Former Rams rank among NFL's top backup quarterbacks

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams went through a dramatic makeover in their quarterback room during the offseason. In Nick Foles, they have a new starter, and they also project to have a competition for the backup job.

It's a competition that figured to come down to a battle between incumbent Austin Davis and Case Keenum, with rookie Sean Mannion likely to stick as the third quarterback while he develops.

On Monday, ESPN senior NFL writer John Clayton ranked the top 10 backup quarterbacks in the league. The list didn't include Davis, Keenum or Mannion, but it wasn't short on former Rams quarterbacks.

Topping the list was Jets backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was an original seventh-round choice of the Rams in 2005. Of more recent vintage, Minnesota's Shaun Hill, who was the Rams' primary No. 2 last year, checked in at No. 7 and Kellen Clemens, who was the top backup for the Rams in 2013, appeared at No. 10.

The Rams allowed both Hill and Clemens to depart in free agency after they replaced and started for Sam Bradford in the past two seasons. Clemens went 4-5 in Bradford's place in 2013 and Hill was 3-5 in Bradford's stead last year.

While nobody would argue that the loss of Hill and Clemens was a huge blow to the Rams, they did prove to be at least capable backups. The problem with both came when they were asked to carry the load as starters. But so long as they remain in backup roles, both players are solid locker room presences with enough ability to win a few games when pressed into action.


A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we looked at Grantland's Bill Barnwell's piece on running back Tre Mason's dropping value. ... We then took a look at guard Evan Mathis' potential fit with the Rams and why it probably won't happen. ... Safety Rodney McLeod has become a valuable piece of the Rams defense and wants to keep it that way. ... Rams coach Jeff Fisher is fine with the extra point rule changes. ... Center Barrett Jones says he's the healthiest he has been since arriving in the NFL.


Former Rams defensive end Michael Sam's career has taken another turn as he left the Montreal Alouettes.

The Minnesota Vikings' new stadium naming rights sold for $220 million over 25 years for those keeping tabs on what a new stadium for the Rams might get.

Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington's probation was reduced.

At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker gives Rams fans in St. Louis six reasons the team could stay.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that the Rams have partnered with a new company to educate players on thinking before tweeting.