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ANALYSIS: Rams Release First Unofficial Depth Chart

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  • ANALYSIS: Rams Release First Unofficial Depth Chart

    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 unit, there’s not much change to the specialists heading into the 2018 preseason. Kicker Greg Zuerlein is back to being listed as a starter after finishing the 2017 season on injured reserve. Kicker Sam Ficken is listed behind him.

    All-Pro Pharoh Cooper is also listed as the first-string kick and punt returner. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp is listed behind him at punt returner, while wide receiver Mike Thomas is listed behind him as kick returner.

  • #2
    Even with the questions at LB, I really like the starters on both sides of the ball. Both are loaded, and packed full of talent. Hopefully, what we see above will be what we see come opening day.


    Related Topics


    • 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
    • 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
    • Nick
      From 90 to 53, here’s the math on the Rams’ roster situation
      by Nick
      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...
      -08-25-2017, 06:23 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams veteran lineman Andrew Whitworth says missing preseason games is no big deal
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams veteran lineman Andrew Whitworth says missing preseason games is no big deal

      By Rich Hammond | [email protected] | Orange County Register
      PUBLISHED: August 27, 2018 at 5:39 pm | UPDATED: August 27, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      THOUSAND OAKS – No preseason? So what? A few years ago, Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth basically climbed off the trainer’s table and walked into regular-season action.

      The Rams decided against playing offensive starters in any of their four preseason games this month. That schedule concludes Thursday at New Orleans, and defensive starters also will sit. Much of that decision was influenced by Whitworth and center John Sullivan, and the Rams’ desire to keep them healthy.

      Whitworth, 36, and Sullivan, 33, are the Rams’ oldest starters, and frequently are rested. The Rams even gave Whitworth the afternoon off as they practiced at Cal Lutheran on Monday. Even though neither Whitworth nor Sullivan missed a game because of injury last season, the Rams remain cautious.

      “I don’t think it bothers me, one way or the other,” Whitworth said of not playing. “For a lineman specifically, there’s really nothing that I’m looking for in a (preseason) game to be ready to play. As long as I’m practicing and feel like I’m getting a lot of competition, I feel great about it.” Because the recent trend, among every NFL team, has been to sit all starters for the final preseason game, all Rams offensive starters will make their 2018 debut during the Sept. 10 season opener at Oakland. That’s a gap of nine months between full-contact games, and while much of the focus has been on the readiness of quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, the offensive line is just as important.

      Coach Sean McVay has further reason to keep Whitworth and Sullivan upright. Right guard Jamon Brown must serve a two-game suspension to start the season, so an injury to another starting lineman would be disastrous. The Rams already need to call upon their most talented backup, Austin Blythe.

      Blythe, a third-year lineman, remains on track to start at right guard during the first two weeks. McVay said Blythe will not play Thursday, a clear indication that the Rams consider him to be a starter.

      Young players such as Blythe and rookie tackle Joe Noteboom, who also has been taking extensive snaps at guard, can find immense value in the preseason, but for a player such as Whitworth, who is preparing for his 13th NFL season, there isn’t much left to learn.

      “I’ve done everything I need to do, practice-wise,” Whitworth said. “If you’re really looking for situational stuff that comes up, there’s really nothing (in preseason) that I experience that is any kind of situational thing. A couple first downs, a couple third downs, and that’s it.”

      Still, it’s new for two guys with a combined total of 22 years in the NFL. Sullivan never has gone a full preseason...
      -08-29-2018, 04:14 PM
    • Nick
      Rams rest most of their starters in preseason loss to Chargers
      by Nick
      Rams rest most of their starters in preseason loss to Chargers
      Alden Gonzalez
      ESPN Staff Writer

      LOS ANGELES -- Turns out the "Fight For L.A." wasn't nearly as important as the fight for good health.

      The Los Angeles Rams sat the majority of their starters in their highly anticipated matchup against the neighboring Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night, for a third preseason game that is traditionally treated as a regular-season dress rehearsal.

      Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted an announced crowd of 58,561, though a rough guess at the number who actually showed up was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000. And the Rams suffered their first preseason loss by a 21-19 score. Backup kicker Travis Coons, who earlier hit from 53 yards, missed what would've been the go-ahead 33-yard field goal, and Dan Orlovsky, the third-string quarterback, couldn't stage a winning drive while backed up deep in his own territory.

      Below is a look at what stood out.

      QB depth chart: Jared Goff made a couple of key mistakes and thus ended his preseason on a sour note. On his first drive, Goff -- trying to build on a very encouraging performance seven days earlier in Oakland -- was stripped by Joey Bosa at the Chargers' 24-yard line, allowing Melvin Ingram to scoop up the football and return it 76 yards for a touchdown. On his second pass after that play, he threw his first preseason interception while overthrowing Sammy Watkins by a wide margin. Goff finished 5-of-8 for 56 yards. He made some impressive plays early, making a 16-yard connection with Robert Woods and showing great pocket awareness to find an open Malcolm Brown for what became a 22-yard gain. But Goff wasn't consistent, and that's what the Rams' coaches need to see from him. Backup Sean Mannion had another solid game, going 16-of-29 for 214 yards and a touchdown.

      When it was starters vs. starters, the Rams looked ...: Sluggish. But very few of their starters actually suited up, particularly on defense. The only solidified defensive starters on the field were cornerback Trumaine Johnson and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner. On the Chargers' first series, the Rams allowed Travis Benjamin to beat them badly over the top for a 45-yard touchdown. On the Chargers' second offensive series, after Goff's interception, they gained 54 yards on nine plays, finishing their drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon. Woods had the most productive day for the Rams' first-team offense, with a couple of catches for 23 yards. The offensive line allowed a lot of pressure on Goff, but veterans Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan played only the first two series.

      One reason to be concerned: First-year Rams coach Sean McVay chose to sit most of his starters, and now you have to wonder if they've built enough continuity for when games start to count. Nine starters were kept out, including...
      -08-27-2017, 07:09 AM