Over 800 players were cut this week as NFL teams get their rosters down from 80 players to 53. With those, some dreams are forever over while others will begin somewhere else. The Los Angeles Rams have also released their initial 53-man roster.
Most teams prefer to keep players on their practice squad that have been with them all offseason. However, like every team, they’ll also see what’s out there and possibly put in a waiver claim or two. Here are names from every team that the Rams should look at.
Just a reminder, these players would have to be signed to the active roster and then clear waivers before going on the practice squad. After winning the Super Bowl last season, will be last in the waiver order.
Arizona Cardinals - EDGE Jesse Luketa
Luketa won the top gun award for special teams play during the first week of preseason. He was drafted in the seventh round this season. He won’t have an immediate impact, but this is a player that could be developed.
Atlanta Falcons - iOL Justin Shaffer
I’m not sure if the Rams would show interest in someone like Shaffer. He’s larger than what they normally target at guard and he lacks the lateral movement that they covet. However, he has experience on both the left and right side. Shaffer also brings an attitude that the Rams have lacked on the interior of the offensive line.
Baltimore Ravens - RB Tyler Badie
Tyler Badie is a player that I found to be a fit for the Rams during the draft process. He has poor size at 5’8, 197-lbs. However, this is around the size of player that the Rams go for at running back. More importantly, he has elite speed and good agility. Badie is tough to bring down and also adds value as a wide receiver. This is a player that McVay could have fun with lining up all over formations.
Buffalo Bills - TE OJ Howard
Howard isn’t much of a blocker, but after cutting Kendall Blanton and Jacob Harris, the Rams are very thin at tight end. Howard has played the majority of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing with the Bills. He might be worth a flier.
Carolina Panthers - C Sam Tecklenburg
Nobody really stands out from the Panthers as someone to target. If the Rams do want to give someone a look, Sam Tecklenburg is a name. He’s played over 200 snaps at center over the last two years.
Chicago Bears - TE Chase Allen
Chase Allen might make some sense as a tight end to bring in. The Rams need a blocking tight end and Chase Allen fits that bill. This is someone that the Rams could line up inline and let him handle blocking duties.
Cincinnati Bengals - TE Justin Rigg
If the Rams bring in a tight end, someone who has experience in a McVay-like offense makes a lot of sense. The Rams got an up-close look at Rigg last week during joint-practices with the Bengals. He also caught a touchdown in the preseason game. He’s a pretty good blocker and might be worth a look.
Cleveland Browns - iOL David Moore
David Moore was one of my favorite players at the Senior Bowl two years ago. He’s extremely good on the move and looks to get to the second level. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent last year and just cut by the Browns. It’s not looking good for him, but there’s potential here.
David Moore from Grambling catapulting a DB pic.twitter.com/ckbdfkQRmu— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) August 26, 2022
Dallas Cowboys - G/C James Empey
The Rams need a developmental center on their roster and/or practice squad. As Ben Fennell mentions below, Embey played over 2500 snaps in college and is a smart, quick player.
I hope the center spot is an OPEN competition in Dallas... Really want to see PFAs Alec Lindstrom and James Empey battle with Farniok/Biadasz— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) May 4, 2022
Lindstrom/Empey both VERY experienced - both 2500+ snaps played in college. Smart, Quick, Tough! They are gonna battle their asses off
Empey is a little heavier than what the Rams typically target at center, but he brings versatility and experience in a zone blocking scheme. The Rams also like their centers to have a high football IQ and processing skills which Empey fits the bill.
Denver Broncos - OG Netane Muti
The Denver Broncos have depth on their interior offensive line and Muti was a victim of that. Muti was a surprise cut from the Broncos as he played in eight games last year at left and right guard and left tackle. He has a little bit of an injury history, but the Rams could use the guard depth.
Detroit Lions - CB AJ Parker
With Brad Holmes as the general manager in Detroit, there may be some similarities in what the Lions and Rams look for in players. Parker is a slot cornerback who went undrafted last year and started games for Detroit. The Rams are deep at cornerback, but Parker brings some experience that the current Rams depth doesn’t have.
Green Bay Packers - iOL Michael Menet
The Packers have one of the deepest offensive line groups in the NFL. Menet was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals last year and spent last year on the Packers practice squad. Menet has experience with Kliff Klingsbury and Matt LaFleur. He should be able to pick up the Rams’ blocking schemes.
Houston Texans - OT Max Scharping
Scharping is a former second round pick that didn’t work out in Houston. A tackle in college, the Texans tried to move him to guard and it didn’t work. The Rams have good tackle depth in AJ Arcuri and Tremayne Anchrum, but Scharping is an interesting name to watch.
Indianapolis Colts - RB Phillip Lindsay
The Rams could use a veteran running back behind Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Kyren Williams. Phillip Lindsay brings the ability to play on special teams while also being able to carry the load. He’s a physical runner that the Rams enjoyed last season in Sony Michel and is a name to keep an eye on. There aren’t many former Pro Bowl running backs on the market.
Jacksonville Jaguars - DL Jay Tufele
Tufel was drafted in the fourth round just last year. He’s a big body that you can put in the middle of a defensive line and let him eat blockers. Tufele is a disruptive player in the run game, but needs to develop as a pass-rusher.
Kansas City Chiefs - OG Mike Caliendo
Caliendo had a solid camp for the Chiefs and will be someone they look to bring on the practice squad. He played in 56 games at Western Michigan at all three interior offensive line positions. During the preseason, he played at both center and right guard, allowing four pressures without giving up a sack.
Las Vegas Raiders - OT Alex Leatherwood
Alex Leatherwood has a cap hit of around $3M this year. It didn’t work out with the Raiders, but Leatherwood does have experience in a Jon Gruden offense that’s similar to McVay. Rob Havenstein’s contract is up at the end of the year. Leatherwood could sit this year as depth behind Havenstein and then be a replacement option if the Rams right tackle doesn’t return.
Los Angeles Chargers - S Ben DeLuca
The Rams are pretty deep at safety, but they could steal a player from their former star defensive coordinator. DeLuca had an 81.1 defense grade on PFF this preseason and was credited with 12 tackles. DeLuca is a safety who can help out in run support as he’s a willing tackler.
Miami Dolphins - RB Sony Michel
The Miami Dolphins cut running back Sony Michel on Monday. This is a signing that would make a lot of sense for the Rams. While he doesn’t add anything special teams, Michel could take Jake Funk’s spot on the roster.
With the injury history of Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, it wouldn’t hurt to have a veteran as depth. Last season for the Rams, Michel carried the ball 208 times for 845 yards. He’s a player that knows the offense and could add depth along with Kyren Williams.
Minnesota Vikings - EDGE Janarius Robinson
Robinson and Keir Thomas played on the same team at Florida State where Robinson was the star pass-rusher. He was drafted in the fourth round just last year by the Vikings. Coming into the 2021 NFL Draft, Robinson was seen as a player with a high ceiling.
The Rams like edge rushers with a lot of explosiveness and elite traits. Robinson’s RAS score was a 9.33 with a great explosive grade.
New England Patriots - LB Cam McGrone
McGrone was a fifth round pick last year out of Michigan. While the Rams kept Jake Hummel, it wouldn't’ be a bad idea to add another linebacker. He was a very underrated linebacker last year and could be worth claiming on waivers.
New Orleans Saints - CB DeMarcus Fields
Fields allowed eight catches on 14 targets in the preseason and played the majority of his snaps in the slot. An undrafted free agent, Fields is a physical player who isn’t afraid to tackle. The Rams are deep at cornerback, but Fields would give some good slot depth.
New York Giants - EDGE Quincy Roche
Quincy Roche was a surprise cut as he played in 14 games, starting three of them last year. He did a good job at playing against the run and setting the edge. Roche is not as explosive as the Rams usually target at edge rusher and they have depth. However, he is a talented player with experience.
New York Jets - TE Trevon Wesco
Wesco is your prototypical blocking tight end. He’s never been a factor in the passing game, but in a Johnny Mundt style blocking role, Wesco could succeed with the Rams.
Philadelphia Eagles - RB Jason Huntley
Similar to other running backs on this list, the Rams need running back depth. During the preseason, Huntley was third in the NFL in carries with 35 and tied for the league lead in rushing with 163 yards.
True or false? .... Jason Huntley will convince the #Eagles to keep four RBs and make the roster.. Has he done enough? pic.twitter.com/Td64Tiftji— Inside The Iggles (@InsideIggles) August 28, 2022
Additionally, Huntley brings special teams experience. In college, he was a serious threat returning kickoffs. As a freshman, he led the FBS in kickoff returns for touchdowns. Huntley finished his career with five touchdowns on kickoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers - iOL John Leglue
Leglue was a surprise cut for the Steelers after playing in six games at left guard last season. Some thought he was the better option to Kendrick Green. He finished last season with a 72.8 pass-blocking grade, allowing just eight pressures. Leglue would at the very least be good depth to have.
San Francisco 49ers - iOL Dohnovan West
Prior to the draft I wrote an article on interior offensive linemen that fit the Rams’ mold. On that list was Arizona State’s Dohnovan West. Not only did I find West a great fit for the Rams, he was also one of my favorite players that I watched.
West fits the size profile that the Rams look for at 6’3, 296-lbs. He also has position versatility with the ability to play both guard and center. The Rams signed Jack Snyder from San Jose state and he had a lackluster preseason.
West is pretty undersized, but that’s what the Rams have typically drafted in the past. With a RAS of 6.94, he also fits the athletic profile which is similar to Coleman Shelton.
Seattle Seahawks - TE Cade Brewer
The Seattle Seahawks signed tight end Cade Brewer as an undrafted free agent. Brewer played under Steve Sarkisian at Texas and was a decent receiving tight end. He left Texas as one of the most statistically prolific tight ends in school history, ranking inside the top-10 in career touchdowns, receptions and yards. Brewer is a versatile tight end who can play in-line or in an H-back like role.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - C John Molchon
In 78 snaps this preseason, John Molchon allowed just one pressure. Molchon was the seventh-highest graded center according to Pro Football Focus this preseason in pass-blocking. It’s been said several times, but the Rams need someone behind Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton. Molchon would be worth a flier.
Tennessee Titans - WR Dez Fitzpatrick
The Rams don’t necessarily need a wide receiver, but Dez Fitzpatrick was drafted in the fourth round last year and there’s no denying the talent. He’s a speed guy who’s primarily a deep threat. He’s someone who could go on the practice squad.
Washington Commanders - EDGE William Bradley-King
In two years, Bradley-King has eight pressures in six preseason games with Washington. He’s a smart player with a variety of moves in his arsenal. The Rams don’t necessarily need edge depth, but this is a player who backed up Chase Young.