Rams' post-draft position outlook: RB

May, 26, 2014
5/26/14
3:30
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- With the NFL draft and free agency complete, the St. Louis Rams 53-man roster will likely come mostly from the players already on the team.

With organized team activities (OTAs) still more than a week away, we take a look at where each position stands heading into next week. The second in the series continues by examining the running backs.

Who returns: Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham, Isaiah Pead, Chase Reynolds

Who is new: Tre Mason, Kadeem Jones, Trey Watts

Who is gone: Daryl Richardson

Projected starter: Stacy -- Rams coach Jeff Fisher has said he expects Stacy to be the top option in the run game and claim about 70 percent of the carries with the rest divvied up behind him. Stacy had some big performances as a rookie and came up just short of 1,000 rushing yards even though he didn't become a starter until Week 5.

Pending competition: There is some sorting out to do after Stacy and even Stacy's stranglehold on the bulk of the carries could be a bit more tenuous than it first appears. Although Mason was drafted in a spot that would indicate starter potential, it would be unwise to sleep on Cunningham's potential. The Rams like Cunningham and he's now another year removed from the injury that slowed him at the beginning of the 2013 season. Mason is the favorite to get the first call after Stacy but Cunningham will be heard from before the summer is over. Beyond that, Stacy had issues with nagging injuries in 2013 and if that happens again, Mason or Cunningham could claim an expanded role in his absence. Pead and Reynolds both project to contribute mostly on special teams and the Rams may prefer not to carry two backs who specialize in that area. Pead offers more ability if the offense needs him but Reynolds is the more experienced special-teamer and comes much cheaper.

Outlook: Adding Mason in the third round came as a bit of a surprise but the Rams valued him enough to view him as a potential steal at that point in the draft. Adding Mason should make the Rams' stable of backs that much better and give them more options if Stacy struggles. It appears the trio of Stacy, Mason and Cunningham are set to hold their jobs for the foreseeable future while Pead and Reynolds battle for one spot though the Rams could keep both if they choose. Undrafted rookies Jones and Watts have an uphill climb to make it though they could theoretically win over special-teams coach John Fassel to fill a role projected for Pead or Reynolds.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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