Training camps around the NFC West have been drama-filled in 2022.
- The Seattle Seahawks are dealing with a holdout from their star receiver DK Metcalf and a forced between starting a lessor of two evils at QB: Drew Lock or Geno Smith.
- The San Francisco 49ers have manufactured a quarterback problem of their own, and are seemingly struggling to strike a balance between moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo and putting all their eggs in Trey Lance’s basket. The 49ers are also dealing with a wide receiver holdout - Deebo Samuel is looking for a pay day after his incredibly productive season a year ago
- While the Cardinals rewarded their starting quarterback with a new contract, they created a viral controversy by requiring Kyler Murray dedicated a certain amount of time each week to self-study film. Newly acquired receiver Hollywood Brown is dealing with an injury at the start of camp, and the Cards must overcome a 6-game suspension of DeAndre Hopkins
If there’s little intrigue around training camp for the Los Angeles Rams this year, it’s probably a good thing. The team has worked through their first five or so days worth of practices - and some individuals have already stood out in a big way:
Allen Robinson, WR
Late last season defenses dedicated a vast amount of resources to slowing down Cooper Kupp, but as we saw in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVI he was inevitable.
But now Allen Robinson is in town. He’s more than just a Robin to the Rams’ Batman - he’s an Avenger like Captain America and Iron Man.
When defenses focus too much on Kupp they will feel the wrath of Robinson, and early indications from training camp suggest the Rams could have one of the best receiving duos in the NFL in 2022.
Rams fans knew the signing of Robinson during free agency was a savvy move by Sean McVay and Les Snead - and soon the rest of the league will also catch on.
Main takeaway from 2 days at Rams camp: The staff here is in love with Allen Robinson. From his approach in meetings to what he can give them in this offense. His route tree and where he can line up are more varied than they’d even hoped. Potential monster year incoming.— Robert Mays (@robertmays) July 27, 2022
Derion Kendrick, CB
Kendrick fell to the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft because teams had concerns with the way he carries himself off the football field and because his speed didn’t measure well off the football field.
During his time at Clemson, Kendrick was arrested on a weapons charge. The corner transferred to Georgia and this charge was dismissed a half a year later.
Now in the early days of Rams camp teammates have complemented Kendrick’s demeanor at every turn - and he’s making plays deep down the field against one of the Rams fastest receivers, Tutu Atwell.
The early read on Kendrick seems to be a player that has alleviated two of his most significant draft concerns in just the first week of training camp - which suggests he could be the next sixth round steal by Les Snead.
I asked Nick Scott about some of these battles today and a grin spread across his face re. Derion Kendrick; cited another play he made on a jump ball to Robinson and added that the rookie Kendrick has already come out of his shell. https://t.co/iit3ATnX7p— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) July 25, 2022
Coleman Shelton, IOL
It’s early on in training camp, but at this point Coleman Shelton seems to be the odds-on favorite to start at RG. Shelton has been rotating first team snaps with rookie Logan Bruss, but it’s typical for the Rams to default to the veteran in these situations.
Shelton filled in last season at both center and guard when the team was going through their COVID-19 outbreak - and for the most part he held his own. He could be in for a much larger role here in 2022.
Coleman Shelton looked pretty comfortable in pass pro replacing Brian Allen. Nice communication and pass off on the stunt here. pic.twitter.com/eUI38DW4Pf— Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP) December 6, 2021
Tutu Atwell, WR
After a disappointing rookie season, Atwell is hoping to steal some of Van Jefferson’s playing time as the third WR in LA’s rotation. Atwell is one of the fastest players on the Rams roster, and Sean McVay should be able to use him as a deep threat and designated gadget-type player.
Everyone listed on the “losers” deserves the benefit of the doubt and the caveat that it’s still very early, but there are some individuals that are trending downwards.
Tremayne Anchrum, OL
Maybe I was under the wrong impression, but I figured the competition at RG would boil down to mostly Anchrum and Shelton - though Anchrum’s name has been rarely mentioned in the early days of training camp.
Does he slot in more as a tackle, or has he just been passed over by both Shelton and Bruss?
Bryce Perkins, QB
In a backwards way the signing of fourth string QB Luis Perez makes it more difficult for the Rams to keep Perkins on the backend of the roster, especially if Perez plays well during the preseason.
If these quarterbacks on even remotely on equal footing, it’s unlikely teams poach both individuals - which defeats the purpose of dedicating a roster spot to Perkins over a key special teamer or developmental prospect.
If Perkins isn’t head and shoulders better than Perez, he’s probably on his way out of Los Angeles in 2022.
Quentin Lake, DB
The Rams are monitoring a hamstring injury for the rookie safety, who will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Russ Yeast was drafted in the round after Lake this spring, and Yeast has the versatility to play both deep safety and nickel corner. We’ve seen players who miss time in training camp fall behind the 8-ball, and at this point it’s probably safe to say Yeast is running head of Lake.
There might not be room for both on the roster, which means Lake could end up on the outside looking in. He’d be a prime candidate for the practice squad; however, he’d also be a prime candidate to get signed away by another team.