Next week, all NFL teams will have to make tough choices and cut their roster size down to 53. Most teams have started slowly cutting players due to roster restriction deadlines, the most recent being 80 players by the 24th. During the regular season, teams have 53 normal roster spots and 16 practice squad spots. The Rams have good depth at most positions, and GM Les Snead will have to make a lot of hard decisions over the next week. That being said, here’s my prediction for the Rams 53 man roster come August 31st.
QB (2)- Matthew Stafford, John Wolford
This is probably one of the easiest out of all the positions. Stafford is the unquestionable starter, and Wolford has shown that he has the talent to be a capable backup. As for Bryce Perkins, his great showing in preseason should earn him a spot on the practice squad.
RB (3)- Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Jake Funk
The Rams may bring in a veteran presence at RB, but these three are going to have to cut it for now. Henderson should be taking most of the snaps, with Funk and Jones as complementary roles. However, once roster cuts start across the league, don’t be surprised when there’s a new face in this group.
WR (6)- Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Desean Jackson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek
The first 5 of this group are locks to make the team, and it gives Stafford lots of depth at the position. The 6th spot could either go to Skowronek or Trishton Jackson, but I think Benny Skow will edge him out due to the draft capital spent on him. Trishton Jackson has the chance to make the team as a kick/punt returner, but for now, they should earn a spot on the practice squad.
TE (4)- Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Jacob Harris, Kendall Blanton
The first 3 tight ends are locks to make the team, but the 4th is up for grabs. Brycen Hopkins wasn’t exactly impressive in camp, while Blanton performed well. Hopkins will have to earn his position back from Blanton but should be on the practice squad. I could also see them going with 3 TEs and adding another OL or DB due to their depth at pass catchers.
OT (4)- Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Chandler Brewer
Both veteran starters have locked in spots, but the spot to watch is the 4th one. Chandler Brewer and AJ Jackson should be close, but I think Brewer will beat him out. Jackson is good enough to make the practice squad but might get pinched mid-season.
OG (4)- David Edwards, Austin Corbett, Bobby Evans, Tremayne Anchrum
The offensive line will likely be the Rams’ most rostered position due to it being one of their weaknesses. Corbett’s flexibility at guard or center makes him a lock and opens the possibility of shifting around starters during the season.
C (2)- Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton
The Rams made a last-minute transition and made Brian Allen starting center over Austin Corbett, which was unexpected. Allen doesn’t have as much flexibility as Corbett and hopefully will improve from his stint as a starter in 2019. In case he doesn’t, I have them keeping Shelton as a backup plan.
DL (6)- Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Sebastian Joseph Day, Greg Gaines, Bobby Brown III, Earnest Brown IV
The Rams D-Line is a pretty deep unit, with lots of standout guys. Because of that, they can keep rotating guys in and out, but they need to roster 6 of them to do so. Eric Banks, Marquise Copeland, and Jonah Williams have a small chance to make the team but earn a spot on the practice squad.
OLB (5)- Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Terrell Lewis, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Lawler
The Rams currently have 6 OLBs on their roster, and I think they’ll keep 5. However, the last spot between Justin Lawler and Chris Garrett is up for grabs if Garrett outperforms him before the season starts. I could also see Lewis being put on the IR at some point during the season and Garrett being called up.
ILB (5)- Kenny Young, Ernest Jones, Travin Howard, Troy Reeder, Micah Kiser
Arguably one of the Rams’ weakest positions, the ILB spot doesn’t necessarily have any standouts. The rookie Jones may provide a spark to this group, but their depth at linebacker is small. Christian Rozeboom is the odd man on the roster right now and will likely be kept on the practice squad.
CB (5)- Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long, Robert Rochell, Donte Deayon
Ramsey, Williams, and Rochell are locked to make the team as of now. However, David Long and Donte Deayon have to earn their spots, as the Rams have a deep defensive back room. Some guys that could take their spot are Kareem Orr and Brontae Harris. The DB room is something to watch in the last preseason game, as it will decide who makes the team.
S (4)- Jordan Fuller, Terell Burgess, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott
Les Snead is exceptional at drafting safeties, and even without John Johnson III, this group is great. Nick Scott is the only player that’s not a lock to make it, as Troy Warner and Juju Huges will fight him for the spot.
ST (3)- Matt Gay, Johnny Hekker, Matthew Orzech
Hekker and Gay are locks to make the lineup. There’s a small chance that Corey Bojorquez beats out Hekker due to cap space, but that’s unlikely. Orzech has been the favorite in camp and should beat out Steven Wirtel for the spot.
In all, most of the guys are locked into their roles as a part of this team. A couple of players in the linebacker and defensive back rooms could be rotated in and out as the season progresses, which should be interesting to watch. The final preseason game against the Broncos will likely determine who makes it and who goes to the practice squad for most of these guys. This team has very few weaknesses, only at interior O-Line and Linebacker; the rest is solid all around. If everything goes right, the Rams could be the 2nd team in a row to win a ring in their home stadium.
Sony Michel Trade
This article was written right before Sony Michel got traded so that’s not included as a variable. The positions I could see them carrying one less of are OLB, WR, and TE. I could also see Funk being cut and them carrying the same amount of RBs, but for now I think rostering more RBs is the way they’re going to go.