Before the St. Louis Rams play their preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints this Friday, we’ll be ranking every player on the team, from the last man on the roster all the way up to number one. Obviously, it’s difficult to rank some of these guys because they don’t actually have any NFL game experience, so some of the players here could ultimately be far above or far below where they should be.
Today, we’ll rank the players near the back end of the roster, with the guy ranked 90th all the way up to 70. If you have any disputes or disagreements, feel free to let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ArchAuthorityFS.
90. Bobby Cowan, P
There’s really not a whole lot to say about Cowan. As the Rams’ backup punter, he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of chances so far. When he has, he’s been rather inconsistent. With Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker ahead of him, it would take an injury for Cowan to even have a chance of making the team.
89. Kadeem Jones, FB
It’s difficult to evaluate Jones because he’s spent so much of this training camp on the sidelines while injured. While injuries are somewhat unavoidable, it still looks bad when an undrafted rookie comes into camp and misses a bunch of time while hurt, and that has created a poor initial impression for Jones. Seeing as Jones is a fullback, and the Rams have not had a true fullback on their roster since midway through the 2012 season, his chances to make the roster would seem to be minuscule.
88. Johnny Millard, LB
Millard is in the same boat as Jones, as he’s missed nearly all of training camp so far. The Rams have a wide open competition for at least one linebacker spot on the 53-man roster and probably more on the practice squad, but Millard certainly has fallen behind by missing so much practice time. Unless the Rams really see something in the Cal Poly product, he seems likely to be part of the cutdown to 75 players later this month.
87. Jorgen Hus, LS
Hus, who created a name for himself with a YouTube long-snapping trick video, seems to be more highly-regarded than most of the backup long snappers the Rams have had in camp in the past. Unfortunately for him, he has little to no chance to make the team, because incumbent Jake McQuaide has already established relationships with kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker, and he is also young and rather affordable. Hus is solid by all accounts, but he’ll probably have to take advantage of an injury somewhere if he is ever going to get a steady NFL job.
86. Avery Cunningham, S
Cunningham is a guy who just kind of stands out as a “first cutdown” type of player. That’s not to say he’s done anything wrong; it’s just that he’s far behind other young safeties like Cody Davis, Mo Alexander, and Matt Daniels on the depth chart, and he hasn’t gotten much practice time. Maybe he’ll get some reps late in preseason games to make more of an impression, but for now Cunningham is one of the more expendable players on the Rams’ roster.
85. Kourtnei Brown, DE
Brown, who was added to the roster right before the first full-squad practice, looked like he had some solid athleticism on the first couple days of training camp, but with Michael Sam on the roster and young defensive ends Sammy Brown and Ethan Westbrooks now returned from injury, it’s difficult to see him getting much of a chance going forward. Something crazy would have to happen for him to even push for a practice squad spot.
84. Pat Schiller, LB
Schiller, who was signed right as training camp started, looked solid during special teams drills early in camp. But he’s now suffered an injury which is keeping him out of practice, and that is not a good development for a guy who is competing against at least four other guys for what’s likely to be only one available spot on the 53-man roster.
83. Austin Franklin, WR
Franklin, who declared early for the draft after playing at New Mexico State, was given some solid bonus money as an undrafted free agent. He’s understandably raw because of his shortened college career, but he hasn’t really done anything to distinguish himself from the other receivers at the bottom of the Rams’ depth chart. Franklin might be a practice squad candidate because the team invested in him and he’s only 21 years old, but if it were strictly based on production he wouldn’t be deserving of a spot.
82. D.J. Morrell, OL
Morrell has not been noticeably bad during his short time with the Rams, but he faces a huge uphill battle to make the team, being positioned behind guys like Mike Person, Mitchell Van Dyk, and Sean Hooey. His 6-foot-6, 325-pound frame is advantageous, but it seems very unlikely that he’ll be able to make either the 53-man roster or the practice squad.
81. R.J. Dill, OL
Like Morrell, Dill was a guy who joined the roster right at the start of training camp. Dill has made a slightly greater impression through his work as a blocker in one-on-one pass-rushing drills, and he’s also got an impressive build at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds. Dill probably doesn’t have much of a shot because of the guys ahead of him on the depth chart, but he still seems to have at least a decent amount of talent.
80. Jarrid Bryant, CB
Bryant is one of the many young cornerbacks who is getting a shot in the NFL this year on the off chance that he becomes the “next Richard Sherman”. Bryant, a former Arizona State receiver who switched to corner at South Dakota, has great size at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds and also possesses some nice raw athleticism. With that said, Bryant has missed the last few practices, which is not good for his chances considering all the young cornerback depth the Rams have at the moment.
79. Etienne Sabino, LB
With his 6-foot-2, 247-pound build, his ability to play all three linebacker positions, and the fact that he backed up James Laurinaitis at Ohio State, Sabino seemed to be a really intriguing candidate for the open sixth linebacker job. So far, though, he has not gotten much of a chance through the early days of training camp. Sabino could be a guy who sticks around longer because of the recent injury to James Laurinaitis, but as of now he looks to have fallen behind in the battle for a 53-man roster spot.
78. Brandon Washington, OL
In the past, Washington has looked like a really intriguing prospect. Despite his relative lack of size at 6-foot-2 and 318 pounds, the former Philadelphia Eagles draftee has shown the ability to provide depth at both guard and tackle. He had a very solid preseason last year and showed some good physicality. Washington obviously fell out of favor to the point where he was demoted to the practice squad at midseason, but he worked his way back up and received playing time from scrimmage in the 2013 season finale at Seattle. Unfortunately, though, Washington has spent a lot of time sitting out with an injury and has gotten very limited reps when healthy, which does not bode well for his chances to beat out physically superior roster candidates such as Travis Bond and Sean Hooey.
77. Marcus Roberson, CB
Roberson is an intriguing player with very good athleticism and quality size at 6-foot and 191 pounds. Many thought that he would be a first-rounder heading into the 2013 season, but he dealt with injuries and off-the-field issues and ultimately ended up going undrafted. There was an expectation by many Rams fans that Roberson would have a great chance at winning a roster spot as a rookie. So far, however, it hasn’t looked that way during practice, as Roberson has been buried behind guys like E.J. Gaines, Darren Woodard, and Greg Reid as he tries to get reps. Roberson was a big name coming out of college, but it’s looking like his name recognition probably won’t get him a place on the Rams’ roster.
76. Austin Davis, QB
When he joined the Rams’ roster as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss in 2012, Davis was seen as a relatively highly-regarded prospect and even received some comparisons to his distant Golden Eagle quarterback predecessor, Brett Favre. Davis made enough of an impression that he was able to stick on the Rams’ 53-man roster as a rookie, and the hype for him extended into the following offseason, when Jeff Fisher said that he would be the number 2 quarterback behind Sam Bradford. Obviously, that didn’t end up being the case, as Davis was released at the end of the preseason, and Kellen Clemens backed up Bradford.
Davis has stuck around on the roster since he was re-signed to provide depth following Bradford’s injury midway through last season, but with the Rams having signed veteran Shaun Hill and drafted Garrett Gilbert, Davis’s chances are not good. He really hasn’t done anything through the early part of camp to improve them, either. Davis may be a guy who is a part of the first cutdown to 75 players.
75. Trey Watts, RB
Watts is built almost exactly the same as the Rams’ top three running backs, Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham, and Tre Mason. He’s got some nice speed and running skills, although he is pretty raw and made some noticeable mistakes in early camp practices. Because he fits in the Rams’ scheme and has quality potential, Watts could be a guy who has a shot at a practice squad spot. If that’s going to happen, though, he needs to recover from the injury that’s kept him out of practice recently and prove himself during preseason games.
74. Deantre Harlan, DT
Harlan, a former basketball player at Bacone University, is pretty athletic and has flashed some nice skills early on in training camp. The 6-foot-4, 281-pounder has little to no chance to make the 53-man roster because the Rams have so much depth on the defensive interior, but under the right circumstances he could end up being a practice squad candidate. If he performs well enough in the preseason, Harlan probably has enough skills to get a shot somewhere in the NFL.
73. Emory Blake, WR
Blake, the son of former NFL quarterback Jeff Blake, is in his second training camp with the Rams. Realistically, he is probably battling for one or two spots on the practice squad with guys like Justin Veltung, Austin Franklin, T.J. Moe, and Jordan Harris. Blake has made some nice catches in practice during his time with the Rams and seems like he still has the potential to get better. It’s just a matter of if the Rams have enough roster space to continue developing him.
72. Aaron Hill, LB
Hill, a product of Lutheran High School in St. Louis, has made the most of the limited reps that he’s been given so far during training camp. He made some noise by running back an interception for a would-be touchdown during the Rams’ FanFest scrimmage on Saturday, and he has shown some good athleticism. The University of Minnesota product is beginning to look more like a guy who could push for a backup spot on the 53-man roster, or perhaps a practice squad spot.
71. Justin Veltung, WR
Veltung, who made a three-game cameo appearance as a punt returner on the Rams’ roster at the end of 2013, is back in camp battling for a spot this year. The Rams might only carry five receivers to start the year, so unless a veteran is unexpectedly released, Veltung is probably jockeying for a practice squad position with the other young wideouts in camp. Veltung seems like he may have hit his ceiling, as he’s solid but unspectacular during practices. He’s a decent option as a fifth or sixth receiver, but there are other guys on this roster who may be more impactful down the line if they continue to develop.
Join us again tomorrow as we rank players 70-50 on the Rams’ roster.