The Packers defeated the Rams 21-7, but no matter, this time of year is about learning from mistakes and evaluation. The coaches and fans both got anther look at the 2014 rookie class under the lights. Here is Ramblin’ Fans’ second Rams rookie stock report after week 2 of the preseason. These evaluations are generated from watching each individual rookie on every played snap via game footage. This series will continue each week throughout the 2014 campaign.
Greg Robinson: EVEN
Robinson started at LT and handled his responsibilities on both pass and runs plays. He did a nice job on a bull rush by OLB Clay Matthews and he held his ground against DE Julius Peppers on a first down conversion by the offense. He got beat on an inside spin move against Matthews later in the drive, but QB Sam Bradford was largely unaffected and completed his pass on the play. On the offenses second drive, Robinson bulldozed a Packers lineman on one play, but on the next he was beat on a speed rush by Peppers for a hit on Bradford. As QB Shaun Hill entered the game, Robinson moved inside to LG. He did not give up a sack in the game.
Aaron Donald: Stock DOWN
Donald recorded one tackle during his playing time on Saturday. He was held at bay consistently, and was unable to get any pressure on Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. He held his ground nicely on back to back goal line carries by RB Eddie Lacy on their first drive, but he was also pancaked by a Packers lineman on their second drive. Overall, Donald didn’t make much of an impact.
Lamarcus Joyner: EVEN
Joyner was busy against the Packers. He played a team leading 51 defensive snaps. Joyner saw time at the nickel corner position and also had snaps at safety. All in all he recorded 5 solo tackles and assisted on another. He also punched the ball away from DuJuan Harris for a forced fumble and he had a great pass deflection in the slot that forced a Green Bay punt in the second quarter. On the negative side, Joyner got turned around and was beat for a TD by WR Randall Cobb when Rodgers extended the play outside of the pocket on the first drive. Cobb got the best of him on another instance during their second drive, beating Joyner for 22 yard gain over the middle. An another play, he got a bit lost as Rodgers created time in the pocket, and was beat for a 35 yard gain. He also had one defensive holding penalty.
Tre Mason: Stock DOWN
Not a very good game for Mason. He finished with 12 rushes for 30 yards, as he struggled to find any sort of running room behind the second and third team offensive line. His yard per carry average is misleading, however, as he had many runs that were doomed from the start due to horrible blocking. He actually showed decent vision and wiggle at times, given space to work with. He did miss a blocking assignment that resulted in an easy sack of Hill in the third quarter though.
Maurice Alexander: EVEN
Alexander broke into the lineup midway though the second quarter. He finished with four solo tackles and one assist on 40 defensive snaps (third most on the team). Alexander spent mixed time in both the box and back in coverage at strong safety. While watching him, you can tell he does not shy away from contact at all. He also looked pretty solid in coverage, finding his assignment and sticking with him. He did get confused and lost on one play, which resulted in a 34 yard TD reception for Packers WR Jeff Janis.
E.J. Gaines: EVEN
Gaines suffered some sort of injury earlier in the week during practice. He returned that day, as it wasn’t very serious, but Fisher held him out of Saturday’s game as a precaution. He should be at full health when the Rams face the Cleveland Browns next week.
Garrett Gilbert: EVEN
Gilbert came into the game during the early part of the third quarter. He ended three of six passing for 32 yards. His first throw was an impressive comeback route on the sideline to WR Stedman Bailey for a first down. He sold the play action, rolled to his left and threw across his body on the play. He tried to go deep on his second series to Bailey down the right sideline, but Bailey leaped and was unable to bring down the pass. He overthrew Mason on his next pass. An interception he threw was negated by penalty in the fourth quarter.
Mitchell Van Dyk: EVEN
Van Dyk entered the game in the third quarter at left guard and played until the final whistle. He pulled successfully several times, which opened up running lanes for Mason. He also held his own in pass protection, but he needs to work on his agility and keeping his feet under himself more consistently. He was beat on a few separate occasions when he got off balance.
Christian Bryant: Stock DOWN
Bryant saw playing time in the fourth quarter at safety. He did not register a tackle during the game.
Michael Sam: EVEN
Sam played 27 defensive snaps and finished with two tackles, one sack and two QB hits. He played well, but DE Ethan Westbrooks got on the field earlier than Sam and played better (four tackles, one sack, two QB hits). We’ll call his stock even due to his plus performance.
Demetrius Rhaney: Stock DOWN
Rhaney left the game with an injury. Fisher has confirmed he has a deep bone bruise that should sideline him for at least four weeks.
None of the Rams’ undrafted rookies will be documented in this series until they make the final roster. As mentioned above, this series will continue after each game this season. Check back in with us for updates.