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Rams' post-draft position outlook: DE

5/27/2014

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 who now populate it.

With organized team activities (OTAs) less than a week away, we take a look at where each position stands heading into next week. The next in the series continues today by examining the defensive ends.

Who returns: Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Eugene Sims, William Hayes, Sammy Brown

Who is new: Michael Sam

Who is gone: None

Projected starters: Quinn, Long

Pending competition: There's really not a whole lot to see here in the way of competition. Long, Quinn and Hayes are locked in and Sims probably is, too. The battle, if there is one, will come down to a possible fifth spot for a defensive end but even that is no guarantee. The Rams could go heavy on defensive linemen as they have in the past, but it could be a tackle as easily as an end. If it is an end, the battle between Brown and Sam will likely be a matter of which one can provide more help as a core special teams player.

Outlook: From top to bottom, this is the position where the Rams have the most talent. Quinn is an emerging superstar and Long provides an ideal complement. Hayes and Sims are talented, versatile pieces who excel against the run and provide a stout presence behind the starters. With the Rams adding more pieces inside at tackle during the offseason, Hayes and Sims won't have to move inside as much, which should make them more productive on the edge and lessen the burden on Quinn and Long a bit. The Rams will have to pay up for Quinn eventually but have him under control for at least the next two years. Long, Hayes and Sims are also under team control through at least 2015.