offense. Gurley put in an MVP-caliber season in 2017 and, with no major losses on the offensive line, looks to continue to his reign as the best RB in the league (sorry Le’Veon, you’re the one kept calling yourself a playmaker, not an RB).

Behind him, the Los Angeles Rams have a capable backup in Brown, an intriguing draft pick in Kelly, a surprise UDFA from a year ago in Davis (who Bate thinks has next to no chance of making the roster) and the versatile UDFA from this year in Holley.

With the offense looking to take it up notch, the biggest question is if Gurley can break football. That’s a pretty damn good question to be asking before the season starts.

Roster Battle

There isn’t anything at the top with Gurley in command and Brown in pretty good control of the primary backup position. After that, things could get interesting. Davis surprised last preseason as a change of pace back but suffered from ball control issues.

The Rams took a flyer on Kelly, a pick many considered a steal. Obviously, a draft selection carries a little weight, so he looks to be the favorite for the third spot.

The biggest question here, I think, is how many backs the Rams will keep. If they’re thinking four - with the bottom two primarily taking on special teams duties - then Holley (who played QB, RB and! WR) might be able to sneak in.

The odd man out might be Justin Davis whose biggest negative seems to be what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, but I wouldn’t count any of them out just yet. Behind an impressive offensive line, anyone can shine.

Expectations

Impact on Final Roster

It really just comes down to the Rams keeping three or four backs. The team has a history of an keeping an excellent special teams unit - if Kelly, Davis or Holley excel there, an extra spot could open up.