We are getting close to the end of the first week of L.A. Rams training camp and already we’ve heard some surprises in the early going. Notes from Sean McVay and company that would impact the full top-20 list that I just posted on Turf Show Times.
How do those training camp notes and standouts impact the Top-20 most important Rams for 2022?
I explain in a quick episode of the Turf Show Times podcast on Thursday. Make sure to HIT SUBSCRIBE to Turf Show Times on your podcast apps—I just tested it out on my own and trust me, it works! We will bring you non-stop podcast coverage of the 2022 Rams.
But I will also give you the full top-20 and more notes here below. Then tell me what I got wrong in the comments below.
First one out - CB Robert Rochell
Rochell has been cited as one of the offseason standouts by Sean McVay. Either he or Derion Kendrick could be great bets to move up this list in 2023.
#20 - QB John Wolford
The addition of Luis Perez and another preseason of Bryce Perkins shouldn’t do anything to impact Wolford’s place as the next man up after Stafford.
#19 - CB Troy Hill
Troy Hill with another pick. This time he jumped a Matthew Stafford pass intended for Cooper Kupp.— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 27, 2022
McVay mentioned how Hill’s experience in Brandon Staley’s defense in 2020 made him a no-brainer to bring back for Raheem Morris’s defense in 2022. He’s had multiple “picks” in training camp, though passing stats do not matter in practice.
#18 - C Brian Allen
Fans voted Allen to be much higher on their top-20 list than my own. Will Allen earn his way into playing his entire three-year contract?
#17 - ILB Ernest Jones
Gregg Rosenthal has noted Jones multiple times as a breakout candidate in 2022. Jones is excited to get to learn from Bobby Wagner this year.
JOK is the best of an outstanding young crop of off-ball linebackers: Logan Wilson, Ernest Jones, Jordyn Brooks and Pete Werner included. A three-down linebacker is increasingly difficult to find and they all fit today’s game.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) July 28, 2022
Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones stretch and debrief ahead of the day while special teams install happens on other field pic.twitter.com/DJEaAsKr4w— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) July 26, 2022
#16 - WR Van Jefferson
The ascent of Tutu Atwell this offseason could lead to the descent of Jefferson off of this list if he doesn’t become a better all-around receiver in 2022.
Tutu Atwell looks like he got stronger for Year 2 https://t.co/0WCjNFhTBm pic.twitter.com/Gl8hwSO781— The RAMS Forum (@RamsFansForum) July 28, 2022
#15 - S Jordan Fuller
McVay hasn’t placed much of an emphasis on the safety position and Fuller was the only one to make my top-20, though some fans thought Nick Scott deserved a place. First, Scott will need to beat Taylor Rapp and others out to start next to Fuller, who is returning from his 2021 injury. Except now those “green dot” duties that he had for one season will be going to Wagner.
#14 - LG David Edwards
Rams fans seem mixed on whether Edwards is worth a second contract in 2023. Will he become a $10 million per year player when he hits the open market?
#13 - RB Cam Akers
Allen was one of the early risers on the list, but Akers was the biggest riser. Fans think of him like more of a top-eight player on the Rams’ top-20 and I couldn’t be happier to see it. Running backs do matter and no back on L.A.’s roster is as complete as Akers.
I would like to announce I’m back in on Cam Akers.— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) July 20, 2022
#12 - DT Greg Gaines
The greatest test of “The Aaron Donald Effect” yet. Will Gaines be the next John Franklin-Myers if the Rams let him leave in free agency next year?
Rams have some corporate guests in the stands today. Team is going through install and Aaron Donald is standing on the side with Greg Gaines. Lots of “AARON!!!” but this year also a little “GREG GAINES” mixed in there, too. Warms the heart.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) July 27, 2022
#11 - RT Rob Havenstein
Havenstein’s value goes deeper than how he plays on Sundays, though he remains good at that too. It’s more that he’s got that “longest-tenured offensive player” tag and is setting an example for so many young offensive linemen now that Andrew Whitworth is no longer wearing pads.
.@AndrewWhitworth here for Day 4 of Rams training camp pic.twitter.com/KW6guDBOqt— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 27, 2022
#10 - DL A’Shawn Robinson
Robinson would have been nowhere near the top-10 last offseason. But after the year he just had, the 27-year-old could be gearing up for an even bigger contract when he’s next up for negotiation.
#9 - TE Tyler Higbee
McVay can’t quit Higbee and we know nothing of his backups other than they couldn’t see the field during the regular season. I’m not saying that won’t change, I’m only going off of what we know based on the past two years.
Beautiful throw over the middle from John Wolford to Brycen Hopkins for TD in 2s vs 2s.— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 27, 2022
#8 - ILB Bobby Wagner
Wagner won’t be the same player he was during his All-Pro seasons, but he could be a better player than he was in 2021 now that he’s playing behind Aaron Donald and under less pressure to be “the man.”
Bobby Wagner working/talking with Ernest Jones prior to warmups pic.twitter.com/8yIZKhGBJ6— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 26, 2022
#7 - WR Allen Robinson II
Nobody has had a better first week at Rams camp. Two receivers with 1,200+ yards this season? It seems likely, if they are both healthy.
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
#6 - OLB Leonard Floyd
He’s always kind of overlooked, but maybe with good reason. Floyd had the second-most “unblocked sacks” in 2021, with five. He does a lot of things right though and there’s nobody else to rely on for edge rushing pressure, though Floyd’s talked up Terrell Lewis already.
Leonard Floyd spoke highly of Terrell Lewis after the first few days of Rams’ training camp. https://t.co/d2f3c72upF— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) July 28, 2022
#5 - LT Joe Noteboom
It’s quite the ascent for Noteboom, who would have been lucky to crack the top-20 as a reserve last offseason. However, he’s now in this position and the Rams have given him a contract worthy of being Stafford’s blindside protector. Plus, who would McVay turn to if Noteboom gets injured? He needs to be healthy and he needs to play as well as he has in place of Whitworth in the past.
#4 - CB Jalen Ramsey
No better cornerback in the last six years. But what is McVay’s plan for 2024 and later at cornerback? The hope is that Rochell or Kendrick or someone else proves to be more than an adequate number two. L.A. needs a realistic number one heir apparent.
Gotta get back to it to get another one this year! pic.twitter.com/dbXhToB0rc— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) July 25, 2022
#3 - WR Cooper Kupp
I expect another dominant season by Kupp. If teams couldn’t stop him in the playoffs, when are they going to be able to stop him? He won’t hit 2,000 yards, but 1,500 should be in reach.
#2 - DT Aaron Donald
You couldn’t write a character for a movie who is as dominant as AD actually is, it would seem too goofy. He’s better than your wildest fantasy.
#1 - QB Matthew Stafford
Even though Wolford is number 20 on the list, I can’t imagine that the Rams compete to go deep in the playoffs without Stafford as the quarterback. Perhaps by some stretch they could survive any other loss, but the pre-Stafford McVay era told us a lot about the quarterback position, all of which is pretty standard: Ya gotta have a great quarterback.
In less than 24 hours, Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford has gotten a Super Bowl ring and an Instagram account. pic.twitter.com/6BMgLkz4ZU— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2022
Don’t forget to listen to today’s podcast, as well as yesterday’s with JB Scott in which we give our “last five in” lists for players on the backend of the Rams roster. Subscribe to Turf Show Times on your podcast apps, we will be giving you Rams content all year long that is second to no other show!