Now that all 32 team’s rosters are set, a week ahead of the Los Angeles Rams first official game of the 2020-21 NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, we get a look at what to expect from this Rams final roster with surprising moves in both the positive and slightly negative sense.
5 Surprise Headlines From The Rams Final Roster
The 52-Man Roster
McVay always has a trick up his sleeve, this year it was his 52-man roster rather than the requisite 53 — leaving one spot to sign a player off waivers. With players like LB Todd Davis, QB Josh Rosen, S Earl Thomas, and S Sean Davis available to pick up in the coming week the Rams could be on the verge of adding one of these veteran players with the allotted open spot.
As a believer in Rosen’s mechanics but skeptical of the “dog” in him, it would be a good addition to the Rams quarterback depth with John Wolford as the only backup to Jared Goff. Wolford has the fanbase’s support, but a return home for Rosen may be what he needs to reconcile with the lost potential from bouncing around rosters.
EDIT*** The Rams signed former Broncos LB Justin Hollins off of waivers. Hollins played OLB/Edge at the University of Oregon and was drafted for the same purpose by the Broncos. However, under the tutelage of Brandon Staley (Broncos linebacker coach in 2019), Hollins cross-trained at the ILB position, making him a great addition to the Rams. He will bring athletism and versatility, a great signing to bring the Rams to 53.
Top-Heavy Numbers At WR/TE
The final 53-man roster will feature four tight ends and six wide receivers…that’s a bit much. Names like Nsimba Webster, Trishton Jackson, and Johnny Mundt were surprising stashes for two positions of the Rams offense that feel established in terms of who we expect to see and who can emerge.
Van Jefferson is a name we believe will outperform expectations and Brycen Hopkins is a solid rookie looking to prove his salt, but there’s a feeling that those three or four roster spots devoted to the offense could have been a better benefit to the depth chart on defense. Especially to a rebounding secondary, and certainly in favor of a cornerback coming up in this article.
Xavier Jones Adds To A Promising Backfield
While it remains uncertain whether the Rams will prominently feature a sole back for the workload once beset to Todd Gurley, or go with a committee of running backs, three of the four names have likely made their way to your radar, but former SMU Mustang Xavier Jones is a hopeful prospect that some of us are placing stock in early.
Cam Akers will be the favorite pick to take on the lead back role, with Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown facilitating the change of pace, but Xavier Jones’ shifty running at 5’11, 208 lbs lends itself as an ideal build for an emerging presence in the backfield. It’s a similar arc to Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams, who started the 2019-20 season at the bottom of the depth chart buried under veteran names. If the opportunity arises out of any circumstance, expect Jones to get some looks.
Rams Cut Donte Deayon
The ex-New York Giants cornerback began to find his momentum and favor of keeping his roster spot as he became a familiar face from this season’s Hard Knocks. Placed on a Rams defense that is executing their focus on improving their secondary to recapture a scheme that has worked for the Rams in recent memory, Deayon’s versatility for Brandon Staley’s expected 3-4 scheme felt like a roster move that would make sense. Toward the beginning of 2020, the Rams re-signed Deayon to a one-year contract, adding to the depth chart of cornerbacks led by Jalen Ramsey. With an expectancy for the Rams to choose Deayon over David Long Jr., the roster move would not make sense any other direction with Troy Hill and Darious Williams emerging as promising talent for the secondary. Ultimately Deayon was a name you would have to cross your fingers to keep, but one they could have afforded.
EDIT*** Deayon was signed back to the Rams 16-player practice squad on Sunday.
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Forecasting that this offense will find its groove like Stella, Sloman will be seeing plenty of field this year. Not just a name to keep an eye out for, but one to draft in your fantasy league.
Samuel Sloman, Starter?
The placekicker picked from the 2020 NFL Draft and heir to the heavy crown left by modern-day Rams legend Greg Zuerlein, Samuel Sloman is looking to be the starting kicker going into the season. After beating out veteran kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, and Austin MacGinnis to take on kicking duties, the Rams are putting their faith in the 22-year-old out of Miami of Ohio.
His final year of collegiate play saw Sloman hit nearly 87% of his field goal attempts, leaving a desire to see more from the rookie but establishing an idea of what his floor can be. Forecasting that this offense will find its groove like Stella, Sloman will be seeing plenty of the field this year. Not just a name to keep an eye out for, but one to draft in your fantasy league.