The Los Angeles Rams have a championship caliber roster.
Star players such as Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and Matthew Stafford provide the structural support to the Rams’ house. Adequate starters that were either developed in-house or acquired at an affordable rate represent the bricks - the Tyler Higbee’s, A’Shawn Robinson’s, and Rob Havenstein’s of the world.
The mortar that holds it all together are the unheralded players that were acquired in the late rounds of the draft or picked up off the waiver waiver for almost nothing. These players are typically relegated to reserve roles, but LA’s team build model allows them to carve out a role that features what they do best. This has worked time and time again for the Rams over the last several years - and they hope to continue to add to the list that features Jordan Fuller, Darious Williams, Matt Gay, Greg Gaines, and numerous others.
Because of the years spent building a roster under this methodic approach, there aren’t many spots up for grabs for the 2022 Rams.
There will be a number of capable individuals not make the Los Angeles roster that could be successful elsewhere.
Here are 4 notable names that are in danger of not making the roster for the 2022 LA Rams:
Bryce Perkins, QB
Perkins did not have the opportunity to play in the preseason during his rookie year because of COVID-19 restrictions, but when he had the chance in 2021 he showed out. With John Wolford cemented as the number two option behind Matthew Stafford, Perkins asserted himself in the conversation and as someone worth keeping.
Unfortunately, a three-game performance against backups does not guarantee much job security - and Perkins will need to prove himself once again this preseason.
With the ever-growing Sean McVay coaching tree spreading its branches, is it possible another team might be interested in Perkins? Could the Rams be able to flip the young quarterback for draft capital and then move on to the next developmental passer?
Bryce Perkins is completely unconsciouspic.twitter.com/91wSUZ2Gq9— Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP) August 15, 2021
Jake Funk, RB
Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson enter the season as a promising 1-2 punch, and the competition for playing time behind the duo will be fierce.
Funk missed most of his rookie season due to various injuries, but the team seemed encouraged by his development in the preseason. He also figures to be a key special teams player, which is important for a reserve back.
But could drafting Kyren Williams in the fifth round of this year’s draft spell trouble for Funk? The Rams are also returning Xavier Jones and Raymond Calais in 2022 - could either of those players edge out Funk for the third or fourth spot at RB?
Bobby Evans, OG/OT
Evans had an encouraging start to his career - filling in during his rookie season in 2019 for the injured stalwart at right tackle, Rob Havenstein.
But Evans’ development has not progressed much past that point. He entered the 2021 training camp as the presumed starter at right guard, but Evans was unable to hold his own. This forced the Rams’ hand and they moved Austin Corbett back to RG with Brian Allen at center.
With Tremayne Anchrum and Coleman Shelton showing promising signs of development, it’s fair to wonder if Evans could be on the outside looking in. Perhaps a OL-needy team could entice the Rams to trade Evans if Anchrum or Shelton seem dependable.
Terrell Burgess, DB
Similar to Evans, Burgess was a standout early during his rookie year; however, he suffered a significant injury in 2020 and missed most of the season.
The former third round draft selection failed to earn much playing time in 2021. Even after an injury to Jordan Fuller that sidelined the defensive captain for the playoffs, the team elected to sign Eric Weddle out of retirement instead over handing Burgess a larger role.
For whatever reason the coaching staff seems hesitant to rely on Burgess. The Rams drafted Quentin Lake and Russ Yeast - could the increased competition push Burgess out?
Working in his favor is the fact that Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott are entering their contract years, so it could benefit LA to hold onto Burgess and develop him for 2023.