UPDATE: Michael Hoomanawanui and Quinn Ojinnaka have been released by the Rams; St. Louis has claimed Ty Nsekhe from the Colts and Shelley Smith from the Texans to fill the spots
Analyzing a football team during the preseason is a hard task, especially when that involved trying to run through numbers from 90 players, one-third of which will be cut before the first regular season game. Now that the St. Louis front office has whittled down the roster to a 53 active players and 6 practice squad players, we can more easily crunch some of the numbers. Over the next four days we are going to breakdown the roster in a number of key areas, the first is by position:
Although this table does not tell you the caliber of player at each position, it can tell you a number of things about the offensive and defensive schemes that the St. Louis Rams plan on running this season. The Rams roster is right on average with the typical NFL team in a majority of categories, but is low on the quarterback, offensive lineman, and linebacker units. Those extra roster spots are being filled with an extra tight end and defensive linemen. The extra tight end is conducive of the Scottenheimer offensive system, which revolves around the run game and short intermediate passes. That means we will be seeing a fair number of quick slants from the wide outs and flat routes from the tight ends. It also means will we likely see an above average number of play action, lining up in a power run formation with 2 TE sets and faking it to Jackson out of the backfield. The extra spots are being filled by Matthew Mulligan and Mike McNeill, who are primarily blocking tight ends that were brought in through the offseason through free agency, alongside Lance Kendrick and Michael Hoomanawanui on the line.
The extra defensive linemen on the roster are due to the injury front that rampaged through the position during the final week of the preseason. With Brockers, Laws, Sims, and Scott all currently nursing injuries, more linemen are needed on the roster simply for depth and to keep the rotation fresh. Aside from the names that were just mentioned, a good number of the current roster will likely get moved around, which we have already seen this with the sign and release of Vernon Gholston This also led to the recent acquisition of Kellen Heard from Buffalo.
The injuries to the defensive line may have also been a factor in the release of Kellen Clemens, leaving Sam Bradford and UDFA Austin Davis as the only quarterbacks on the roster. More than likely, the Rams will end up picking up a veteran back off of waivers before the start of the regular season, but roster spots are air tight as they are so it will be interesting to see where they will cut to make room.
Tomorrow we will breakdown the roster by age, as well as the colleges and conferences the players attended…