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2019 preseason Week 4 Los Angeles Rams depth chart review, 53-man roster projection

With one preseason game left, here’s how 3k sees the 53-man shaping up.

Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams complains to referee Clete Blakeman #34 during the first quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
This is the only picture that came up when I searched for “angry McVay.”
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have one game remaining in the 2019 preseason before making the final decisions to put together a 53-man roster. Tough decisions loom, but here is my look at how things could shake out.

Previous projections

QB (2)

In: Jared Goff, Blake Bortles
Out: Brandon Allen, John Wolford
Changes from last projection: N/A

Tough question for QB3 and whether to spend a practice squad pick here.

RB (4)

In: Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson (rookie), Malcolm Brown, John Kelly
Out: Justin Davis, Matt Colburn (UDFA)
Changes from last projection: N/A

Bigger question to come, but do any running backs not named Todd Gurley or Malcolm Brown get carries this year?

WR (6)

In: Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, JoJo Natson, Mike Thomas
Out: KhaDarel Hodge, Austin Proehl, Alex Bachman (UDFA), Nsimba Webster (UDFA), WR Johnathan Lloyd (UDFA)
Changes from last projection: N/A

This one’s tough, but here’s what it comes down to:

TE/FB (3)

In: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt
Out: Romello Brooker (UDFA), Kendall Blanton (UDFA), Keenen Brown (UDFA)
Changes from last projection: N/A

I’ll go with the indication from the snap counts here.

OL (8)

In: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe, Bobby Evans (rookie), David Edwards (rookie), Jeremiah Kolone
Out: Jamil Demby, Chandler Brewer (UDFA), Vitas Hrynkiewicz (UDFA), Brandon Hitner (UDFA), Matt Kaskey (UDFA)
Suspended: Aaron Neary
Changes from last projection: N/A

This one’s tough. I’ll stick with it for Kolone backing things up on the inside with Demby headed to the practice squad.

DL (6)

In: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day, John Franklin-Myers, Greg Gaines (rookie), Morgan Fox
Out: Tanzel Smart, Bryant Jones (UDFA), Marquise Copeland (UDFA), Boogie Roberts (UDFA)
Changes from last projection: N/A

Really interesting group with a ton of potential.

LB (9)

In: Clay Matthews, Cory Littleton, Samson Ebukam, Dante Fowler, Jr., Bryce Hager, Dakota Allen (rookie) Trevon Young, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Natrez Patrick (UDFA)
Out: Micah Kiser, Troy Reeder (UDFA), Josh Carraway, Landis Durham (UDFA), Justin Lawler
Changes from last projection:

This is the toughest one on the roster with the depth. The Kiser injury changes things, though I think that might reflect more in how Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips structures things than a simple Hager for Kiser substitution.

The injury also reinforces McVay’s hesitance in playing starting-caliber players. Kiser wasn’t headed for anything near 100% of the defensive snaps, but even starting-adjacent players have huge value. Sorting this out is maybe the hardest effort heading toward the

CB (6)

In: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Nickell Robey-Coleman, David Long (rookie), Troy Hill, Donte Deayon
Out: Dominique Hatfield, Kevin Peterson, Darious Williams, Ramon Richards
Changes from last projection: Deayon IN, Hatfield OUT

The performances here haven been very good throughout the preseason. While special teams is sure to factor, I still the Rams could use a spot here for a nickel corner backup with teams as a flex. I’ve gone with Hatfield up to this point, but I could buy Deayon jumping him on the depth chart. I know Peterson has fans, but I’m not sure defensive play is a premium factor for a fifth cornerback.

S (6)

In: John Johnson III, Eric Weddle, Taylor Rapp (rookie), Marqui Christian, Steven Parker, Travin Howard
Out: Nick Scott (rookie)
Changes from last projection: Parker IN, Scott OUT

This one’s close both for the position and for special teams. I do wonder if Howard’s limited special teams play suggests he’s headed for the practice squad in favor of someone more viable in that regard come Week 1.

ST (3)

In: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide
Out: Miller Brock

FF >>

There’s just not a lot of room on this roster. The Rams’ last two seasons have seem them solidify the top lines while drafting a lot of young talent that doesn’t have much room for inclusion. Champagne problem and all, but in terms of the 53 it just means there’s very little wiggle room.

In previous years, this effort could include wild swings for major portions of the roster. Right now, we’re haggling over the tiniest sliver of roster openings for just a few candidates.

As Rams play-by-play broadcaster JB Long put it, there are a few interesting situations between position players and special teams operatives.

The coaching staff has five days to figure it out.