The NFL preseason is nearing its end as the Los Angeles Rams wrap things up on Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals. For some of these players, it will be their final opportunity to show the coaching staff in a game setting that they deserve a place on the final 53-man roster. Below are five players for the Rams that need to play well in the preseason finale.
1. RT Bobby Evans
It’s hard to think that the Rams would cut Bobby Evans. At the very least, he’s experienced depth on the roster and that brings value. However, despite showing promise filling in for Rob Havenstein as a rookie, it’s been mostly disappointment for the former third round pick. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed this preseason.
Evans has been extremely underwhelming with an overall PFF grade of just 38.7 and pass-blocking grade of 38.5. That 38.5 pass-blocking grade ranks 119th out of 135 qualified tackles. His six pressures allowed are tied for the second-most on the team.
Evans was a third-round pick, but at this point it’s pretty clear that things aren’t working out and he is clearly on the bubble. AJ Jackson has shown some promise and Chandler Brewer has played well at guard. Brewer is also someone that the Rams have invested time in, spending the majority of the last three years on the practice squad. Evans needs to show that he belongs on the roster and he’s someone who can be counted on as depth.
2. LB Jake Hummel
Hummel is tied for second in the NFL with 16 tackles during the preseason. The undrafted free agent has made a strong case that he’s that diamond that the Rams look for after the draft.
The issue is that the Rams usually stay pretty thin at linebacker and that might be even more so the case with Bobby Wagner. Christian Rozeboom has also yet to play this preseason which assumes that he has a roster spot.
If the Rams keep four linebackers, the final spot could come down to Hummel or Jake Gervase. After transitioning to linebacker last year and struggling, Gervase looks much more comfortable this season. Hummel needs a final strong performance to show he deserves a spot on the 53.
3. CB Duron Lowe
Lowe is someone who might be more likely to make the practice squad. The Rams are very deep at the cornerback position. However, there’s no doubt that he’s played well and had an impact this preseason. It was Lowe who forced the fumble on special teams against Houston that resulted in a score. He also had an impressive pass breakup that denied a touchdown.
If the Rams do cut Lowe, it has much more to do with the six guys ahead of him than his overall play. Lowe has been one of the best special teams players this preseason. Another strong performance would give L.A. a lot to think about.
4. DL Jonah Williams
Since 2020, Williams has spent time on the Rams practice squad, waiting for his opportunity. Watching Williams play this preseason, it’s hard to deny that he has developed into a potential quality depth player.
Williams played in eight games last season, recording five tackles. This preseason, he’s been one of the more impressive player on the field. Last week against the Texans, Williams had two pressures, including a sack-fumble on third down that forced Houston to punt.
Jonah Williams with a lethal spin move for the sack and forced fumble. Aaron Donald recently gave a shoutout to Williams for his efforts and it appears to hold some weight! He also had a number of run stops too last night pic.twitter.com/qzzx43cJza— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) August 20, 2022
The Rams will need depth on the defensive line, especially with Bobby Brown missing time with an early-season suspension. Williams leads L.A. defensive linemen this preseason with four pressures. While he’s been impressive as a pass rusher, he’s also played well against the run as he’s credited with three stops. Another strong performance and Williams will see himself on the initial 53-man roster.
5. S Terrell Burgess
As is the case with Bobby Evans, I’m not sure the Rams would cut Terrell Burgess. At the very least, Burgess brings experienced depth. So far, Burgess has had an up-and-down preseason. He was mixed up in a coverage breakdown in Week 1 against the Chargers and then bounced back last week with some key tackles and pass breakups.
Burgess is on this list because he’s a player that needs confidence. A strong finale in the preseason would show coaches that he is a player that they trust if his number is called on in the regular season. That wasn’t the case at the end of last season when the Rams were thin at safety.