Free agency and the draft is finally over and although the Rams can still add some players, the starters are basically for the most part already on the roster. The Rams lost quite a few starters in free agency and the question that has been lingering on is, who will replace them. Well here is how I see the 2013 Rams roster unfolding.
QB: Sam Bradford
This one is quite obvious and a pretty easy decision. Not only did the Rams use the first overall pick on Bradford in 2010, his backup is Austin Davis. Fully 100% expect Bradford to start day one barring injuries or alien abduction.
RB: Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead
You cant really choose one here. The Rams will more than likely be using a running back by committee system and both players will get reps. If I have to choose one, I will choose Richardson just because of what he showed last season.
WR:(In order) Chris Givens, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Austin Pettis, and Brian Quick
Chris Givens proved he could be a No.1 receiver that can make big plays last season and I would expect him to resume the same role that he had on the outside last season. The Rams just acquired Stedman Bailey, who I believe will play across from Givens and take over Brandon Gibson’s role on the team. I’d choose Quick, but at this point in time I think Bailey is the better receiver to step in right away. Bailey and Givens are similar receivers, but do have their differences. They will be a nice combination on the outside. Tavon Austin will obviously take over Danny Amendola’s spot in the slot. Austin Pettis will probably play a similar role that he had last year, which isn’t a bad thing. Pettis scored a lot of touchdowns and made some big catches. Brian Quick will probably get a snap here and there a=until he can prove he is developed enough to get significant playing time.
TE: Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks
Jared Cook will probably be the receiving tight end while Kendricks is the blocking tight end. Both will be able to make plays in the passing game, however. Kendricks developed nicely last year, but the team just acquired Cook and have plan in mind for him.
OL: Jake Long, Rodger Saffold, Harvey Dahl, Rokevious Watkins, Scott Wells
Rams will have a solid offensive line next year and if they can lay low on the holding penalties that would be a plus. Barrett Jones could end up in Scott Well’s place or Watkins’ place by the end of the year, but to begin, I believe he is a depth guy. Jake Long will obviously be at LT with Saffold at RT
DL: Chris Long, Kendall Langford, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn
Once again, barring injuries or alien abduction this will be the starting group. This was one of the best groups last season, so don’t expect it to change much, if at all.
LB: Jo-Lonn Dunbar, James Laurinaitis, and Alec Ogletree
Dunbar and Laurinaitis were solid last season and the Rams just made a giant improvement selecting Ogletree 30th overall. Dunbar will play SLB, James will play MLB and Ogletree will play WLB.
CB: Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, and Brandon McGee
This was a solid group last year and I wouldn’t expect it to change. The Rams did add McGee in the draft for some depth but the Rams have a good foundation with Finnegan, Jenkins, and Johnson.
S: Darian Stewart and T.J. McDonald
The Rams don’t really have any other option here. Stewart is the only guy left on the roster to play. The Rams added hard hitting McDonald to the mix in the draft. McDonald will probably play SS with Stewart playing FS. McLeod will probably get some reps as well throughout the season.
K/P/KR/PR: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Tavon Austin and Tavon Austin
Zuerlein and Hekker both had good rookie campaigns and will resume their starting roles. The great thing about Austin is that he also fills the need the Rams have at kick returner and punt returner. The kid can score from anywhere so don’t be surprised if he takes a few to ”the house” this year.
The starting lineup could always change if someone gets injured or a surprise guy shows up and beats somebody else out, but for now here is what I expect the roster to look like day one