The Los Angeles Rams officially wrapped up training camp on Tuesday and will not prepare for the preseason. Their first game comes on Saturday against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team released its first depth chart this week which gave some insight on who may be in a favorable position heading into the preseason. With that said, it’s time for an updated 53-man roster prediction.
Quarterback (3): Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett, Brett Rypien
It’s very possible that the Rams keep two or three quarterbacks. However, as it stands, it makes more sense for them to keep three and have Bennett learn behind Rypien as a rookie. Rypien has experience as a backup quarterback and has experience in the system. This is a change from my past predictions this offseason, but it seems like the Rams may be preparing for three quarterbacks.
Running Back (3): Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Zach Evans
It may be a risk to only keep three running backs as the Rams would be pretty thin at the position. With that said, Ronnie Rivers doesn’t provide a lot of value and this seems like a solid three that all bring different skillsets to the backfield. The Rams may decide to keep four to keep some depth, but they’ll need to open up space for other positions on the roster.
Wide Receiver (6): Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, TuTu Atwell, Puka Nacua Ben Skowronek, Demarcus Robinson
This seems like a pretty solid six. Again, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if the Rams decided to keep seven wide receivers and add a player like Lance McCutcheon or Tyler Johnson. However, keeping this at six to leave spots open at other positions makes the most sense. The exception here is if McCutcheon or Johnson show in the preseason that they can’t be cut.
Tight End (4): Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins, Hunter Long, Davis Allen
I’ve been pretty adamant that the Rams are going to keep four tight ends heading into the season. If they want to run more 12 personnel, they’re going to need depth. Additionally, Hopkins has had a good camp, Long was acquired in the Jalen Ramsey trade, and Allen was just drafted in the fifth-round. My opinion is starting to move a little bit in the direction of three tight ends, but I’m not quite there yet. Long hasn’t stood out in camp and Allen has been hurt. It’s possible that Long gets cut or Allen gets placed on IR. Four tight ends still looks to be the most likely scenario.
Offensive Line (9): Joe Noteboom, Steve Avila, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Rob Havenstein, Alaric Jackson, Logan Bruss, Warren McClendon, Tremayne Anchrum
Much like the wide receiver position, this seems like a very solid nine. It would be a surprise if someone on the outside breaks into this group. Mike McAllister and Zach Thomas are good practice squad candidates along with AJ Arcuri. The Rams could keep one of those players and roll with ten offensive linemen, but that would be a lot to carry on the roster.
Linebacker (3): Ernest Jones, Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel
These have been the three linebackers since the beginning of training camp. None of the undrafted free agents have seemingly broken into this group. Jones, Rozeboom, and Hummel should be the three linebackers heading into Week 1 with others in contention for the practice squad.
EDGE (4): Byron Young, Michael Hoecht, Nick Hampton, Daniel Hardy
Keir Thomas and Ochaun Mathis being excluded from this list may come as a surprise. However, Thomas was listed behind Hardy on the depth chart and Mathis suffered an injury. Thomas may end up being a practice squad candidate with Mathis going on IR for his rookie year. Four edge rushers would leave the Rams a little thin, but this is the road that they’ve chosen heading into 2023 by not adding a veteran.
Cornerback (6): Cobie Durant, Ahkello Witherspoon, Derion Kendrick, Robert Rochell, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Shaun Jolly
I debated keeping five or six cornerbacks, but ended up going with six as Shaun Jolly provides good depth as a potential “star” in the defense. With a lot of youth and inexperience, it will be good to have options and carry some depth heading into the season.
Safety (5): Jordan Fuller, John Johnson III, Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, Tanner Ingle
Jason Taylor II may be a surprise cut here, but Tanner Ingle is having a very good training camp. If he continues to have a good preseason, it’s going to be difficult to keep him off of the roster. As a late-round pick, Taylor may be able to get on the practice squad. Ingle was a playmaker at NC State and could work as box safety as he excels against the run.
Defensive Line (7): Bobby Brown, Aaron Donald, Marquise Copeland, Larrell Murchison, Jonah Williams, Kobie Turner, Earnest Brown IV
Tough decisions are going to have to be made and that’s the case with Desjuan Johnson. He was the last pick of the draft and should make it to the practice squad. It’s possible that the Rams keep Johnson with defensive line depth in mind and have to make a cut elsewhere. Heading into the preseason, this is the seven that I’m going with to make the final-53.
Specialists (3): K Tanner Brown, P Ethan Evans, LS Alex Ward
The preseason will be important for this group of rookie specialists as it will be their first live-game action together. If they struggle, do the Rams stick with the plan or attempt to make a last-minute switch heading into the season?