As the St. Louis Rams veterans report to training camp in Earth City, Missouri today, it’s an appropriate time to take another guess at who will be on the 53-man roster in about six weeks. Obviously we can’t account for any acquisitions from the waiver wire that may take place over the next several weeks, but here’s a guess at what the 53-man roster might look like if the regular season started today.
Bradford will return as the starting QB. Hill will act as his veteran backup, while Gilbert has a good shot at sticking as a developmental project and the scout team quarterback.
Stacy and Mason should get all the playing time from scrimmage, though Pead may factor into the offense as a receiving specialist if he improves over what he’s been for the past two years. Pead and Reynolds both figure to be core special teamers, which gives them the edge over second-year back Benny Cunningham, who hasn’t shown any real skills in that facet of the game thus far.
Britt may emerge as a starter after being picked up as a free agent this offseason. Givens will need to recover from a down 2013, though he has a good shot at retaining his starting spot. Austin will provide big-play ability as a slot receiver and gadget player, while Quick and Pettis figure to provide depth and some size to the Rams’ passing attack.
Cook and Kendricks should get a lot of time as receivers and in-line blockers, while Harkey should once again serve as the Rams’ primary lead blocker out of the backfield. Cunningham and Brodine will provide additional depth and could be core special teamers.
There’s plenty of competition at this position, and several talented players ultimately will not make the roster here. The player with the most to prove is Hooey, as he may be competing with others for only one available backup tackle spot.
As has been widely publicized since the Rams selected Michael Sam in the seventh round of this year’s draft, the defensive line is an area with significant competition for the Rams. On this roster, Sam was the final cut, simply because it’s difficult to know how much he can contribute on special teams. Brodine, meanwhile, has the ability to provide depth at tight end and every defensive line position as well as being an impact speical-teamer.
The sixth linebacker spot may be the most fought-over position on this roster. Steward has the edge since he spent 2013 in the Rams’ system while on injured reserve, but he’ll have plenty of undrafted free agents and other unproven young players fighting to wrestle the spot away from him.
The Rams may carry five healthy corners for the first time since Jeff Fisher arrived in St. Louis. There’s quality competition for this competition, and McGee and Gaines will definitely have to put together good preseason showings to earn their 53-man roster spots.
The Rams could end up carrying either four or five players at this position, but Daniels fits in right now because of his experience and ability to succeed as a special-teamer.
*Brodine is playing both tight end and defensive line, and is therefore listed twice on this list.
**Bailey is suspended for the season’s first four games due to a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.