Although the big stars for the Los Angeles Rams didn’t make the trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, there was some intrigue for the players fighting to crack the 53-man roster. And yes, the Rams lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 10-14, but it’s preseason.
So, who stood out and who made their case for the practice squad?
RB John Kelly
If you listen to Turf Show Radio, then you know that we are big fans of the second-year ball carrier from Tennessee. Although it was only highlighted on one play, Kelly (whispered, of course) was able to show that he can pick the safety on passing situations. When he gets the ball, his ability to change direction is something to watch. If it was ever in doubt. this performance make a loud case for Kelly being the fourth running back. And the man only ran for 11 yards on 5 carries. He just looked great doing it.
OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
There’s a old phrase that still rings true: “you can’t make the club if you’re in the tub.” Well, the second-year pass rusher, even though he’s a fifth-round pick, has received some lofty expectations from the Ramily and even though this is his first game in the horns, he played like it was his hundredth. Okoronkwo was able to draw penalties, get to the quarterback, and basically just wrecked havoc. Five stars.
CB Dont’e Deayon
Man, this is a stacked position, but Deayon did his job, which was: make some plays and get the opportunity to get more chances to impress. I really liked the quickness and just overall commitment to getting to the ball that Deayon showed and definitely want to see more of him in week 3.
S Steven Parker
The safety position is also loaded for the LA Rams, especially with the strong presence that S Taylor Rapp has already shown in the preseason. However, S. Steven Parker is acting like he belongs on the team.
OL Jamil Demby
Human error happens in football, especially with these offensive lineman switching positions. OL Jamil Demby got exposed playing center, allowing a snap to lose its way (even though QB Brandon Allen was able to track down the ball to make a play). Demby didn’t help himself by getting called for two holding penalties.
LB Bryce Hager
Early in the game, LB Bryce Hager chose the wrong angle on a running play which was a big gain for Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard. Hager needs to play better and more examples like this could put him in jeopardy once the 53-man roster is announced. In fact, Hager was clearly outplayed by LB Travin Howard.
WR JoJo Natson
Although he had a touchdown reception, this dude can’t muff a return that causes a turnover. The competition at this position is pretty fierce and WR Michael Thomas is nipping at his heels.
QB John Wolford
The time for QB John Wolford to turn some heads in order to knock off QB Brandon Allen and get into that 3rd string quarterback position is now and Wolford was rather pedestrian. Completing 5 passes off nine attempts for 26 yards, the Wake Forest product needed to pop more. And with the strong play by QB Blake Bortles, Wolford just seems... expendable right now.