Running back (3)
Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel, Jake Funk
While other areas may be more surprising, this leaves me the most concerned. We know that the LA Rams ran to the bare bones in terms of healthy running backs at the end of the 2020 season before then-rookie Cam Akers shook off a high-ankle sprain to rush in the playoffs for the team. The Rams were prepared to activate running back Xavier Jones prior to that miraculous recovery.
So the fact that the team is going with a committee of three rushers in a 17-game season is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. While I don’t discount Henderson’s ability to run, Michel’s ability to grasp the offense, nor Funk’s ability to develop rapidly, this seems to rely far too heavily on all of the dominoes to fall the right way. I suspect that the team could add a running back via the waiver wire.
Tight end (4)
Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Jacob Harris, Brycen Hopkins
While this was to be expected, I really thought that Kendall Blanton had outplayed Brycen Hopkins, and I still do. But, we had mentioned in our projections that the Rams could lean heavily into drafted players, and I fear that is what happened here. The Rams will be all about getting Tyler Higbee work in the passing game this year, and there is nothing holding him back from a 1000 yard season except his own ability. While Hopkins was drafted with the clear intention to replace former Rams Gerald Everett, I have not seen enough from him to believe he will simply take over right away.
Jacob Harris, as discussed in the video, will be special teams exclusively at first. That likely got him a spot on the roster.