Here’s a position-by-position guide to the Los Angeles Rams roster and depth chart for 2022.
In Camp: Matthew Stafford, John Wohlford, Bryce Perkins
Analysis: Rams coach Sean McVay has been comfortable keeping two quarterbacks on the main roster and potentially stashing another on the practice squad for practice reps. Perkins was the pre-season star in 2021, but he’s probably not beating out Wohlford for the number two job. And listen, if Stafford gets hurt, where is this team going anyway?
Projected opening day roster (2): Stafford and Wohlford. Keeping just two quarterbacks gives the Rams flexibility at another spot.
In Camp: Buddy Howell, Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk, Cam Akers, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, Kyren Williams and A.J. Rose
Analysis: Traditionally teams usually keep three true tailbacks, a true fullback and a guy who can kind of swing between both spots. Funk probably is the choice at fullback. Kyren Williams is maybe a lock because he was a Rams draft pick, but he did get hurt and if that injury lingers, he’s a practice squad guy right away. Remember, teams can keep a whopping 16 players on the practice squad now. A lot will depend on performance in pre-season.
Projected opening day roster (5): I am going to go with Henderson, Akers, Williams, Calais – because of his ability to play special teams – and Funk as the primary fullback. I might be way off. A.J. Rose intrigues me. The Rams just signed him from the Vikings and he had a good career at Kentucky.
In Camp: Allen Robinson II, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, JJ Koski, Tutu Atwell, Landen Akers, Lance McCutcheon
Analysis: This is where the Rams may want to apply that stolen roster spot from only carrying two quarterbacks. There are three definite locks here, of course: Kupp, Jefferson and Robinson. There will be a battle for the fourth wide receiver spot. I think the Rams will give Atwell every chance to win the job. The fifth spot could come down to Powell and Skowronek. McCutcheon is a dime store version of Kupp out of Montana State. He’s headed to the practice squad.
Projected opening day roster (5): Kupp, Robinson II, Jefferson, Atwell, Skowronek.
In Camp: Brycen Hopkins, Tyler Higbee, Jacob Harris, Kendall Blanton, Jamal Pettigrew, Roger Carter, Jared Pinkney
Analysis: Another spot where there is wiggle room. Can you get away with keeping two and not three tight ends? Higbee is a lock, then it’s probably Kendall Blanton, who started in Super Bowl LVI. Jacob Harris is probably the third tight end entering camp, but it’s interesting to note that the Rams signed three undrafted free agents at this position, which means they want some new blood here.
Projected opening day roster (3): Higbee and Hopkins. After that, it’s probably Blanton, but if you want a wild card, there is 6-foot-7 Pettigrew out of McNeese State. He’s a big, raw talent, probably going to be stashed on the practice squad, but I’d still remember the name.
In camp: Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Joseph Noteboom, Rob Havenstein, Alaric Jackson, Coleman Shelton, Brian Allen, Jeremiah Kolone, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Logan Bruss, AJ Arcuri, Jack Snyder
Analysis: How many can you keep? Offensive linemen are like defensive backs in the NFL, you can never have enough good ones. It’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt, and you don’t want to be caught in a tough spot. Most teams keep nine, maybe four tackles and five guys who can play center and/or guard. But offensive line is also becoming a spot where good guys can play any spot.
Projected opening day roster: (10) Bruss is a lock. Even if he’s bad, the Rams probably won’t cut him. Arcuri is a project, he’s the seventh-round pick, and unless he mauls people in training camp, he’s a practice squad player. So really, you have 10 players competing for nine spots. The biggest question mark coming into Rams camp is the offensive line, so they should take a long look at everyone.
In camp: Greg Gaines, Marquise Copeland, Jonah Williams, A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Hoecht, Aaron Donald, Bobby Brown, Elijah Garcia
Analysis: It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Rams pick up a few more bodies in camp for this spot just to go through camp, but this is the strength of the team with Donald and Robinson.
Projected opening day roster: (9) I think the Rams keep nine, which means they need more than the eight they already have. The Rams are kind of in a tough spot, because what rising defensive tackle wants to come to LA, he knows he’s not beating out AD?
In Camp: Travin Howard, Chris Garrett, Leonard Floyd, Christian Rozeboom, Terrell Lewis, Ernest Jones, Justin Hollins, Bobby Wagner, Daniel Hardy, Brayden Thomas, Benton Whitley, Jake Hummel, Keir Thomas
Analysis: A lot of guys here probably playing for maybe two or one open spot. Wagner is a lock unless he’s just completely fallen apart, hard to believe. Hollins, Floyd and Howard are next. They can rest easy. Then it’s probably Terrell Lewis for the fifth spot…and after that, it’s wide open. Hardy was a seventh-round pick. I think he’s heading to the practice squad.
Projected opening day roster: (6) Wagner, Hollins, Floyd, Howard, Lewis and I will say the sixth spot goes to Christian Rozeboom.
In Camp: Jalen Ramsey, David Long, Grant Haley, Troy Hill, Decobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, TJ Carter, Caesar Dancy-Williams, Duron Loew
Analysis: We will split the cornerbacks and safeties into separate categories for now. Safeties are asked to do so much more in run support than corner. True elite cornerbacks are almost rarer than quarterbacks, so Ramsey’s value is immeasurable. He allows the whole defensive philosophy to be different. With the loss of Darious Williams, the Rams do have an opening. They drafted two corners and picked up three more undrafted free agents.
Projected opening day roster: (4) Ramsey is 1. My guess is David Long is next. Grant Haley is serviceable as the third corner. At training camp, keep your eyes on Decobie Durant, he has some super ball skills. I think he makes the opening day roster.
In camp: Nick Scott, Taylor Rapp, Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Robert Rochell, Tyler Hall, Jake Gervase, Quentin Lake, Russ Yeast, Jairon McVea, Dan Isom
Analysis: I think they keep six here, but this could always swing with a cornerback. Jordan Fuller is the Rams unsung hero on defense. He is back from his ankle injury. He’s not the fastest, but he’s smart and always around the ball. Nick Scott is coming off his best year in a Rams jersey. Taylor Rapp hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but he’s legit. Burgess has also had some injuries, but he’s another versatile player. Same for Rochell. The prospect here to keep an eye on is Quentin Lake, the draft pick out of UCLA. He has the look of that prototype ‘box safety’ that NFL teams love.
Projected opening day roster: (6) Fuller, Scott, Rapp, Rochell, Burgess and Lake. Still, if one of the young cornerbacks balls out in camp, this becomes a 5 and 5 situation (5 cornerbacks and 5 safeties) for the Rams.
In Camp: Matt Gay
Analysis: Matt Gay will be the Rams kicker in 2022 barring an injury. And expect Matthew Orzech to be the Rams long snapper. No where else to really put him.
In Camp: Riley Dixon, Cameron Dicker
Analysis: Do the Rams actually have a punter controversy brewing? Maybe not, but at least they will have a competition in camp after moving on from Johnny Hekker. Dixon came over as a free agent from the Giants. Dicker signed as an undrafted free agent from Texas. Dicker was also a place kicker for the Longhorns, and a good one, but he’s just a punter for the Rams. He averaged 43.6 yards a punt in college. He has a legitimate shot to beat out Dixon.
Projected opening day roster: Cameron Dicker.
So final analysis to get to 53 spots for the Rams:
5 running backs
5 wide receivers
3 tight ends
10 offensive linemen
9 defensive linemen
1 long snapper