Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is over, here’s how I thought the Los Angeles Rams’ 53-man roster might shake out on August 31 when the Rams, and every other NFL team, has to cut their offseason 90-man roster down.
In: Jared Goff, Blake Bortles
Out: Brandon Allen, John Wolford
While I thought the Rams could have been interested in a quarterback on Day 3 of the draft, they got through it without adding one.
That being the case, I think this just comes down to whether or not the Rams feel secure keeping just two QBs into Week 1. They didn’t last year for the initial 53-man roster in keeping Goff, Sean Mannion and Allen to start things off.
In: Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson (rookie), Malcolm Brown, John Kelly
Out: Matt Colburn (UDFA)
I’ll tab Kelly in on special teams with Brown in as a RB3. They might not have much of a role left as running backs for the Rams, but their ST value is strong enough to stick.
In: Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, KhaDarel Hodge, JoJo Natson
Out: Mike Thomas, Austin Proehl, Alex Bachman (UDFA), Nsimba Webster (UDFA)
Really interesting group here. We know the top four are locked in. Could Hodge get leapfrogged either by a returning Mike Thomas or one of the rookie undrafted free agents? And is Natson locked in as the returner?
In: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Keenen Brown (UDFA)
Out: Johnny Mundt, Romello Brooker (UDFA), Kendall Blanton (UDFA)
The Rams are clearly keen on the UDFA options here. They added three such rookies to meet a three-man depth chart. So I’ll go with Brown winning out over the other options, but this is going to be a fun roster battle.
Reminder: Higbee is in a contract year and Everett’s deal ends after next year.
There shouldn’t be a wasted rep among anyone in this position group.
In: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe, Bobby Evans (rookie), David Edwards (rookie), Darrell Williams, Jamil Demby
Out: Aaron Neary, Chandler Brewer (UDFA), Vitas Hrynkiewicz (UDFA), Brandon Hitner (UDFA)
What a fun battle this is going to be.
There’s just a TON yet to be decided. Whitworth holds court as king in his final season, and Havenstein obviously gets to play prince with his extension. Beyond that? Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer is going to be busy sorting through this group in the offseason program and camp.
And don’t take this projection as reason to think the door will be closed for the UDFA rookies. I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if one of them break through onto the 53-man this year as a reserve OL option.
In: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day, John Franklin-Myers, Greg Gaines (rookie)
Out: Tanzel Smart, Tyrell Thompson (UDFA)
This is lowkey a really exciting group. With Brockers in his contract year, there’s a ton of opportunity here. I could see a late FA coming in to affect this lineup, but I think the second-year duo and Gaines have as much upside as any young group on the roster.
In: Clay Matthews, Micah Kiser, Cory Littleton, Samson Ebukam, Dante Fowler, Jr., Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Morgan Fox, Dakota Allen (rookie), Natrez Patrick (UDFA)
Out: Justin Lawler, Trevon Young, Troy Reeder (UDFA)
Special teams always plays into the back end of this group. I’ll go with the Last Chance U storyline continuing for Allen, but this is another one that’s going to require the offseason program and training camp to sort through.
In: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Nickell Robey-Coleman, David Long (rookie), Troy Hill, Dominique Hatfield
Out: Kevin Peterson, Darious Williams, Donte Deayon, Ramon Richards
A lot of emphasis here on the back of the depth chart. How much defensive support is asked for with such a strong top tier and Long coming in as a top rookie?
In: John Johnson III, Eric Weddle, Taylor Rapp (rookie), Blake Countess, Marqui Christian, Nick Scott (rookie)
Out: Travin Howard, Steven Parker
A lot to sift through here as well. Countess and Christian are hardly green, but that might play in their favor both as defensive depth and for special teams work.
In: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide
Perhaps this is the year to give thanks for the reliability of HMZ.
Perhaps it was a year before now. (It was)
The 53-man roster projection at this time last year wasn’t on point. This one won’t be either. It is an opportunity to look at the roster battles to come and the state of the roster after the draft.
And as of right now? It’s looking pretty good.