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Which rookies are standing out early at Rams training camp?

Rams’ youth is flashing their potential just days into camp

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The 2023 Los Angeles Rams will be defined by the progress shown from their young and inexperienced roster. Les Snead and the front office are pinning their hopes on a stellar rookie class to help the Rams rebound from a horrendous campaign.

So far, a few members of LA’s rookie class have made a name for themselves just days into training camp. Here are a few of the early first-year standouts to keep an eye on.

Stetson Bennett

Fourth rounder and two-time national champion quarterback Stetson Bennett has looked nothing like a 62 overall player as rated by Madden. Guess the “elderly” Georgia product can throw the football pretty darn well with pinpoint accuracy, as evidenced by this now-viral throw to offseason addition Demarcus Robinson:

TST’s very own Jason Dalessandro noted Bennett’s improvisational skills on the run while directing Robinson were a thing of beauty. Matthew Stafford obviously has nothing to worry about as his status as QB1 is secure. However early on, Bennett is providing faith that LA will be in solid hands should Stafford be forced to miss time. Hard telling if he’ll end up being the future at the position but Stets is clearly holding his own by proving his worth to the team.

Puka Nacua

LA has been throwing everything they can at Nacua and the BYU product continues to deliver amidst an increased workload. Nothing unusual in that regard as the Rams have been doing that in practices all offseason as they attempt to carve out a massive role for him in Sean McVay’s offense.

McVay and Cooper Kupp have frequently sung Puka’s praises as he’s seemingly adjusted quickly to the intricacies of the pro game. His aggressive hands have gotten him far as he works to fill the hole left by the departure of Robert Woods. The only thing proving problematic for Nacua is the injury bug which reared its ugly head in Thursday’s practice.

Hopefully the cruel Southern Californian sun won’t hinder Puka’s production from here on out. If OC Mike LaFleur isn’t worried, neither should the rest of us. Yet it’s better to be safe than sorry for a player who has a rather troubling history of lower body injuries.

Steve Avila

The first pick for the Rams in this year’s draft is set to be an immediate contributor on the field. Draft status is no guarantee for playing time but LA needs all available bodies on hand to keep Stafford upright. Avila from TCU is an elite prospect and with the Horned Frogs in 2022, he didn’t allow a single sack. While that production will be hard to come by in the NFL, don’t put anything past his fundamentals and build.

Tanner Ingle & Rashad Torrence

Youthful energy has been quite apparent all throughout the team during the early days of camp but on defense especially. Undrafted rookie free agents Tanner Ingle (NC State) and Rashad Torrence (Florida) have provided much of the energy as they attempt to make the 53-man roster.

Senior staff writer Stu Jackson from the Los Angeles Rams team website had a couple notable observations in regards to the two UDFAs and the key plays they made early in camp. Ingle had one that fired up the team’s secondary:

“A pass breakup by rookie safety Tanner Ingle on a Stafford pass intended for Kupp during team drills drew especially boisterous reactions from Ingle’s defensive teammates.” per the Rams’ team website

Later, Torrence made quick work of a Brett Rypien pass which ending up receiving similar acclaim:

“Rookie safety Rashad Torrence had a perfectly-timed interception to end practice, jumping in front of Rypien’s pass over the middle during redzone work. Torrence was then followed by his defensive teammates celebrating the play as he ran down the sideline after making the play.” per the Rams’ team website

Again, it’s early and plenty easy to overreact to highlight reel plays made throughout training camp. Anything can happen between now and the start of the regular season. I will say that I’m liking the future of this team and excited to see where the rookie class goes from here.