NFL+ Free 7-Day Trial! (320X50)

8 takeaways from Rams' initial 53-man roster – Rams Wire

There’s still more than a week to go before the Rams host the Bears in Week 1 of the regular season, but they moved one step closer to getting ready for the opener on Tuesday by setting their initial 53-man roster. It came together after weeks of analyzing 80-plus players, parting ways with more than 25 guys over the last two days.
It wasn’t easy for the Rams to get to this point, with Sean McVay saying Tuesday that it was as difficult a roster to set as he’s seen in the NFL. That’s a sign of just how deep and talented the Rams’ roster was this offseason.
Here are eight takeaways from the initial roster, which will be tweaked and modified over the coming days.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The Rams decided to keep three quarterbacks after all. Matthew Stafford and John Wolford were locks, of course, but the team opted not to waive Perkins, keeping him as QB3. That doesn’t mean he’ll be active on game days, but this protects the Rams from losing him on the waiver wire where he very well could have been claimed.
Now they get to keep him in L.A. for one more season, getting a longer look at the Virginia product. Wolford will be an exclusive rights free agent in 2022 and should be back, but Perkins gives them another option behind Stafford next year. Clearly the team thinks highly of him and he has a future in Los Angeles. Sean McVay even said Tuesday that Perkins’ play in the preseason essentially forced the Rams to keep three quarterbacks, which wasn’t their initial plan.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The Rams lost Cam Akers and Raymond Calais to injuries this summer, yet they’re still going thin at running back. Darrell Henderson Jr., Sony Michel and Jake Funk are the only ones to make the 53-man roster, with Xavier Jones being a surprise cut.
It’s possible Jones will make it back on the practice squad, which allows for the Rams to activate him relatively easily if needed on a given Sunday, but it’s still shocking to see them go with just three running backs. That means it’ll be a heavy dose of Henderson and Michel, with Funk mixed in at times in a limited role.
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Cornerback is typically a position group that features a lot of names, but the Rams are going light at this spot. Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long Jr. and Robert Rochell are the only cornerbacks to make the team, but the overall versatility in the secondary makes that possible.
Terrell Burgess can play corner, particularly in the slot. J.R. Reed can also cover the slot in a nickel role, giving the Rams even more options. But by keeping just four true cornerbacks, it’s clear they have an abundance of confidence in Ramsey, Williams, Long and Rochell, despite the latter two players being relatively inexperienced. Long will play in the slot to start, but don’t rule out Burgess and Reed helping there, as well.
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
The Rams know Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day and A’Shawn Robinson (when healthy) will be their starters up front, but they have some really good players behind them waiting to earn opportunities, too. In total, the Rams kept seven defensive linemen, with Greg Gaines, Bobby Brown III, Michael Hoecht and Jonah Williams being the backups.
Brown, Hoecht and Williams are all capable of playing multiple positions, with Hoecht looking particularly effective from the 5-technique spot that Morgan Fox played. It’s one of the deepest positions on the roster and there should be a healthy rotation used on Sundays this season.
(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
It seemed like the Rams were going to part ways with Hekker in favor of Corey Bojorquez, but a late contract restructure made it easier for Los Angeles to fathom keeping the nine-year veteran over Bojorquez. If they felt strongly about Bojorquez being the better punter, they would’ve simply cut Hekker outright or attempted to trade him. They didn’t, which shows he was their top option performance-wise. It was just a matter of getting his price down.
Bojorquez wound up landing with the Packers after the Rams traded him to Green Bay, making this an even smarter move by Les Snead. He turned a free-agent signing into an improvement in the team’s draft position in 2023, moving up from the seventh to the sixth round.
(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Alaric Jackson continues a trend of the Rams keeping at least one undrafted rookie on the 53-man roster. Last year, it was Trishton Jackson. The year prior, it was Natrez Patrick and Nsimba Webster. Alaric Jackson was a top priority for the Rams in undrafted free agency this year, so it’s not all that surprising to see he made the 53-man roster.
He played well in the preseason at left tackle, especially in pass protection. He still needs development as a run blocker and in his overall technique on the edge, but he’ll benefit massively from a year of learning from Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein.
(AP Photo/John McCoy)
Now that the initial 53-man roster is set, it’s unclear who will return kicks for the Rams this season. Tutu Atwell can handle punt return duties, but he didn’t return any kickoffs in the preseason and isn’t necessarily suited for that role.
Could Jake Funk get a crack at that, despite not getting any reps there in the preseason? There aren’t any other great options on the roster right now, which leaves Atwell and Funk as the top choices.
Perhaps the Rams will claim someone off the waiver wire on Wednesday or sign a free agent before the start of the season to fill this role.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Leonard Floyd will be one starter at outside linebacker. Justin Hollins will be, too. After that, there are a ton of questions. Terrell Lewis can’t stay healthy. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is already going to land on injured reserve. Chris Garrett is a promising young player, but he still needs time to develop.
This is a position the Rams should look closely at on the waiver wire because they could use some talent and depth at outside linebacker. They’re really only going to have four on the active roster once Okoronkwo is placed on IR, which simply isn’t enough.
Sign up for the Rams Wire newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning
Rams Wire
© Copyright Rams Wire 2022
USA Today Sports
Powered by VIP
Please enter an email address.
Thanks for signing up.
Please check your email for a confirmation.
Something went wrong.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *