The LA Rams have one preseason game left, this Saturday against the Denver Broncos, and that gives many of the players who you’ve seen in the first two preseason games one more opportunity to show out on television.
The following three players have had good moments in training camp and the preseason, but also have faced long odds the entire time when it comes to making the final 53-man roster. Could that change with a strong final week of practice and a banger performance against the Broncos?
J.J. Koski, WR
The Rams have at least five receivers locked onto the roster — Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tutu Atwell, Van Jefferson, and DeSean Jackson — but six if you accurately think of Jacob Harris as a receiver right now. (Right now.) The issue for Koski may not be whether he can hold off Landon Akers or Ben Skowronek (injured), but it’s if Sean McVay will value him over Trishton Jackson. That’s if Trishton Jackson can even make the team.
Koski has stood out in training camp, he’s been listed on the second team depth chart, and he makes all the plays that come his way in the preseason.
Were the Rams looking for a starting slot receiver, Koski might even be good enough to fit the role this year, but that’s not what McVay needs. He has no room for a receiver, so can Koski prove himself on special teams, like Harris has to some degree? It’s going to be difficult. If he were to be waived, I could see Koski getting picked up by another team with an opening at receiver.
In fact, I’ll be really bold: J.J. Koski makes a catch for the Detroit Lions in 2021, if he’s let go by LA.
A.J. Jackson, OT
Formerly known as ‘Alaric,’ the undrafted free agent out of Iowa has gotten a lot of preseason reps at left tackle and the team could be quite high on his future. However, getting a lot of preseason snaps does not equal getting onto the final roster; sometimes, the opposite can be just as true.
Jackson has a difficult road towards the final 53-man roster as many of his teammates have multiple years of experience working with McVay and with these veteran starters. Can he beat out someone like Tremayne Anchrum, Chandler Brewer, Coleman Shelton, or Jeremiah Kolone for a role, or does McVay feel confident that Jackson will pass through waivers and onto the practice squad?
Jackson has one more week — and potentially one more full game — to prove himself.
Otis Anderson, RB/KR
Anderson had virtually no shot at the roster when Cam Akers and Raymond Calais were both healthy, but now the Rams’ depth at running back only goes four names deep. I expect McVay to add a veteran running back between now and early September but that may not prohibit Anderson from making the team.
And potentially he could be the Week 1 returner.
Anderson had 358 carries in four years at UCF, starting out as a dual threat WR/RB, then shifting to mostly running back and punt returning duties. He finished with a 6.1 yards per carry average and he returned a punt for a touchdown in 2019.
The undrafted Anderson has a clear opportunity now that Calais will be out 4-6 months with a broken foot.
Of course, these three aren’t the only offensive players I had in mind. Tight ends Kendall Blanton and Brycen Hopkins will also be in focus; Bryce Perkins and Devlin Hodges have one last gasp of air to beg McVay for a QB3 spot; and then next time we’ll look to the defense.