3 UDFAs most likely to make the LA Rams roster

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Cameron Dicker
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The eliPUNT in the room

Punter and placekicker Cameron Dicker signed on with the LA Rams under a shroud of mystery. Texas Longhorn fans have cheered for Dicker’s field goal-kicking abilities for the past four seasons, and could not envision any other role for him in the NFL by any team. His career accuracy over his collegiate career was 75.9 percent, including a sensational 86.7 percent accuracy in his final season.

But the LA Rams already enjoy the kicking of Pro Bowler kicker Matt Gay, and by re-signing him to a one-year deal, there is little reason to create competition for that role. However, the Rams did release veteran punter Johnny Hekker. To bridge the gap, the Rams signed capable but unremarkable veteran punter Riley Dixon.

The 2022 NFL Draft class was loaded with solid punting talent, and all expectations leading up to the draft concluded that the Rams would likely draft a new punter. Unfortunately, the Rams began to make their draft selections at the 104th overall pick, a point in the draft where many teams had already selected many of their positional needs and were simply rounding out their rosters with the best player available.

That meant that punters came off the draft board before the LA Rams were in a position to select one. So the Rams signed a young prospect with a huge ceiling to become an NFL punter. Much like their kicker criteria, the LA Rams established criteria for their punter role that included: powerful leg strength, significant hang time, ability to place punts within the opponent’s 20-yard line, and whenever possible, within the opponent’s 10-yard line.

Surprisingly, the Rams were able to check most of those boxes by signing Cameron Dicker after the draft ended. That is not to say that the starting punter position is his already. Dixon is a competent veteran who will give Dicker a run for his money. Dicker will need to prove that he can hold the football for Matt Gay (a role he did not serve in college as he was the placekicker) and he will need to prove a consistent hang time on his punts.

I think Dicker wins the job, but not until the 53-man roster is announced.

In the end, more undrafted players could make the team’s roster, and certainly fill the ranks of the 14-player practice squad. For now, these three players seem to have solid shots at making the team’s roster. Be sure to keep them on your radar.

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