The Los Angeles Rams surrendered their lead to the Houston Texans in the final minutes of their second preseason contest. Quarterback Bryce Perkins had the offense on the move, but ultimately LA’s comeback attempt fell just short.
Los Angeles has since trimmed its roster from 85 to 80 players, and they have joint practices and another preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals before they further reduce the roster to the initial 53. The preseason live action could be the deciding factor in who the team keeps at the backend of the roster, and some individuals are separating from the rest of the pack:
Top 5 offensive grades:
1 - Brycen Hopkins, TE - 69.6
Hopkins hauled in all 6 of his targets for 41 yards as he unseated Kendall Blanton as the TE2. The question for Hopkins now is whether he can carve out a regular role with Matthew Stafford and the first-string offense.
2 - Lance McCutcheon, WR - 69.4
He was graded much better against the Chargers (88.8), but the rookie receiver still put up a strong performance despite playing against elite talent in Derek Stingley.
Lance McCutcheon: 1— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) August 20, 2022
Derek Stingley Jr.: 0 pic.twitter.com/HMsSni69am
3 - Tremayne Anchrum, OG/OT - 69.3
With rookie Logan Bruss going down for the year, Anchrum is the next man up as the primary reserve interior offensive lineman - and he’s proved capable in two preseason appearances.
4 - Austin Trammell, WR - 66.8
Trammell has been good in limited action, but he has almost a 0% chance to make the team in a deep WR room. He’s auditioning for either a role on another team or for a spot on LA’s practice squad, but it’s clear the receiver has promise.
5 - Roger Carter, TE - 66.1
Can Roger Carter make the initial 53-man roster as TE3, or is he a top practice squad candidate? We haven’t seen the production that suggests he’s worth keeping over an extra receiver or defensive back.
Neither John Wolford (54.7) nor Bryce Perkins (62.9) graded out too well. Wolford was dealt a 33% pressure rate on his drop backs, and it’s unfair to judge a quarterback in those conditions. Overall, it doesn’t seem either signal caller created much separation in the battle for the backup spot to Matthew Stafford.
Reserve linemen AJ Arcuri (64.7) and AJ Jackson (63.7) also seemed to perform well. Veteran Bobby Evans was the lowest-graded player on the entire offense Friday night at 36.6. It’s possible, if not likely, that we see a changing of the guard - meaning LA could keep Arcuri over Evans. Jackson has probably already made the team as the primary swing tackle.
Top 5 defensive grades:
1 - Decobie Durant, CB - 90.4
It was an impressive performance by the rookie fourth rounder.
Durant was credited with a sack on a blitz and a forced fumble. He also broke up a pass on 1 of his 2 targets.
2 - Jonah Williams, IDL - 87.5
Veteran defensive lineman Jonah Williams has probably been the Rams’ best pass rusher so far in the preseason, and his sack fumble on Davis Mills was forceful and impressive:
This is funny hearing Raheem Morris live on air react to the sack fumble by Jonah Williams pic.twitter.com/qXkP5Pq2cZ— Billy M (@BillyM_91) August 20, 2022
3 - Terrell Burgess, DB - 84.2
Burgess had a bounce back performance after allowing a 40+ yard touchdown grab last week versus the LA Chargers. Has he done enough to win over the coaching staff and figure into their future plans at safety?
4 - Duron Lowe, CB - 80.5
5 - Jake Hummel, MLB - 79.2
Hummel is 1 of 3 undrafted rookies in prime position to make LA’s initial 53-man roster. He’s proved capable on special teams, and now he’s showing he can be trusted in a defensive role as well. The third and final preseason game will be his opportunity to cross the finish line.
There wasn’t much separation in terms of pass rush in this game compared to last week, aside from Jonah Williams. Keir Thomas fell back down to earth (70.0 to 63). Daniel Hardy suffered an ankle injury and will miss time, but he was neck and neck with Thomas. Defensive tackle Michael Hoecht impressed versus the Chargers (75.5 pass rushing grade) but struggled against Houston (48.3), though with his special teams prowess he’s probably making the regular season roster.