St. Louis Rams: 5 Players Firmly on the Roster Bubble
Several St. Louis Rams players will spend the summer navigating the depth chart, looking to secure a place for their name in the regular season. Fifty-three guys do that on each NFL team every year—and the Rams have a recent history of high turnover.
That gives hope to undrafted rookies in 2013.
Austin Davis set the example in 2012 by holding down a roster spot at the expense of 30-year-old quarterback Kellen Clemens. Clemens is back for camp this time around, and the two will continue to compete with and push one another for a second consecutive summer.
Unless or until St. Louis signs another outside linebacker, Jonathan Stewart is presumptively included. Here are five more undrafted rooks with questionable but still legitimate chances to make the roster.
Terrance Ganaway never got a carry with the St. Louis Rams in 2012. Now he’s got company vying for the team’s fourth running back slot.
That company comes in the form of 5’10”, 210-pound former Middle Tennessee State rusher Benny Cunningham. Both players have more bulk to them than 2012 holdovers Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, but with the arrival of Zac Stacy, whoever takes the fourth spot might not get much work.
Terrell Brown would be one of the most fearsome players to get off the bus if he ends up on an NFL squad this season. You don’t often see 6’10” 400-pounders in life.
There’s room for three or four backup offensive linemen with the St. Louis Rams. Jake Long, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl and Rodger Saffold are presumptive starters. We don’t yet know who’s going to start at left guard, but either Shelley Smith, Rokevious Watkins (after Week 1) or Barrett Jones is going to do it.
The fact that two more are in the conversation speaks well of their ability to make the roster as backup interior linemen.
That leaves one or two tackle spots to be filled. Brown would be competing with the likes of Braden Brown, Chris Williams and a handful of other players for that depth chart position.
Ray-Ray Armstrong changed positions to fit into St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher’s scheme in hopes of finding a spot in the NFL. Because James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Alec Ogletree are scheduled to man the linebacker spots, Armstrong isn’t likely to start.
Seven linebackers made the 53-man roster last season—sort of a high number for a team that starts fewer than half of that in a passing league where the ‘backers are the guys who get subbed out. In addition to his size and speed, Armstrong’s experience as a defensive back helps in that regard.
He’d have to be able to make an impact as a special-teamer to avoid the practice squad in 2013.
Before the St. Louis Rams signed a veteran safety (former Oakland Raider Matt Giordano), Cody Davis—or some other rookie—looked like a lock to make the roster despite going undrafted.
But the signing changes things.
Disregard the St. Louis safeties’ inexperience: The Rams didn’t even have numbers back there after the NFL draft. Eleven defensive backs made the 53-man roster. Five were primarily safeties: Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart, Craig Dahl, Rodney McLeod and Matthew Daniels.
Two (Mikell and Dahl) are already gone via free agency. The Rams only drafted one.
Six cornerbacks were on the August 31 iteration of the 2012 St. Louis Rams roster. Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy—who didn’t play a game for St. Louis that year—are no longer there.
Brandon McGee was the only corner St. Louis drafted in 2013, and the Rams haven’t brought in a free agent at the position. Darren Woodard is one of a handful of undrafted corners set to compete in camp this year.
He’s currently listed as the third right cornerback (behind Janoris Jenkins and Brandon McGee) on Ourlads.com’s depth chart.