The Los Angeles Rams wrapped up Organized Team Activities and mini-camp late last week. This was the first time players had the chance to show coaches what they could contribute on the field. It didn’t take long for the Rams to already make changes, whether it was the additions of Demarcus Robinson and Tyler Johnson or surprisingly cutting kicker Christopher Dunn.
With OTAs wrapped up, it means it’s time for a new 53-man roster prediction.
Quarterback (2): Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Rams were to keep three quarterbacks and retain Brett Rypien. However, Stetson Bennett performed well in OTAs and may give the coaches confidence to only keep two quarterbacks and utilize a roster spot elsewhere.
Running Back (4): Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Zach Evans, Sony Michel
The Rams could opt to keep just three running backs, but that would leave them extremely thin at the position. All of these players have an injury history, making depth important. Akers, Williams, and Michel are the three most experienced running backs currently on the roster.
Wide Receiver (6): Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, TuTu Atwell, Puka Nacua, Demarcus Robinson
It’s going to be difficult to once again roster seven wide receivers. My lone change here is for the Rams to keep Robinson, who they just signed, and cut Lance McCutcheon. This will be a competition to watch during training camp and the preseason. McCutcheon made plays during the preseason last year, but disappeared once the regular season started. Sean McVay and Les Snead could try to get him on the practice squad.
Tight End (4): Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins, Hunter Long, Davis Allen
There is some debate on whether or not the Rams should keep three or four tight ends. If they ended up keeping just three, there would have to be a surprise cut or trade between Higbee and Hopkins. As much as some may want the Rams to cut or trade Higbee, it’s highly unlikely that type of move would happen.
Hopkins meanwhile is the most experienced tight end in the offense behind Higbee. The Rams wouldn’t cut Long, who they traded for this offseason. Allen was also selected in the fifth-round and there would be a huge risk cutting him and trying to get him on the practice squad.
The Rams will be looking to run more 12 personnel this season and with that means heavier personnel and needed depth at the tight end position. These are the four tight ends that will make the roster.
Offensive Line (9): Joe Noteboom, Steve Avila, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Rob Havenstein, Alaric Jackson, Logan Bruss, Warren McClendon, Tremayne Anchrum
It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to break into these nine offensive linemen. Mike McAllister has made an impression, but he’ll likely be a practice squad candidate at center. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams try to keep ten offensive linemen. However, keeping nine and adding three to the practice squad such as Zach Thomas, AJ Arcuri, and McAllister makes the most sense.
Linebacker (3): Ernest Jones, Jake Hummel, Christian Rozeboom
There won’t be a ton of competition at linebacker as to who make the roster. Hummel and Rozeboom will compete for playing time behind Jones. Ayalebechi is a name to watch if the Rams were to keep four linebackers. If they end up just keeping three, Jones, Hummel, and Rozeboom are the three guys who will be heavy favorites.
EDGE (5): Byron Young, Michael Hoecht, Nick Hampton, Daniel Hardy, Keir Thomas
These five edge rushers seem set in stone as well. Ochaun Mathis will be a name to keep an eye on, but drafted in the seventh-round, he feels like more of a project on the practice squad. The Rams will likely be utilizing a heavy rotation at the edge rusher position this season. Young, Hoecht, Hampton, Hardy, and Thomas are all players who should be ready to contribute in 2023. This will be a position to watch in the preseason to see how the rotation might shake out.
Cornerback (5): Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, Robert Rochell, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Shaun Jolly
The cornerback position is going to be an interesting one to monitor during training camp. Players like Durant, Kendrick, and Tomlinson should be considered locks to make the roster. After that is where it gets interesting. Could the Rams make a relatively surprising move and cut Rochell? Jolly is an undrafted player who the defensive coaches seem to like. Behind them, Timarcus Davis and Vincent Gray will be competing for a roster spot as well.
Safety (4): Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, Jason Taylor II
It’s hard to see the Rams keeping more than four safeties. An undrafted free agent like Rashad Torrence III will certainly have an opportunity to break through. However, the practice squad might make more sense there. This is a thin group and the Rams will need players like Fuller and Yeast to step up this season.
Defensive Line (8): Bobby Brown, Aaron Donald, Marquise Copeland, Larrell Murchison, Jonah Williams, Kobie Turner, Earnest Brown IV, Desjuan Johnson
The Rams will be going with a heavy rotation along the defensive line. Because of that, they’ll need to retain around eight players so that they can keep fresh legs on the field. There will be some opportunity on the backend of the depth chart, but this looks to be the most likely eight players who will make the roster.
Specialists (3): K Tanner Brown, P Ethan Evans, LS Alex Ward
Cutting Christopher Dunn was a surprising move as he was one of the better kickers in college football last season. Would the Rams really go with Tanner Brown?
He went 1-for-1 from 50 yards last season at Oklahoma State and 6-for-7 from 40+ yards. He was a perfect 40-for-40 at extra points as well. More importantly however, he has some kickoff experience. In 19 kickoffs last season, opposing teams’ average starting field position was the 24.8 yard line. That ranked 35th in college football in 2022.
The Rams could try to sign a veteran kicker, but Brown may end up being the guy going into the season.