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2019 Los Angeles Rams roster preview: WR Jalen Greene keen to learn

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Greene arrived at USC as a dual-threat QB in 2014. He left Utah State as a wide receiver after last year. How much did he learn in the process?

Utah State Aggies WR Jalen Greene tries to escape a tackle from Michigan State Spartans CB Josh Butler, Aug. 31, 2018.
Utah State Aggies WR Jalen Greene tries to escape a tackle from Michigan State Spartans CB Josh Butler, Aug. 31, 2018.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

How much is too much?

In 2014, Los Angeles Rams WR Jalen Greene arrived at USC as a dual-threat quarterback prospect out of Inglewood eager to work his way into the future QB depth chart as Cody Kessler headed into his junior year. A year later with Max Browne holding the backup slot and incoming freshman Sam Darnold on track to winning the post-Kessler starting gig, Greene moved out to wide receiver to compete among the depth with JuJu Smith-Schuster leading the wideout depth chart. Fast-forward a couple of years after Greene was unable to burst through at USC, he transferred to Utah State where he had his breakout season in a special season for the Aggies.

So over the course of five years, Jalen Greene has been through a ton as a football player. From joining USC as a quarterback to moving to wide receiver in a loaded room and then transferring to Utah State, he’s had to deal with a ton of changes.

But how much is too much?

Roster Battle

There’s a legitimate battle among the depth at wideout. The top three are locked in with Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, and Josh Reynolds is locked as well as the primary reserve.

After that? No certainty.

KhaDarel Hodge (roster preview) has a year up, but I’m not sure how much currency that holds. JoJo Natson has his kick and punt return roles, but I’m not sure there’s a legitimate wide receiver role available for him. In fact, neither of those two made the Rams’ initial 53-man roster last season.

Former Rams WR/KR/PR Pharoh Cooper held the hybrid role with Mike Thomas holding the deep wideout role. Cooper was waived late in the season while Thomas injured his groin in Week 1 forcing him to injured reserve. Thomas has his own battle to try and come back and see out his time with the Rams headed toward free agency, but there are others besides Greene angling for action.

Austin Proehl (roster preview), Jonathan Lloyd (roster preview), Alex Bachman (roster preview) and Nsimba Webster (roster preview) are all working to carve out NFL careers.

But let’s be real. Roster battles are something Greene has grown incredibly accustomed do. The nature of a challenge won’t be what sets him back.

Expectations

This is a bit different than most UDFA rookies given his pedigree and background. Coming out of LA and playing at USC, he’s got a built-in base. And having dealt with the adversity of working from the back of the roster, he’s got experience in the position he’s in compared to some of his peers.

Chances of making the final roster (3.5/10)

I think there’s a decent chance here for him to impress. The biggest issues are both the practice squad option but also special teams perhaps lending itself to another position that might be more role-specific.

Still, there’s a lot to look forward here.

But how much is too much?