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A Way Too Early Guess at the Rams’ 53-Man Roster

Since the St. Louis Rams aren’t even done with their offseason program and OTAs yet, much less the preseason, it’s ridiculous to start speculating about who’s going to make the regular season 53-man roster. Still, though, it’s fun to think about, and now with the draft having taken place we have a pretty good idea as to which players will be coming to training camp and battling for spots. There’s still almost four months until the regular season kicks off, but here’s an initial guess as to who will be part of the Rams’ roster when they host the Minnesota Vikings on September 7.

Quarterbacks (2): Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill

The Rams drafted Garrett Gilbert in the sixth round, but since so many other teams are set at quarterback, it would seem to be a sensible gamble to try to sneak him through to the practice squad since he won’t be dressing on gamedays anyway.

Running Backs (4): Zac Stacy, Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham, Chase Reynolds

Stacy, Mason and Cunningham will be the three backs who get snaps from scrimmage. Reynolds will be battling with former draft picks Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson for a spot, but he might have the edge due to his ability to contribute all over the place on special teams.

Wide Receivers (5): Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, T.J. Moe, Stedman Bailey*

*=suspended 4 games for violating NFL’s PED policy

Austin, Givens, Quick, and Britt should be the Rams’ top four options to begin the season. Austin Pettis is what he is, and he lost playing time as the 2013 season progressed. Moe makes the team here because of his unique skill set and ability to contribute on special teams.

Tight Ends (5): Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, Cory Harkey, Mason Brodine, Justice Cunningham

The billing of having five tight ends on the roster is somewhat deceptive, since Harkey should once again see lots of time at fullback. The extra tight ends should be useful as the Rams use heavy sets to boost the running game.

Offensive Linemen (10): Jake Long, Greg Robinson, Scott Wells, Rodger Saffold, Joe Barksdale, Tim Barnes, Mike Person, Brandon WashingtonSean Hooey, Barrett Jones

The Rams have always gone lineman-heavy during the Jeff Fisher era, even carrying as many as 12 on the active roster last year. The group of developmental linemen that this staff has brought in now has turned into a reliable group of backups. The battle for reserve spots on the offensive line should be one of the most contested in this year’s training camp, with 15 players currently in the mix.

Defensive Linemen (9): Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Alex Carrington, William Hayes, Eugene Sims, Jermelle Cudjo, Michael Sam

Don’t be surprised if the Rams go heavy on the defensive line again after further boosting the group this offseason. Defensive tackle Kendall Langford is a likely cap casualty following the Rams’ selection of Aaron Donald, who will effectively replace him.

Linebackers (6): Jo-Lonn Dunbar, James Laurinaitis, Alec Ogletree, Daren Bates, Ray Ray Armstrong, Phillip Steward

Armstrong and Bates, two of the team’s best special teamers, will back up the returning starting group. Unless the Rams sign another ‘backer, the battle for the sixth spot is arguably the most open competition this offseason.

Cornerbacks (5): Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner, E.J. Gaines, Brandon McGee

The Rams will go with a group fully comprised of corners drafted over the past three years by Fisher and Les Snead. Look for Gaines and McGee to battle it out for playing time as the fourth corner.

Safeties (5): T.J. McDonald, Rodney McLeod, Mo Alexander, Cody Davis, Christian Bryant

The free safety spot could be up for the taking, with the incumbent McLeod, Davis, and the rookie Alexander all in the running. The two who lose the battle should be impactful special teamers.

Specialists (3): Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jacob McQuaide

These three, highlighted by 2013 Pro Bowler Hekker, have three of the safest jobs on the team.

Notable Cuts: QB Garrett Gilbert, RBs Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, WRs Austin Pettis and Justin Veltung, OL Mitchell Van Dyk and Demetrius Rhaney, DTs Kendall Langford and Matt Conrath, S Matt Daniels, CB Marcus Roberson

 

Tags: 53-man Roster St. Louis Rams

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