The Rams released their practice squad players yesterday, and today I’ll be breaking down their 53 man roster and practice squad decisions.
QBs (3): Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, Bryce Perkins
In a move surprising to myself and many other fans, the Rams decided to keep 3 QBs on the roster. This shows how valued Perkins is to the Rams, and makes his effort in the preseason games worth something. John Wolford should still serve as the QB2 but McVay might be designing some special plays for Perkins as we speak.
RBs (3): Darrell Henderson Jr., Sony Michel, Jake Funk
The Rams RB depth this year was a little thin after the Akers injury, and surprisingly they’ve decided to go with 3 on the active roster. Henderson will serve as the lead back with Michel and Funk as complementary roles. I think during the season they might pick up a veteran RB or pick up someone to add more depth to this position, and due to injury conecerns.
WRs (6): Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek
The most depth on offense is definitely wide receiver, but the group looks slightly different from last year. They decided to bring in speedsters Desean Jackson & Tutu Atwell to fill a need from last year. Atwell will also likely return punts this year, which is needed after the departure of Nsimba Webster. The rookie Skowronek will be out 4-6 weeks but should still be able to learn a lot from this experienced group.
TEs (4): Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins, Jacob Harris
The Rams will be keeping 4 TEs on the roster like they did last season, with the addition of rookie Jacob Harris. Mundt’s role as a blocker earned him a spot, while Hopkins will contribute mostly on special teams. Harris, a former WR, will continue to learn the position under the rest of the group.
OL (10): Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Bobby Evans, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Alaric Jackson, Coleman Shelton
Filled with experience, the Rams have loaded up on one of their weaker positions. Vets Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein should provide some great mentorship to the rest of this young group. Brian Allen’s late switch to center was a surprise, but that’s telling of the coaching staff’s confidence in him. Jackson was the only rookie OL to make the team, and did so as an UDFA.
DL (7): A’Shawn Robinson, Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Greg Gaines, Michael Hoecht, Jonah Wiliams, Bobby Brown III
In another one of their deep position groups the Rams kept 7 DL headlined by Aaron Donald and SJD. The Rams like to rotate their DL during games so it makes sense that they’ve kept this many guys. Rookie Bobby Brown was the only DL draft pick to make it, as Earnest Brown was put on the practice squad.
OLB (5): Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Ogbo Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis, Chris Garrett
The Rams OLB group isn’t a deep one, but they’ll provide a good rotational pass rush. Rookie Chris Garrett made the initial 53 despite my initial roster prediction, which shows his ability. Lewis and Okoronkwo have the chance to be put on IR during the year, so I would expect one of the practice squad guys to be called up if that happens.
ILBs (4): Troy Reeder, Kenny Young, Travin Howard, Ernest Jones
One of the Rams’ weaker positions, 3 Vets return from last year with the addition of rookie Ernest Jones. Jones had a solid preseason and got experience with the green dot (calling defensive plays). Kiser was a hard cut to make, but he made it back onto the practice squad.
CBs (4): Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long Jr., Robert Rochell
It’s a somewhat small CB room, but filled with talent. The Rams have the most depth at the DB spot so if Long or Rochell underperform, they can be swapped out for other guys. It’s likely that they’ll continue carrying more safeties than cornerbacks because of their defensive scheme.
S (6): Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller, J.R. Reed, JuJu Hughes
Even after the loss of John Johnson, this is a talented group. Jordan Fuller was just named team captain today and should take playcalling duties from the now Cleveland Brown Johnson. The practice squad safeties are also talented, so some of them might be pinched or called up to the roster. Snead is great at identifying safety talent in later rounds, and this group will show you what I mean this season.
ST (3): Johnny Hekker, Matt Gay, Matthew Orzech
No surprises here, especially after the Rams traded Bojorquez. Hekker was rumored to reunite with Coach Bones and the rest of his old teammnates in Dallas, but was instead given a contract extension. Orzech was the best LS in camp as I noted in my observations here, and beat out Steven Wirtel. Gay should be a great kicker next year as he starts his first full season with the Rams.
WR Landen Akers, RB Otis Anderson, TE Kendall Blanton, T Chandler Brewer, DE Earnest Brown IV, DT Marquise Copeland, DB Dont’e Deayon, G Jeremiah Kolone, WR J.J. Koski, DB Kareem Orr, DB Tyler Hall, LB Micah Kiser, LB Justin Lawler, T Max Pircher (IPP)
Even though these guys didn’t make the 53, there’s still good talent in this group. The O-Line and LB guys make sense since those are the Rams 2 weakest positions. The rest of the practice squad is some solid depth in case of injury. Kiser, started 9 games last year and was solid, might be called up this year. Kareem Orr and Justin Lawler are some guys that might also be called up depending on the team’s performance. International player Max Pircher gives the Rams an extra practice squad spot, so he’s exempt.
Overall, there were some surprising cuts this year, but the Rams have a great all around team. They have great depth at the DB, WR, and DL position and are poised to make the playoffs. For an in depth analysis on the expectations for the Rams next season check out my other article here.