The LA Rams have a lot of work to do before they open the season, and part of that work is determining their depth chart. That is, who will start, who will play key contributing roles in the team’s rotation, and who will simply part ways with the team going forward.
Sorting through 90 players to arrive at the best 53-man roster is not easy. Sometimes the player is working on his own skillsets, sometimes he is working to develop chemistry with his teammates. Young players who have just arrived simply have no history with anyone and must fast-track all of those working relationships instantly.
I don’t believe that I’m being presumptuous to claim that many of the team’s 53-man roster spots were already claimed by players who started or who played key roles just one year ago. Many of the true roster competitions will come down to the final 10 or so on the roster, and many of those roles will be determined by how well players contribute on special teams. Can they play multiple positions on the team? Will they develop into a rotational player by the season’s end? Or will they need a long-term investment of time and patience to truly develop?
Perhaps a far better way of looking at the LA Rams roster is to pivot the focus away from the projected starters for the time being, and instead focus on key players who are not expected to start for the team.
IV. Kendall Blanton
While the LA Rams will most certainly be running their 11 personnel package on offense a majority of the time, there will still be a place for 12 personnel packages as well. If you are not following, 11 personnel refers to the one RB and one TE, which defaults the offensive configuration to three WRs. For the time being, those three receivers will likely be Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, and Van Jefferson.
While some believe that TE Brycen Hopkins’s one-game performance in the Super Bowl is enough to vault him into the TE2 position, I believe that an entire season of Kendall Blanton earning and holding that spot on the Rams depth chart after Johnny Mundt fell to injury is not so easily overlooked. The Rams rely upon the second tight end to block, and that is where Blanton scores much higher than Hopkins.
Perhaps even better, Kendall Blanton was four of seven receptions in the regular season, and a perfect seven of seven for 75 yards, a touchdown, and five first downs in post-season play. Blanton may not be a starter, but he will be a vital part of the LA Rams offense this season.