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Rams 2022 preview: Predicting starting offense, defense, and special teams

Expect a few surprises when Sean McVay announces his starters this year

Super Bowl Champion LA Rams hold mini-camp Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

What will the LA Rams starting offense and defense look like when they open the NFL season against the Buffalo Bills on September 8th?

There really is not much of a guessing game that needs to be played as the defending champions appear set at most positions, barring anything unfortunate happening between now and Week 1.

Still, depth charts are often near the top of the priorities for inquiring minds and I’ll throw out my ideas. Then you tell me where I got it wrong.


QB - Matthew Stafford

RB - Cam Akers

RB2 - Darrell Henderson

WR - Cooper Kupp

WR - Allen Robinson

WR - Van Jefferson/Tutu Atwell

TE - Tyler Higbee

LT - Joseph Noteboom

LG - David Edwards

C - Brian Allen

RG - Coleman Shelton

RT - Rob Havenstein

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams Practice & Media Day Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Why did I cop out WR3?

Signs point towards Tutu Atwell playing a much more significant role on offense in 2022 than he did as a rookie and I believe that Sean McVay has faith that Atwell has a higher ceiling than his second round predecessor, Van Jefferson.

Maybe Jefferson is a technical starter in Week 1, but I would expect that snaps are carried out evenly early in the season, and Atwell may even get more touches and all-purpose yards because of his skill set. What types of plays are designed for Atwell? Anything that carries a likelihood that he will be WIDE OPEN: Screens, end arounds, jet sweeps, comebacks, deep bombs when Matthew Stafford sees that he’s gotten behind the defense.

There should not be many targets to go around after Kupp and Robinson, but Stafford’s favorite WR3 will be known soon.

I have Shelton winning the right guard competition.


NT - Greg Gaines

DE - A’Shawn Robinson

DT - Aaron Donald

OLB - Leonard Floyd

ILB - Bobby Wagner

ILB - Ernest Jones

OLB - Justin Hollins

CB - Jalen Ramsey

FS - Jordan Fuller

SS - Nick Scott

CB - Robert Rochell

CB - Troy Hill

Nick Scott & Richmond Tigers Media Opportunity Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Justin Hollins over Terrell Lewis

Neither player was productive enough when they had opportunities in 2021, which is part of the reason that Les Snead acquired Von Miller. Because Hollins seemed favored to begin the season though, I’ll assume the same this year.

I’m high on Rochell as the CB2 going into the season, and I’ll favor Scott over Taylor Rapp and Terrell Burgess. But rookie corner Derion Kendrick is turning heads early in camp.

Special Teams

K - Matt Gay

P - Riley Dixon

KR - Brandon Powell