Projected 2018 Rams 53-Man Roster
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Quarterbacks (2): Jared Goff, Brandon Allen
Jared Goff returns for his third season and second full season as a starter. The 2018 Pro Bowl quarterback is expected to have another great season under second-year head coach Sean McVay. Goff, who was complemented by Jalen Ramsey of the Jacksonville Jaguars in his GQ Magazine interview, have a great receiving crew to distribute the ball around. Expect for Goff to put up some high numbers in this explosive offense that was the league's highest-scoring offense.
In his fourth season, reserve quarterback Sean Mannion play hasn't been as expected. His subpar play this preseason has been disappointing, as Brandon Allen has looked well in his audition. Don't be surprised if the Rams pull the trigger and try and trade or outright release of Mannion.
(Practice Squad) Luis Perez, a longshot to make to make the team, however he's simply a project quarterback who needs a year or two of development. Don't let the small school player fool you, as he knows how to distribute the ball setting a school record at Texas A&M Commerce and earning himself as the nation's best Division II player.
Running Backs (4): Todd Gurley, Malcom Brown, John Kelly, Justin Davis
Gurley, the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, enters in his fourth season looking to pick up where he left off last season. Gurley with a career-high in rushing and receiving will have Malcolm Brown as his backup. But not so fast, rookie running back John Kelly has played exceptionally well this preseason as an angry runner. Kelly has played so well that he potentially can push for the number two spot. Justin Davis looked bright when given some action, as he will probably be used more on special teams.
(Practice Squad) Larry Rose III recently re-signed as a running back just before the Rams travel to play the New Orleans Saints in their final preseason game. Rose III probably more than like will be released when revealing of the 53-man roster is reported. If Rose clears the waiver, expectations he'll be added to the practice squad.
Receivers (6): Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Pharoh Cooper, Josh Reynolds, Mike Thomas
Last season the Rams kept seven receivers on the roster highly to the fact that Mike Thomas was suspended for the first two games and Tavon Austin double as a running back and receiver.Rams added Brandin Cooks this offseason by sending their 24th overall pick of 2018 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots. Sammy Watkins chose to take his talent to the Kansas City Chiefs, and it was a wise move for the Rams to acquire Cooks who would also agree to a long-term extension. He will join Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp two receivers that were very productive last season. Pharoh Cooper is the team return specialist and will get some action at receiver. Second-year receiver Josh Reynolds has been nursing an ankle injury he sustained in Week #1 against the Baltimore Ravens. As this point, like to remain optimistic that he'll be ready by opener against the Oakland Raiders. Mike Thomas will continue to battle for action but mainly will be used for his talent on the special teams.
(Practice Squad) KhaDarel Hodge the undrafted free agent from Prairie View A&M, really have show the coaching staff that he's ready to play at the next level. Personally, I believe he's done enough to make the team, and if the Rams were to carry seven receivers he would be just that one. He's clearly outplayed the other receivers on the roster and with Reynolds status up in the air, don't be alarmed if he makes the team.
Tight Ends (4): Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Temarrick Hemingway, Johnny Mundt
Tyler Higbee once again will be the starter but will be challenged for the starting position and playing time by second-year tight end Gerald Everett. Higbee should be a red zone threat; however Everett's versatility will mandate him on the field more. Temarrick Hemingway is back from a leg injury that cost him all of 2017, hasn't looked well this pre-season but he too can be a red-zone target also. Johnny Mundt, has flashed at times when giving the opportunity, was on the active squad last season for a couple of stints.
(Practice Squad) Henry Krieger-Coble was added to Rams practice squad last season, and had a flash this pre-season. A tight end with average speed and good height, can potentially push for a roster spot.
Offensive Linemen (10): Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, *Jamon Brown*, Rob Havenstein, Austin Blythe, Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby, Brian Allen
The Rams for the first time in years will have an offensive line that returns all five starters from last season. Lead by veterans of Andrew Whitworth, Roger Saffold, and John Sullivan from left to right, solidify a line with experience. Right tackle Rob Havenstein signed a new four-year contract extension, that will keep him in a Rams uniform for four additional seasons. However, the line will be without their starting right guard Jamon Brown who will serve a two-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy of the league. Austin Blythe will start in his spot, as Rams will have youthfulness from the bench that will have Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby, and Brian Allen. The young players were all drafted from the 2018 NFL Draft and held their own in the preseason.
(Practice Squad) Jake Eldrenkamp was a practice squad player for the Rams last season. He played as a left tackle in college, but in the league played at guard and center. His versatility allows him to play all over the line, but he's a victim of a number game.
* Player Suspended First Two Games
Defensive Linemen (5): Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers, John Franklin-Myers, Ethan Westbrook
As reported, Aaron Donald deal will get done sometime next week, when its official, the Rams will have one of the most prolific defensive fronts in recent time. Michael Brockers and acquisition of Ndamukong Suh to team up with Donald will have offensive coordinators scratching their heads to figure out who to double team. Backup defensive line, you don't lose much talent as Ethan Westbrook who has played great when giving the opportunities, and rookie John Franklin Meyers has shown significant signs with productive play. Tanzel Smart is the odd player out, with the addition of Suh, and the versatility of Westbrook
(Practice Squad) Chunky Clements
Inside Linebackers (5): Mark Barron, Corey Littleton, Ramik Wilson, Micah Kiser, Bryce Hager
Rams entering the 2018 season, during the off-season there were a lot of concerns and question regarding the inside line-backing position. Rams traded away veteran Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for a draft pick, optimistic of landing a free-agent linebacker. That they would do, but not a name that many are accustomed to hearing of as a Ramick Wilson from the Kansas City Chiefs. As it stands, Corey Littleton will get the nod along with veteran Mark Barron inside as the starters. Putting out a strong pre-season is Bryce Hager that can challenge Littleton, but is a better fit on passing downs. But the Rams get a steal in the draft, by selecting Micah Kaiser from the University of Virginia. Kaiser strength is stuffing the run as he done all preseason and is average in pass coverage.
(Practice Squad) Tegray Scales is a linebacker whose been overlooked his entire football career from high school to the University of Indiana, and leading up to the 2018 NFL draft where he was left undrafted? Scales is a physical player who plays against the run well and has coverage skills. However, there are some concerns with missed tackles as he goes for the big hits oppose to wrapping up. Don't expect for him to last long on the practice squad; he'll be on the active roster soon if not for another team.
Outside Linebackers (6): Samson Ebukam, Matt Longacre, Dominique Easley, Justin Lawler, Trevon Young, Ejuan Price
Ebukam and Longacre have been the early favorite in starting outside opposite of each other. Ebukam in his second year has played a lot of downs this off-season proving to the Wade Phillips he's the real deal. Longacre coming off an off-season back surgery seems to be healed but has minimized play in the preseason. Rams brought in Ryan Davis, but I really couldn't see anything that he brought to the table that isn't already with the team. Price has shown a vast improvement in his second season and even made a game-winning sack against the Oakland Raiders who were driving to try and win the game. Easley who converted into a linebacker will be probably a rusher to stop the run. Justin Lawler has looked great too, playing attacking the quarterback as he did at SMU. Trevon Young was injured with a bad ankle but finally seen some play. Rams are hoping this kid can get healthy so they can use his athleticism on the field.
(Practice Squad) NONE
(PUP List) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo will spend the first six weeks of his rookie campaign on the PUP list. He's still recovering from a foot surgery that was required early in the OTA's.
Fans are excited to see him on the field with the explosive pass-rushing skills he had at the University of Oklahoma
Cornerbacks (5): Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Sam Shields, Troy Hill
The off-season afforded the Rams to bring in two locked cornerbacks in Talib and Peters. Talib the veteran brings the experience of playing under Wade Phillips defense as well as winning a World Championship. Peters has led the defensive backs with interceptions since being drafted into the league. No question that the Rams have one of the elite defense but probably the best defensive backfield in the NFL aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not to mention, they have one of the leagues best slot corners too in Nikell Robey-Coleman who resigned with the team this off-season. Troy Hill seemed to be outmatched in the first half of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens but has played solidly since. Missing two seasons with concussions Rams added veteran Sam Shields who has looked like he's never left the game. The fear of getting another concussion, it seems to left his thought process as he's playing at a high level.
(Practice Squad) Dominique Hatfield, Isaiah Johnson both players went back and forth to the active roster and practice squad. Hatfield was thrown into a situation last season when Trumaine Johnson went down to injury and the offense took advantage of his youth. This will be the make it or break it year for Johnson, as he will have spent his third season on the practice squad.
(IR List) Kevin Peterson
Safeties (4): Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson III, Marqui Christian, Blake Countess
Joyner received the franchise tag this off-season as he returns year two as the starting free-safety and Johnson III returns for his second year too. Joyner roams around the defensive backfield like a hawk and only missed one tackle all of 2017. Johnson has elevated his game this off-season and has been looking like a seasoned veteran this pre-season play.
(Practice Squad) Nate Holley, Steven Parker, Afolabi Laguda
All three defensive backs have been looking good this off-season, and the Rams will select two of the three to the practice squad. If I'm a gambling man, I will say the two more than likely would be Holley and Laguda. Parker started off strong but seemed lost in the shuffle, but his tackling skill is impeccable creating turnovers. Holley, who was signed late to the team has shined since joining the team. He has excellent coverage skills and is a bit of a thumper as a tackler. Laguda has been all over the field breaking up passes and solid tackling. It will be a coin toss between the three who the Rams will keep.
Special Teams (3): Punter-Johnny Hekker, Kicker Greg Zuerlein, Long Snapper Jake McQuaide
Well, what more can you ask for, from these players, each was pro bowl selections and are extraordinary at what they do? Hekker is like the 12th man on defense as he pins offenses inside of their 10-yard line. Zuerline with his career day against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium was poised to play in pro-bowl but placed on the IR with back surgery. McQuaide is where it all begins with his extended snapping capabilities and getting down the field making tackles.
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