LA Rams roster surprising by keeping 3 UDFA DL beyond first cuts

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

LA Rams roster surprises by keeping 3 UDFA DL beyond first cuts

The LA Rams are projected to run a 3-4 defense this season. As the team’s active player roster shrank from 80 to 63 today, the pause of any new roster moves allows some quick analysis.  For starters, the Rams currently boast nine players remaining on the active roster.

The Rams began the offseason with 12 defensive linemen before releasing both undrafted DT Sam Renner and undrafted DE Greg Reaves on August 1, 2020, to achieve the 80-player maximum to begin training camp. That placed the Rams roster for defensive linemen at nine players, a fairly robust number for a 3-4 defense. Still, there were 27 positions to eliminate. The Rams would likely part ways with some defensive linemen with their first roster cuts.

Only they didn’t.

Rams DL Roster

The LA Rams will most certainly be compelled to assign veteran nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson to some version of their Reserve list.  The team can designate him to return mid-season, but right now, he does not appear able to play anytime soon. That means the team is looking at DE Morgan Fox, rookie DL Eric Banks, DL Michael Brockers, rookie DL Michael Hoecht, rookie DL Jonah Williams, DT Marquise Copeland, DT Aaron Donald, DT Greg Gaines, and DT Sebastian Joseph-Day.

While that will likely change, it’s a pretty robust number of players remaining with just 10 slots remaining to vacate. The Rams can free two spots by assigning both Travin Howard and A’Shawn Robinson to some version of the Reserve list.  The team currently has 10 offensive linemen and has historically carried just eight on the roster.  The team has six linebackers at this time, and will likely part ways with another as the team assigns Howard to the Injured Reserve list.

But the team has nine players for just three starting roles.  The status of 6-foot-5 230-pound Eric Banks is the most intriguing.  Most of his draft profiles listed him at 270-pounds, and he played exclusively at defensive end for University of Texas at San Antonio in his senior season. Is he a strictly defensive lineman? Or has the Rams defensive brain trust another role in mind?

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We’ll know much more by the end of Saturday, September 5th. But until then, the Rams have done a great job of keeping everyone guessing. That includes 31 NFL teams hoping to poach a player from their waiver list.