The Los Angeles Rams final preseason game is coming up this Saturday against the Denver Broncos. This means, the final cutdown day of August 31st is on the horizon, when the Rams will have to cutdown from 80 players to 53. With the amount of depth the team has, it’s unfortunate that they’ll have to release a ton of great talent and potential but that’s the nature of the business.
Quarterbacks (3): Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, Bryce Perkins
The LA Rams announced on Monday that they waived QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges so it made this projection rather simple. Now Sean McVay and the staff do not normally keep three QBs and while keeping a QB3 can cost a player at another position, I strongly believe he won’t make it through waivers. This could be the QB of the future for the team so it would be smart to retain a player of his caliber.
Running backs (4): Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel, Xavier Jones, Jake Funk
Released: Otis Anderson
The injuries to Cam Akers and Raymond Calais significantly opened the door for Jones and Funk to earn a spot on the active roster. After a sloppy first preseason game from the RBs, they stepped up in a big way in Week 2. Due to the durability concerns of Henderson, the Rams executed a big trade for RB Sony Michel Wednesday so he’ll have a spot on the active roster as well.
Wide receivers (5): Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, DeSean Jackson, Tutu Atwell
Released: J.J. Koski, Landon Akers, Jeremiah Haydel, Ben Skowronek, Trishton Jackson
These players put some fantastic tape out there for the rest of the NFL throughout the first two preseason games. However, the wide receiver group for the LA Rams is loaded and these wideouts had the odds stacked against them from the beginning. I do believe they will try to bring back Trishton Jackson onto the practice squad and if Skowronek clears waivers he could be designated to the injured reserve.
Tight ends (4): Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Jacob Harris, Kendall Blanton
Released: Brycen Hopkins
Newly acquired rookie Jacob Harris has only been in the NFL for a few months now but it seems he has surpassed Hopkins in every single way. Harris is everything they hoped Hopkins would be coming out of the draft in my opinion but this doesn't mean they won’t try and bring him back to the practice squad. They did invest a fourth round pick into him after all.
Offensive lineman (8): Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Tremayne Anchrum, Bobby Evans
Released: Jamil Demby, Chandler Brewer, Jordan Meredith, Alaric Jackson, Max Pircher, Jeremiah Kolone, Coleman Shelton
Although Bobby Evans has been underwhelming throughout the preseason, I think they keep him on the 53-man roster just based on his experience and versatility. Also I believe coach Carberry will look to add another piece, specifically another center, after the final wave of cuts.
When it comes to Max Pircher he is a part of the international player pathway program and he will not count against the practice squad roster, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, so that indicates that the Rams will be able to retain him in that capacity. No NFL team would likely ask Pircher to be a part of a 53-man roster right now as he’s still learning how to play the game.
Defensive lineman (6) : Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Greg Gaines, Bobby Brown, A’Shawn Robinson, Eric Banks
Released: Earnest Brown IV, Jonah Williams, Marquise Copeland, John Daka, Michael Hoecht
This was one of the more difficult position groups to try and decipher as it’s been one of those most impressive throughout camp. Earnest Brown was a fifth round selection in the 2021 draft by the team but sometimes fifth round picks just don't work out. We haven't seen or heard much about his play so he could be on the chopping block with the amount of depth the Rams have at the defensive line position. It probably wouldn't take long for him or any of the other players to find a home soon, maybe it’ll be back with LA.
Inside linebacker (5) Kenny Young, Troy Reeder, Micah Kiser, Travin Howard, Ernest Jones
Released: Christian Rozeboom, Jake Gervase
In the fourth quarter of the preseason game against the Raiders, Rozeboom had a forced fumble and pass break up in back-to-back plays. He’s a player who still needs to develop a bit and that’s why I believe they will try to bring him back. When it comes to Gervase, safe to say his move from safety to linebacker has not been going well. Unfortunate for Gervase, who has overcome a ton of adversity to get to this point but this is the tough part about the business.
Outside linebacker (5): Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Lawler, Chris Garrett
Released: Terrell Lewis
This is one of the bigger surprises when it comes to the projection but the Rams may be becoming impatient with Lewis and his flares up’s with his knee. They already knew the risk they were taking when they selected Lewis but if he remained healthy they viewed him as a first-round talent and a steal of a pick. Unfortunately for him, it seems Lawler and Garrett are playing their way onto the 53-man roster and it could leave him as the odd man out.
Safety (5) Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Nick Scott, J.R Reed, Taylor Rapp
Released: Troy Warner, JuJu Hughes
JuJu Hughes has played outstanding in the preseason and camp but J.R. Reed has been a tad bit better. Hughes is a player that no doubt in my mind, they’d love to bring back on to the practice squad. However, his play could have earned him another job elsewhere.
Cornerback (5) Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, Robert Rochell, David Long, Dont’e Deayon
Released: Kareem Orr, Donovan Olumba, Brontae Harris, Tyler Hall
Tyler Hall did not see much playing time in this past week’s game but that could be the Rams just trying to hide him from other teams to slip him onto the practice squad; Hall played in Atlanta with defensive coordinator Raheem Morris this past year. Kareem Orr and Brontae Harris have been outstanding players for the defense but this is another position group that is so deep and they could fall victim to the numbers game.
Special teams (3) Corey Bojorquez, Matt Gay, Matt Orzech
Released: Johnny Hekker
The current longest-tenured Ram Johnny Hekker is in fact in a competition right now. Bojorquez is 24 and led the league in average yards per punt in the 2020 season. With Hekker testing positive for covid-19 and Bojorquez being activated on Tuesday, it’ll lead to more reps with the team which I assume he will take full advantage of.
Hekker is currently the highest-paid punter in the league at $4.9 million and waiving him could save the LA Rams some money that they can allocate towards another position. With Bojorquez impressing every day, it seems this might be the correct decision for the long-term future at the punter position for the team.