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From 90 to 53, here’s the math on the Rams’ roster situation

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  • From 90 to 53, here’s the math on the Rams’ roster situation

    From 90 to 53, here’s the math on the Rams’ roster situation
    By RICH HAMMOND | [email protected] | Orange County Register
    PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm | UPDATED: August 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    The Rams and Chargers brawled three times when the teams practiced together this month, but when they meet in Saturday’s preseason game at the Coliseum, the true battle for the Rams will be internal.

    This is the third of four preseason games, and at the conclusion, the Rams’ roster will be cut from 90 to its season-opening limit of 53. Next week’s game, though, is window dressing, the very definition of “exhibition.” For players on the roster bubble, Saturday’s game could be the last chance to shine.

    “It just seems like I’ve been a part of teams every single year,” Coach Sean McVay said, “where a few guys you never expect to, they end up finding a way to make a contribution and give themselves some value, whether that be through special teams, or showing up on offense or defense.”

    So who is off the bubble? Only McVay and Rams executives know, but here’s a reasonable guess:

    Quarterbacks Jared Goff and Sean Mannion are safe, as are running backs Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown, receivers Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp, Pharoh Cooper and Tavon Austin, tight ends Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett and Temarrick Hemingway, and offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Cody Wichmann, Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown and John Sullivan.

    On defense, linemen Michael Brockers, Ethan Westbrooks, Matt Longacre, Tanzel Smart and Louis Trinca-Pasat seem set, as do linebackers Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin, Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Ejuan Price and Samson Ebukam, and defensive backs Trumaine Johnson, Mike Jordan, Lamarcus Joyner, Kayvon Webster, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Mo Alexander and Cody Davis.

    Finally, kicker Greg Zuerlein, punter Johnny Hekker and long snapper Jake McQuaide are locks.

    That’s 39 players. Recent playing time indicates that fullback Sam Rogers, receiver Josh Reynolds, offensive linemen Jake Eldrenkamp and Darrell Williams, defensive linemen Mike Purcell, linebacker Josh Forrest and defensive backs John Johnson and Marqui Christian also will make the cut.

    Then there’s Aaron Donald, who presumably will end his holdout one way or another and become No. 48. Remember also that receiver Mike Thomas and Troy Hill will be suspended for the start of the season and running back Lance Dunbar will start on the injured list, meaning none of them will occupy a roster spot.

    That leaves perhaps five spots, and how will they be broken down?

    The Rams figure to keep either running back Justin Davis or Aaron Green, and one of three offensive linemen: Austin Blythe, Andrew Donnal (whose current injury status makes this murky) and Pace Murphy.

    Four linebackers — Nic Grigsby, Bryce Hager, Cory Littleton and Cassanova McKinzy — could be competing for one spot, as could defensive backs Blake Countess, Isaiah Johnson and Kevin Peterson.

    The last spot? Could the Rams consider keeping Dan Orlovsky as a third quarterback? Could underdog hero receiver Nelson Spruce make the cut for a second consecutive year? Or will one of the previously listed bubble players make enough of a late impression to earn a spot?

    Then there’s the wild card. Call it the ghost of Akeem Ayers.

    A year ago, Ayers was one of the Rams’ final cuts. He was a five-year veteran who had been slotted as a starter at linebacker, and nothing in preseason games or practice reps indicated Ayers was about to be a cut-day casualty. Yet it happened, as a stark reminder that few roster spots are safe.

    There’s been a change. In previous years, teams would cut down from 90 players to 75 after the third preseason game. Now it will be a dramatic drop, from 90 to 53 on Labor Day weekend. Up to 10 other players will have a chance to land on the Rams’ practice squad.

    “I think the next couple weeks offers us a great opportunity to really find those last handful of spots that we will have,” McVay said. “I think being able to have 90 guys for that fourth preseason game will be a great opportunity for a lot of those players that have been cut in years past, to get that game film, that chance to showcase themselves.”

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  • Nick
    ESPN's Alden Gonzalez makes final 53-man roster projection
    by Nick
    Rams' 53-man roster includes 17 new players
    10:00 PM ET
    Alden Gonzalez
    ESPN Staff Writer

    The Los Angeles Rams must cut their roster to 53 by 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2. Here's a final 53-man roster projection:

    QUARTERBACKS (2): Jared Goff, Sean Mannion
    I went back and forth on this, but ultimately opted not to put Dan Orlovsky on the roster. Goff, the starter, and Mannion, his backup, are both young. Orlovsky has a ton of experience, with a dozen years as mainly an NFL backup. But he hasn't shown much this preseason, and the Rams are going to ride their young quarterbacks throughout the year no matter what. I have them using that roster spot elsewhere.

    RUNNING BACKS (4): Malcolm Brown, Justin Davis, Aaron Green, Todd Gurley
    Asked earlier this week about the running back room getting smaller after final cuts, Gurley said, "I hope it doesn't get any smaller than it is now. There's only about three or four guys in there." The Rams signed Lance Dunbar over the offseason with hopes that he can be their change-of-pace back, but a pre-existing knee injury has kept him from practicing. Brown has established himself as Gurley's backup. Davis, an undrafted rookie out of USC, has looked good in space, though he has had fumbling issues.

    FULLBACKS (1): Sam Rogers
    The Rams drafted Rogers out of Virginia Tech in the sixth round this year. He's a 5-foot-10, 235-pound ball of fire who can block, run the ball and catch passes. It'll be interesting to see if Rams coach Sean McVay finds some type of role for Rogers in this offense. He drafted him for a reason.

    WIDE RECEIVERS (6): Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods
    The Watkins acquisition has Nelson Spruce, in my mind, as the odd man out. He's a local product and a fan favorite, and he shined in last year's preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. But Spruce barely got on the field after that last season and hasn't really stood out this preseason. The Rams are a lot more talented at receiver now. Paul McRoberts and Shakeir Ryan, who has been returning punts, were also tough cuts here.

    TIGHT ENDS (3): Gerald Everett, Cory Harkey, Tyler Higbee
    Temarrick Hemingway suffered a fractured fibula during Saturday's preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, an injury that could prompt him to miss the entire season. That suddenly opens up a role for Harkey, a sixth-year player, to serve as the third tight end. Harkey doesn't bring Hemingway's skills and athleticism in the passing game, but he's a solid blocker who McVay considers reliable as a receiver. Said Harkey: "I'm here to do whatever I need to do to help the team win, and that's my attitude my whole career."

    OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Austin Blythe, Jamon Brown, Andrew Donnal, Rob Havenstein, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Cody Wichmann, Andrew Whitworth, Darrell...
    -08-31-2017, 07:25 PM
  • AvengerRam
    RFE's Post-Draft Rams Roster Breakdown
    by AvengerRam
    Here is my breakdown of the roster after the draft by position (number of players likely to be on 53 man roster in parenthesis).

    Quarterbacks (2-3)

    Locks: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion
    Likely: Aaron Murray

    I think the QBs who will be on the roster are already signed. The only question is whether the Rams will keep 2 or 3 QBs on the roster.

    Running Back/Fullback (4-6)

    Locks: Todd Gurley, Lance Dunbar
    Likely: Malcolm Brown, Sam Rogers

    Aaron Green is the incumbent with the inside track to a roster spot, but UFA Justin Davis may have a shot as well.

    Wide Receiver (5-6)

    Locks: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds
    Likely: Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper

    I considered listing Austin and Cooper as “locks,” but the fact that the new regime has signed one and drafted two WRs makes me think that perhaps they are not all that high on the incumbents. That said, unless a trade can be worked out for Austin, he'’ll definitely be on the roster, and I’'d be very surprised if Cooper did not ultimately make it (particularly given the fact that he might be our best kickoff returner with Benny Cunningham gone). If there is a sixth spot, I’d say that Mike Thomas has the best chance, followed by Bradley Marquez and Nelson Spruce.

    Tight End (2-4)

    Locks: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett
    Likely: Temmarick Hemmingway

    Not a lot of uncertainty here.

    Offensive Line (8-9)

    Locks: Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Rob Havenstein, Greg Robinson
    Likely: n/a

    Robinson is a lock only because of his contract. I’m not certain he’ll be a starter. I don'’t have any in the “likely” category because I don’t see any presumptive favorites among players like Cody Wichmann, Jamon Brown and Andrew Donnal. I also think there is a significant likelihood that the Rams will add a veteran FA or two before the season starts.

    Defensive Line (6-7)

    Locks: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Dominique Easley
    Likely: Tyrunn Walker, Tanzel Smart, Ethan Westbrooks

    I think the Rams are fairly well set here. There may be some camp battles, but these six should all be there on opening day.

    Linebacker (6-8)

    Locks: Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin, Alec Ogletree
    Likely: Mark Barron, Samson Ekuban, Ejuan Price, Josh Forrest

    I could be 100% wrong, but I still think Barron is a misfit in this defense, and could be a guy the Rams might offer in a trade. Either way, my list is short on ILBs, so the Rams could look to add some veteran depth there.

    Defensive Backs (7-9)

    Locks: Trumaine Johnson, Kayvon Webster, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Mo Alexander, Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson
    Likely: E.J. Gaines, Cody Davis

    I think the Rams have enough for now. Given that Johnson, Alexander...
    -05-03-2017, 09:49 AM
  • AvengerRam
    How many players are "locks" for the Final 53?
    by AvengerRam
    Who is a "lock" to make the final 53:

    Here's my count:

    Veterans (27)
    Jared Goff
    Sean Mannion
    Todd Gurley
    Andrew Whitworth
    Rob Havenstein
    John Sullivan
    Jamon Brown
    Rodger Saffold
    Brandin Cooks
    Robert Woods
    Cooper Kupp
    Pharoh Cooper
    Josh Reynolds
    Gerald Everett
    Tyler Higbee
    Michael Brockers
    Ndamukong Suh
    Aaron Donald
    Samson Ebukam
    Corey Littleton
    Marcus Peters
    Aqib Talib
    Nickell Robey-Coleman
    John Johnson
    Lamarcus Joyner
    Johnny Hekker
    Jake McQuaide

    Rookies (5)
    Joe Noteboom
    Brian Allen
    John Franklin-Myers
    Micah Kiser
    Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

    So that's 32 guys who I think are absolute locks.

    I've left out the following players who I are locks provided that they are recovered from previous injuries:

    Mark Barron
    Matt Longacre
    Dominique Easley
    Sam Shields
    Greg Zuerlein

    If they're healthy, that takes the number to 37.

    The next group are "near-locks," who are players that have the inside track to a roster spot:

    Austin Blythe
    Malcolm Brown
    Michael Thomas
    Ethan Westbrooks
    Morgan Fox
    Bryce Hager
    Ramik Wilson
    Troy Hill
    Marquis Christian
    Blake Countess

    That gets you to 47.

    So... if I'm right and all of these guys make the team, that leaves only 6 roster spots (not counting practice squad) for the remaining prospects to fight over.

    My current favorites are:

    Temmarick Hemmingway
    Darrell Williams
    John Kelly
    Tanzel Smart
    Ejuan Price
    Justin Lawler...
    -05-01-2018, 01:44 PM
  • Nick
    ANALYSIS: Rams Release First Unofficial Depth Chart
    by Nick
    ANALYSIS: Rams Release First Unofficial Depth Chart
    Sunday, Aug 05, 2018 12:15 PM
    Myles Simmons

    Los Angeles released its first unofficial depth chart of the preseason on Saturday.

    While there aren’t too many surprises, here are a few highlights from the list. Remember, the depth chart is unofficial and is subject to change at any time.

    The offensive unit looks just about the same as it did on the final unofficial depth chart of 2017. The only change is Brandin Cooks now in as Los Angeles’ third wide receiver.

    The starters are listed in ’11’ personnel, which is what the Rams utilized 81 percent of the time in 2017. In this personnel grouping, there’s one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers.

    Despite his two-game suspension to open the year, Jamon Brown is still listed as the starter at right guard. Fellow offensive lineman Austin Blythe — widely thought of as the current leader in the clubhouse to replace Brown at the beginning of the season — is listed as the backup center.

    The rookie draft picks on the offensive line are all listed at third string — Joe Notebom at left tackle, Jamil Demby at left guard, and Brian Allen at center. Still, all three have been cross-training at other positions.

    Back after a season-ending knee injury, tight end Temarrick Hemingway is listed as the third-string tight end behind Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

    The defense looks significantly different to start the preseason with six new starters listed: nose tackle Ndamukong Suh, outside linebacker Matt Longacre, outside linebacker Samson Ebukam, inside linebacker Cory Littleton, cornerback Marcus Peters, and cornerback Aqib Talib.

    Though he’s currently on the “did not report” list, defensive tackle Aaron Donald is still listed among the starters. Ethan Westbrooks is listed as the second-string defensive tackle. He’s been taking many of the snaps in Donald’s stead during training camp.

    There are two rookies listed with the second-string defense: defensive end John Franklin-Myers and outside linebacker Justin Lawler. They’re behind Michael Brockers and Samson Ebukam, respectively.

    Mark Barron is also listed with the starters at inside linebacker. According to head coach Sean McVay, Barron has been taking the walk-thru snaps at ILB next to Littleton, the defensive signal-caller. Ramik Wilson, however, has been repping at inside linebacker during practice to keep the wear and tear off Barron.

    With the Rams listing their base defense — three down linemen, four linebackers, four members of the secondary — cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman is listed as a second-string cornerback with Sam Shields. Robey-Coleman, however, will likely start plenty of games to combat three wide-receiver sets.

    Like the offensive...
    -08-06-2018, 05:35 AM
  • Nick
    Rams depth chart: An insurance policy, and rookies who could become starters
    by Nick
    Rams depth chart: An insurance policy, and rookies who could become starters
    By Vincent Bonsignore Apr 30, 2019 4

    The​ Rams did a good job​ this​ offseason​ of addressing some​ major areas of​ need, both​ in the​ short and long​ term. Also,​​ when it comes to a worst-case scenario with Todd Gurley, they secured a rookie insurance policy.

    The draft yielded a Week 1 starter in Washington nose tackle Greg Gaines, plus a nickel-package strong safety in Taylor Rapp (also from Washington) and a potential nickel cornerback in Michigan’s David Long. Long and Rapp are expected to contend for starting gigs in 2020 and 2021, when full-time spots open up.

    Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, a third-round pick — somewhat surprisingly — adds an immediate presence as a change-of-pace back to complement Gurley and gives a dynamic new toy to coach Sean McVay. But given the uncertain long-term status of Gurley’s left knee — and the Rams’ potential plan to reduce his workload — Henderson could be in line for major playing time in 2019 and beyond.

    With the draft completed, here’s look at the Rams’ depth chart, with some notes:

    Quarterback: Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen

    Running back: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson (R), Justin Davis, John Kelly, Matthew Colburn (R)

    X receiver: Brandin Cooks, Mike Thomas

    Slot receiver: Cooper Kupp, JoJo Natson, Austin Proehl, Alex Bachman (R), Nsimba Webster (R)

    Z receiver: Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, KhaDarel Hodge

    Tight end: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Romello Brooker (R), Keenan Brown (R), Kendall Blanton (R)

    Left tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Bobby Evans (R)

    Left guard: Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby, Kyle Murphy, Brandon Hitner (R)

    Center: Brian Allen, Vitas Hrynkiewicz (R)

    Right guard: Austin Blythe, Aaron Neary, Chandler Brewer (R)

    Right tackle: Rob Havenstein, David Edwards (R), Darrell Williams

    Defensive tackle: Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Marquise Copeland (R), Tyrell Thompson (R)

    Nose tackle: Greg Gaines (R), Tanzel Smart

    Defensive end: Michael Brockers, John Franklin-Myers, Morgan Fox

    Sam linebacker: Dante Fowler Jr., Clay Matthews Jr., Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

    Mike linebacker: Cory Littleton, Travin Howard, Troy Reeder (R)

    Mo linebacker: Micah Kiser, Dakota Allen (R), Natrez Patrick (R)

    Will linebacker: Samson Ebukam, Justin Lawler, Trevon Young, Landis Durham (R)

    Cornerback: Marcus Peters, Troy Hill, Darious Williams, Kevin Peterson

    Cornerback: Aqib Talib, David Long (R), Ramon Richards

    Slot cornerback: Nickell Robey-Coleman, Dont’e Deayon, Dominique Hatfield

    Strong safety: Eric Weddle, Taylor Rapp (R), Blake Countess,...
    -05-04-2019, 05:27 AM