All off-season in Los Angeles we have been keeping you updated every step of the way, from the team needs articles, team mock drafts, draft recaps, and now into the LA Rams roster projections! This article is exactly what the title says it is, a projection of what the roster might look like come week one of the 2021 NFL regular season.
We can take a look at previous years to get a feel for how Les Snead and Sean McVay like to build a roster and use that for our basis for how we think things will shake out, but in the end, “think”, is the operative word here, as we are merely speculating. The good thing for you guys is that we have some of the best predictors in the business, so enjoy!
LA Rams Roster Projections: Offense
Many people assumed that the Rams carried two quarterbacks all year because only two were active, but they actually carried Perkins all year long and will probably have to do so in order to continue his development in LA, as he would likely be “poached” to a team in need of a 55-man roster quarterback.
The first three are easy choices as long as Jones shows well in camp, but the real question is the fourth spot. It will likely come down to who is returning kicks and my guess is that Funk beats out Raymond Calais in that battle.
The first five are locks so this last spot came down to long-term potential. The Rams have other guys on the roster who can return kicks, so Nsimba Webster loses value there. There are not many big, explosive, downfield threats like Jackson on the roster so he gets the nod.
Hopkins has some big shoes to fill with Gerald Everett now in Seattle but if he can, it sets up this group rather nicely. Mundt fills the same role he filled last year, as a blocking specialist and Harris slides into the developmental role the Hopkins filled in 2020.
Les Snead lauds this group as one with a lot of experience, but that is only relative to the rookie class of 2021. They will need to really step up for the Rams to get to where they want to be. The first five seem entrenched as starters unless Allen can return to pre-injury form and that would slide Corbett back to guard and Evans to the bench.
LA Rams Roster Projections: Defense
This situation is quietly one of the best spots on the Rams roster. We all know about Donald, but Joseph-Day is also coming off of a career year and Robinson is fresh after playing less than a full season in 2020. Gaines, Brown, and Banks represent huge untapped upside that the Rams need to harness if they are going to take the next step as a defense.
This is probably the Rams’ worst position group in these LA Rams roster projections, and that is scary considering how important outside pass-rushers are to winning Super Bowls. The Rams rely on getting most of their pressure from the inside, but Floyd will need to step up from the outside in 2021, especially with the contract that he now carries.
The only competition that the outside linebacker has for the worst squad on the Rams’ roster is right here. I went with a bit of a youth movement, with Jones and Rozeboom having never played in the league just yet and Howard coming off of a missed season. All in all, this group here would have less than two years of combined NFL experience. Ouch.
The Rams went with just four pure corners on the roster last year, but that was with Troy Hill as a part of a three-man weave and a healthy Burgess to help chip in. With Burgess coming off of a major injury and Hill now in Cleveland, the Rams could probably afford to keep a fifth corner this season.
This situation is also a little bit murky as we do not know how Burgess will return from the injury or if Rapp will ever be what the Rams drafted him to be. Fuller seems destined to take over as the captain of the defense and pick up where Johnson left off and he will probably wear the mic in his helmet this season.
LA Rams Roster Projections: Special Teams
Kicker: Matt Gay
The Rams finally found their long-term Greg Zuerlein replacement midway through 2020. Even though it seemed like nine years instead of nine games with mediocre kicking, it should all be over now…we hope.
Punter: Johnny Hekker
Hekker is going nowhere, even if the team signed some competition for him during camp. He had a down year in 2020 and will look to rebound.
Long Snapper: Colin Holba
Holba will have the first crack at replacing long-time snapper Jake McQuaide.
Thanks for reading my 2021 LA Rams roster projections! For more NFL content follow me @JbellSportsTalk.