The LA Rams play their first preseason game on Saturday against the LA Chargers. We know from Sean McVay that we won’t see Matthew Stafford or Darrell Henderson at any point in a preseason game, but these are fantastic opportunities for others to prove themselves as worthy of a starting role or a spot on the 53-man roster.
It can be difficult to assess where players and coaches are at after less than a dozen training camp practices and yet, it’s human nature to want to “know” what’s going on and what developments have happened already. Especially with a Rams team that is great at holding information close to the vest.
Here are 11 players on LA’s 90-man roster who’ve maybe had the needle shift a little bit during the last two weeks: 7 stock up, 4 stock down.
WR DeSean Jackson
The Rams are super pleased with what they’ve seen in camp from the 34-year-old wideout, and Jackson is expected to be a considerable deep threat for Matthew Stafford this season.
TE Kendall Blanton
Though Blanton has gotten some positive reports out of camp, I am mostly adding him here because we’ve heard so little about 2020 fourth round pick Brycen Hopkins. Blanton seems to have a chance to rise from being TE4 or TE5 to possibly being TE3 or better.
CB Donte Deayon
If the 2020 Hard Knocks star doesn’t make the Rams roster out of camp, he could probably sneak through to the practice squad again and would have a real opportunity to be activated during the regular season. Based on what little we’ve seen in practices so far, Deayon might be able to leapfrog David Long, Jr. on the depth chart and finally hold onto a spot on the 53.
DB Kareem Orr
LA’s roster is too talented to allow for many “deep cuts” to make headlines. If you want to see young players, day three picks, and UDFAs star in training camp, might I suggest the Detroit Lions or New York Jets? They have a TON of exciting rookies and lesser known names. Orr is one of the few Rams who seems to have made a name for himself in training camp and he might be able to snag a place on the 53 if he continues it in the preseason.
Training camp dispatch: Kareem Orr with another pass break up. Nearly and int. Monster camp for a little known prospect— ryan anderson (@ryanone21) August 6, 2021
LB Justin Hollins
I think we’ve all been hoping for a linebacker to step up and prove himself as “necessary” to the defense for at least 90% of the snaps in 2021. Other than the obvious suspect, Leonard Floyd, I’m not sure we’ve seen that yet. But Hollins, a player who wasn’t on the roster last training camp, could be the best bet to start alongside Floyd.
DT Greg Gaines
I’m not sure if many other Rams writers are saying this or not, but I simply believe in Gaines and think he’s having a good camp. LA has A’Shawn Robinson and Sebastian Joseph-Day ahead of him, plus two drafted rookies competing against, but I think he’s proven he can be a regular in the rotation.
OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Another linebacker who might be able to take that step forward, Okoronkwo has been mentioned for his progress in camp this year, the final one of his rookie contract.
QB John Wolford
An unfortunately-timed appendectomy (when are they ever appropriately timed?) will cost Wolford a little bit of practice time and preseason action, and that’s not great for a guy who didn’t get any preseason action in 2020. It is good news for Bryce Perkins and Devlin Hodges, who are getting more chances now to prove themselves in camp.
TE Brycen Hopkins
This was supposed to be the year he replaced Gerald Everett, but we’ve heard hardly anything about Hopkins through two weeks.
Skill position YAC leaders since 2017:— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 16, 2020
WR: Ceedee Lamb - 1,666
RB: Max Borghi - 1,241
TE: Brycen Hopkins - 827 pic.twitter.com/X2h5qd127H
CB David Long
Long seemed to be the target of nearly every completion against the LA defense when facing off against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday. Though he did have a couple of nice pass breakups, Long needs to prove capable of handling 6+ targets per game, knowing he’ll be playing alongside Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams in coverage. Or will he?
LB Terrell Lewis
What’s been the deal with Lewis? It could just be that the knee concerns will never go away and the Rams will “load manage” his snaps all season. I guess that could be considered normal for some players but Lewis might just be falling out of favor in a sea of talented linebackers who are eager for an opportunity. You don’t want to lose availability in this league.