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2017 Rams Opening Day Starters (a hopeful, but reasonable, projection)

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  • 2017 Rams Opening Day Starters (a hopeful, but reasonable, projection)

    Here is the opening day lineup I'm hoping for. I'm presuming that we let Kenny Britt and T.J. McDonald go as a FAs, and cut Lance Kendricks, Rodger Saffold and William Hayes. Greg Robinson is maintained (if he can't be traded) because cutting him saves $0 on the cap. I'm also projecting a base 3-4, though that is somewhat flexible under Wade Phillips.

    Key
    Holdover player (currently signed through 2017)

    Holdover player (FA to be re-signed)
    Free agent (UFA to be signed)
    Rookie (Rounds 2-4 of draft)

    QB Jared Goff
    RB Todd Gurley

    WR DeSean Jackson (Redskins)
    WR Pharoh Cooper
    WR Tavon Austin
    TE Tyler Higbee
    TE Jordan Leggett (Clemson, Rd 3)
    LT Andrew Whitworth (Bengals)
    LG Larry Warford (Lions)
    C Pat Elflein (Ohio State, Rd 2)
    RG Jamon Brown
    RT Rob Havenstein

    DE Aaron Donald
    NT Michael Brockers
    DE
    Dominique Easley

    OLB Ejuan Price (Pittsburgh, Rd 4)
    ILB Alec Ogletree
    ILB
    Kevin Minter (Cardinals)

    OLB Robert Quinn
    CB
    Trumaine Johnson
    CB E.J. Gaines
    CB Lamarcus Joyner
    SS Marc Barron
    FS Mo Alexander
    Last edited by RamFanEsq; -02-09-2017, 10:36 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RamFanEsq View Post
    Here is the opening day lineup I'm hoping for. I'm presuming that we let Kenny Britt and T.J. McDonald go as a FAs, and cut Lance Kendricks, Rodger Saffold and William Hayes. Greg Robinson is maintained (if he can't be traded) because cutting him saves $0 on the cap. I'm also projecting a base 3-4, though that is somewhat flexible under Wade Phillips.

    Key
    Holdover player (currently signed through 2017)

    Holdover player (FA to be re-signed)
    Free agent (UFA to be signed)
    Rookie (Rounds 2-4 of draft)

    QB Jared Goff
    RB Todd Gurley

    WR DeSean Jackson (Redskins)
    WR Pharoh Cooper
    WR Tavon Austin
    TE Tyler Higbee
    TE Jordan Leggett (Clemson, Rd 3)
    LT Andrew Whitworth (Bengals)
    LG Larry Warford (Lions)
    C Pat Elflein (Ohio State, Rd 2)
    RG Jamon Brown
    RT Rob Havenstein

    DE Aaron Donald
    NT Michael Brockers
    DE
    Dominique Easley

    OLB Ejuan Price (Pittsburgh, Rd 4)
    ILB Alec Ogletree
    ILB
    Kevin Minter (Cardinals)

    OLB Robert Quinn
    CB
    Trumaine Johnson
    CB E.J. Gaines
    CB Lamarcus Joyner
    SS Marc Barron
    FS Mo Alexander
    I like what you've done here. I believe we'll have a lot of success using 12 players on the field at a time.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HUbison View Post

      I like what you've done here. I believe we'll have a lot of success using 12 players on the field at a time.
      Sigh.

      Yes, I've listed 12 players on each side. The reason is that, in today's NFL, a "starting lineup" can vary. On offense, the skill positions used to be RB, FB, WR, WR, TE. Now, the FB position barely exists, many team use two TE sets, and many use 3 (or more) WR sets. To account for this reality, I included two TEs and 3 WRs (and no FB).

      On defense, the third CB is on the field as much or more than traditional "starters," so I've included 3 CBs as starters.

      Of course, you knew that, HUb, and you're just being snarky.

      You'd better not try to pull that kind of crap with me in person. If you did, I'd pull up a chair, climb on top of it, slap you, and run really fast out of the room.
      .
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      .
      .
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      For those who are unaware, this illustration shows HUb's size relative to mine:
      Last edited by RamFanEsq; -02-09-2017, 02:02 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd be pretty excited if these were the starters on opening day. Jackson, Whitworth, Warford, and Minter would be a hell of a FA class.

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe that the Rams offense would be less predictible and Gurley would be more productive if the Rams went back to a 2 running back set ala Robert Holcome and the Greatest Show On Turf.
          :helmet:

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
            I'd be pretty excited if these were the starters on opening day. Jackson, Whitworth, Warford, and Minter would be a hell of a FA class.
            You never know who will sign where, but I think its at least plausible.

            Jackson makes a lot of sense, as many have noted, due to his ties to McVay and the state of California. At his age, I think the price would be high, but not outrageous.

            Whitworth is also up there in years, so I'd envision a 2-3 year deal. The Bengals will likely pay top dollar to re-sign Kevin Zeitler which, hopefully, might mean that they'll let Whitworth go.

            The Lions are in a similar boat with their OL. They have LT Riley Reiff and Warford due for new contracts. Hopefully, they'll let Warford hit the market.

            Finally, the Cardinals have a major FA problem this offseason. Before they can even think about Minter, they need to sign Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell. I think Minter would be an excellent fit in the middle next to Ogletree.

            Heck, if we could get two of these four guys, it would be great! Here's hoping!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RamFanEsq View Post
              Heck, if we could get two of these four guys, it would be great!
              I absolutely agree.

              Comment


              • #8
                Tremendous job, RFE. I have a few thoughts though....

                1.) I would love A.Whitworth at OLT but I gotta believe at this point in his career he is looking to play on a team that has a realistic chance at a Super Bowl. I know most think that money talks but that isn't always the case, especially with guys in the twilight of their career.

                2.) Like your draft picks but really think the Rams go for a corner EARLY- somewhere in rounds 2 or 3.

                3.) I'm somewhat nervous with Mark Barron moving back to safety. It is my understanding that he just can't cover well enough to warrant being a starter. I get the bad feeling his best position is exactly how Fish/Williams used him last year and, alas, this will not be possible in a Wade Phillips defense. Hope I'm wrong but that's my take on this topic.

                4.) Don't know anything about Ejuan Price.....is he a good pass rusher and what do you see that he brings to the table?

                WHAT SAY YE?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RAMarkable View Post
                  Tremendous job, RFE. I have a few thoughts though....

                  1.) I would love A.Whitworth at OLT but I gotta believe at this point in his career he is looking to play on a team that has a realistic chance at a Super Bowl. I know most think that money talks but that isn't always the case, especially with guys in the twilight of their career.
                  Certainly, there will be competition for his services.

                  2.) Like your draft picks but really think the Rams go for a corner EARLY- somewhere in rounds 2 or 3.
                  If we keep Trumaine, I'd say CB is a lower priority.

                  3.) I'm somewhat nervous with Mark Barron moving back to safety. It is my understanding that he just can't cover well enough to warrant being a starter. I get the bad feeling his best position is exactly how Fish/Williams used him last year and, alas, this will not be possible in a Wade Phillips defense. Hope I'm wrong but that's my take on this topic.
                  I think he can cover well enough to play SS.

                  4.) Don't know anything about Ejuan Price.....is he a good pass rusher and what do you see that he brings to the table?
                  Excellent pass rusher. 24.5 sacks and 42.5 TFL over last two years. Big knock on him is height (5'11). Reminds me of Elvis Dumervil. I think he'd thrive in Phillips' defense.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Of course, you knew that, HUb, and you're just being snarky.
                    If I were swimming in the ocean, I'd be a great white snark.

                    But seriously, folks...

                    I like what you're doing there, RFE. That would be deemed a successful off-season, IMO. Some follow up questions...

                    1. DeSean Jackson - McVay worked with Jackson, but also Garcon. Both are FAs and Garcon is a year younger. What do you think are the possibilities that we got A) both of them, or B) Garcon instead?

                    2. FB - I think there could be some value in bringing back the FB position for this lineup. I'd love to see a bruising old school FB in front of Gurley. Don't know if that's in McVay's plan or not, but what do you think?

                    3. LT/LG - A left side of Whitworth/Warford would be light-years ahead of Robinson/Saffold. Those are two of the top FA at their position, and it's just a short-term answer at LT, but......it would be a nice upgrade.

                    4. Front 7 - That's an exciting look. I love the idea of Donald/Brockers/Easley in Phillips' scheme. The big question....can Quinn regain his elite pass rusher status, while learning the new position?

                    5. Secondary - Not gonna lie....I'm nervous about that secondary. With McDonald and Alexander back there, we had a pair of SS at safety. Now, we've got a WLB and SS at safety. Not saying they can't do it, but it does pucker my butt-hole.
                    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                      1. DeSean Jackson - McVay worked with Jackson, but also Garcon. Both are FAs and Garcon is a year younger. What do you think are the possibilities that we got A) both of them, or B) Garcon instead?
                      Love the idea of getting both guys. If I had to choose one, though, I'd go with DJax due to his ability to stretch the field and open things up for others.

                      2. FB - I think there could be some value in bringing back the FB position for this lineup. I'd love to see a bruising old school FB in front of Gurley. Don't know if that's in McVay's plan or not, but what do you think?
                      I've always been a fan of the FB position. It just doesn't seem to en vogue these days. One guy to look at (Day 3 or undrafted FA) might be Freddie Stevenson from FSU.

                      3. LT/LG - A left side of Whitworth/Warford would be light-years ahead of Robinson/Saffold. Those are two of the top FA at their position, and it's just a short-term answer at LT, but......it would be a nice upgrade.
                      Yeah... it would probably mean shopping for a LT in the first round of the 2018 or 2019 draft, but I think Jared Goff would like having a vet watching his blind side while he develops.

                      4. Front 7 - That's an exciting look. I love the idea of Donald/Brockers/Easley in Phillips' scheme. The big question....can Quinn regain his elite pass rusher status, while learning the new position?
                      If he can get (and stay) healthy, I think Quinn would be an absolute beast as an edge rusher in a 3-4.

                      5. Secondary - Not gonna lie....I'm nervous about that secondary. With McDonald and Alexander back there, we had a pair of SS at safety. Now, we've got a WLB and SS at safety. Not saying they can't do it, but it does pucker my butt-hole.
                      Aye, there's the rub. I tried to stay somewhat realistic with these projections, so I had to fill those spots in-house. Moving Barron back to SS would be a risk, as I think he's proven to be a more effective player as a WLB. I'm just not sure what choice we have. I fear Barron's size would not work as a LB in a 3-4, and McDonald is a UFA. Hopefully, our pass rush would be so dominant that it would cover for this potentially square-peg solution.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really like it, RFE! Me and you had some dialogue in the Draft and FA forum about guys to add, and we both very much liked the same guys. Here's my thoughts:

                        Desean Jackson: Explosive WR who can take the top off the D. Can play anywhere, is not restricted to going deep. He'd be a very good add, the only thing I'm worried about is what kind of dollar he demands. If it's in the 8MM per year range, I'd love to add him. If it's closer to 10MM and higher range, I'd look elsewhere.

                        Andrew Whitworth: I love Whitworth, just like you. He's an amazing LT and even though he's up there in age his play has not declined at all. I think a 2 year deal worth about 10MM per year is what he'll get, but from what I'm reading it sounds like the Bengals are doing everything they can to retain him and will likely let OG Kevin Zeitler walk. Whitworth would be an amazing add.

                        Larry Warford: I love Warford as an FA. Powerful, available, and well rounded Guard who's only 25. He'd be a great addition and I don't think he'd break the bank.

                        Kevin Minter: I actually listed Minter as a potential add weeks ago, and I would still be interested. He's a forgotten man in ARI and like you said they have plenty of guys to take care of basically ensuring he'll be gone. I think he will be relatively cheap as well, and he has spent his NFL career in a 3-4.

                        Me and you have been arguably the biggest proponents of bringing Tru back, but Easley would be VERY interesting as a re-signing. Personally, I don't think he fits the 3-4 well, but it's really interesting to think about having him on the DE spot in a 3-4. Talk about a penetrating DL...

                        I also don't think we'd be able to pull this off in regards to cap space. With these re-signings/additions I'd assume they'd come in somewhere around 40 million, and I don't know if we'll be able to spend all that with contracts up-coming (Ogletree, Donald, Joyner, etc).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mh-i View Post
                          I believe that the Rams offense would be less predictible and Gurley would be more productive if the Rams went back to a 2 running back set ala Robert Holcome and the Greatest Show On Turf.
                          Agreed, he has ALWAYS performed better when he had a true FB.

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