Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Green Bay Packers are hosting the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Tonight’s game where you’ll see nearly all starters or veteran players not getting any action. However, you will see many players that are on the bubble or merely finishing out a dream to play at least once in an NFL game.
Games around the NFL tonight will be the final of the 2017 pre-season, which means that for many veteran players, it is a meaningful game. However, that doesn’t say much for almost 1,200 players who will be without jobs as 32 NFL teams have to release about 37 players each. The is light at the end of the tunnel for about 320 of those 1,200 players release, as the teams can add the players to their practice squads if cleared waivers.
Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is hosting a talent show tonight that will feature nearly 35 contestants, who were seeking the grand prize. Unfortunately, under the new regime of the young head coach, there will be much talent, but, only a few will gain the award.
Justin Davis (L) and Dominique Hatfield(R) - Locks
Undrafted free agents Justin Davis (running back) and Dominique Hatfield (defensive back) are the two players that have impressed the most since signing contracts with the Rams after the 2017 NFL Draft.
Of these two rookies, I’ll rather have to admit, that Davis has made a believer out of me since joining the Rams. In a recent article that I covered on Davis, there were concerns about him securing the football and issues to injuries.
In Davis first pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys, he opened up many eyes with his very first carry by taking the handoff and darted through the right side for a 12 yard gain. Unfortunately, Davis would fumble on his first NFL carry, but fortunately, reserved center Austin Blythe recovered the fumble. His next run, he would dart through the left side for a 17-yard run, but on his very next carry, history would find him as he fumbled the ball inside the red zone for a two-yard run but recovered by the Cowboys.
What has impressed me the most with Davis; he was able to put those turnovers behind him and continued to play desperate and hard. The first play of the second half he would explode right for a 30-yard run bringing the Ram fans to their feet. He protected the ball the conclusion of the night, as well as his two following games. With free agent Lance Dunbar on the PUP list, Davis very strongly should one of the four running backs on the team, Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, and Aaron Green.
Dominique Hatfield's Amazing Interception
The Rams days after the draft signed Dominique Hatfield; he wasn’t one of the first signings, as UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams failed the team’s physical barring a release.
The Los Angeles native played prep football at the nearby Crenshaw High School, where he was a star receiver and return specialist. He played collegiately at the University of Utah, converting to a defensive back.
Since joining the Rams, Hatfield has been very impressive to the Rams coaching staff. Rams defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant and Ejiro Evero faces seem to light up every great play Hatfield has made in camp. However, in the game against the Oakland Raiders, he showed the coaches that he belongs in the NFL on a 53-man roster.
Hatfield pretty much solidified his mark on making this team last weekend against the San Diego Chargers while coming up with an unbelievable interception from the pass thrown by quarterback Cardale Jones. With very tight coverage against the Charger receiver, he was able to corral the ball with one arm and return it for 10 yards. The Rams were already down by 18 points, and that turnover sparked a Rams momentum change.
The last of the UDFA's players to potentially make the 53-man roster will be offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp. Eldrenkamp is a player that has played all of the offensive lines in college. The coaching staff was very impressed with him as they kept an eye on him throughout the draft. He quickly signed after the selection is this what head coach Sean McVay had to say of the young lineman:
"He's a guy that's got good movement. He's got some flexibility to be able to play on the interior line, but he was a guy that Coach Kromer, our scouts, did a nice job identifying as a player that we feel like could project well with some of the things we're looking for."
Eldrenkamp has looked very solid and very smooth in the games he played thus far in the pre-season. In his very first NFL pre-season game, his performance was good against the Cowboys. He opened up so great holes for running back Justin Davis to run through but also has looked great in his pass blocking schemes. The Rams released veteran center Demetrius Rhaney during the minicamp as Eldrenkamp continued to work hard and impress.RSS Feed
No doubt about this kids versatility, despite the Rams signing John Sullivan to play center this season, this kid may be the future at that position. At this point, I believe is a secure lock on the left guard behind seat behind veteran Roger Saffold. Concluding this article browsing the game against the Packers, Eldrenkamp looking fluent with his blocking assignments, pulling, and beautiful fake as a screen blocker.
In my opinion, these three players have the highest chances of the all the UDFA's to make this Rams 53-man Roster. Getting the snub I feel will become a practice squad player, will be linebacker Kevin Davis, defensive back Kevin Peterson, defensive lineman Casey Sayles, and defensive back Aarion Penton. These four players have shown a lot, but unfortunately not enough to break through an already crowded position they played.