Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams' roster requires additional study after a thorough house-cleaning this offseason. With so many new faces, I feel less familiar with the Rams than with the other teams in the division. This initial look at the roster will hopefully help bring some focus.
Donnie Avery's injury and overall health concerns at receiver could influence how many players the Rams carry into the season at the position.
Marc Bulger's broken pinky shouldn't affect the roster as long as he recovers on schedule. Teams must reduce to 75 players by Sept. 1 and 53 players by Sept. 5. Those initial 53-man rosters sometimes change by Week 1 kickoffs. For that reason, I've been focusing on Week 1 rosters when setting baseline expectations for each position.
The chart provides a framework for how many players the Rams might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Seahawks.
Here's a quick look at which Rams players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:
- Projected keepers (3) -- Bulger, Kyle Boller, Keith Null
- Projected to miss cut (1) -- Brock Berlin
- Key issue -- Boller's extensive starting experience makes it easier for the Rams to carry a rookie quarterback on the 53-man roster. Berlin appears determined to tough it out after suffering a sprained MCL. He knows a roster spot is not assured.
- Projected keepers (5) -- Steven Jackson, Mike Karney, Samkon Gado, Kenneth Darby, Antonio Pittman
- Projected to miss cut (2) -- Chris Ogbonnaya, Jerome Johnson
- Key issue -- The Rams' depth behind Jackson has been a question mark. Gado and Pittman looked good in the exhibition opener. Ogbonnaya looks like a candidate for the practice squad.
- Projected keepers (6) -- Avery, Laurent Robinson, Keenan Burton, Derek Stanley, Ronald Curry, Tim Carter
- Projected to miss cut (4) -- Brooks Foster, Sean Walker, Jarrett Byers, Nate Jones
- Key issue -- Avery's broken foot could sideline him through the first week or two of the regular season. Foster is also hurting. Walker has made a positive impression from what I have seen.
- Projected keepers (3) -- Randy McMichael, Daniel Fells, Billy Bajema
- Projected to miss cut (2) -- Joe Klopfenstein, Eric Butler
- Key issue -- This position seems pretty much set. The Klopfenstein experiment appears to be running out of time.
- Projected keepers (9) -- Alex Barron, Jacob Bell, Jason Brown, Richie Incognito, Adam Goldberg, Jason Smith, Mark Setterstrom, John Greco, Roy Schuening
- Projected to miss cut (6) -- Eric Young, Phillip Trautwein, Daniel Sanders, Roger Allen III, Renardo Foster, Tim Mattran
- Key issue -- Teams generally keep nine. Schuening was the first lineman off the bench in the exhibition opener, subbing for an injured Bell at left guard. There was significant room for improvement, coach Steve Spagnuolo indicated. What does that mean? Too early to tell. But Foster could figure into the mix.
- Projected keepers (9) -- Chris Long, Leonard Little, James Hall, Adam Carriker, Hollis Thomas, Clifton Ryan, Darell Scott, Victor Adeyanju, Gary Gibson
- Projected to miss cut (4) -- Ian Campbell, Eric Moore, C.J. Ah You, Antwon Burton
- Key issue -- Gibson started the exhibition opener while Carriker rested an injury.
- Projected keepers (7) -- Will Witherspoon, Chris Draft, James Laurinaitis, Larry Grant, Quinton Culbertson, Chris Chamberlain, David Vobora
- Projected to miss cut (2) -- Dominic Douglas, K.C. Asiodu
- Key issue -- Grant's strong camp makes the Rams feel better about the position. Laurinaitis' quick development is critical.
- Projected keepers (8) -- Ron Bartell, Jonathan Wade, James Butler, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Tye Hill, Justin King, Bradley Fletcher, Todd Johnson
- Projected to miss cut (6) -- David Roach, Marcus Brown, Mark Rubin, Cord Parks, Craig Dahl, Quincy Butler
- Key issue -- Butler has made a push in camp. He also seemed to play well in the exhibition opener. Dahl has also shown some ability. Can either one convince the Rams to keep nine in the secondary?