Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The road to 53, 8/31

The road to 53 necessarily takes its route through the road to 80. Now that the Rams have completed their first round of roster cuts, it's time to guess again how their roster may shape up when it's been trimmed down to its final size:

QB (2): no change. Bradford and Feeley to main roster, Lewis to PS (1).

RB (4): no change. Jackson, Cadillac, Norwood and Britt Miller to main roster. Keith Toston picked a hell of a bad time to get injured.
PRACTICE SQUAD: BEN GUIDUGLI (2). Rams need to make this happen. If not for my irrational Guidugli fandom, then because they could stand to stash some depth at FB/TE, especially as well as he's played.

TE (3): Kendricks, Ohihurtmyknee, and Onobun to the main roster. I believe Billy Bajema's a cut now. On one hand, you could keep him as insurance against the perpetually injured Ohihurtmyknee; on the other, Miller could probably step in at blocking TE if needed.

OL (8): no change. Saffold, Bell, Jason Brown, Harvey Dahl, Smith, Goldberg, Foster and Ojinnaka to the main roster. Steve Spagnuolo is pretty insistent about only wanting to keep eight. Hank Fraley better have a monster game in Jacksonville, while Drew Miller's ill-timed injury seems to have done him in.
PS: Ryan McKee (3), Kevin Hughes (4). I don't think Miller is eligible for PS any more. I also bumped Randall Hunt for Hughes, figuring a tackle is more valuable than a guard. Sorry, all you guards out there.

Specialists (3): Donnie Jones, Josh Brown, Jake McQuaide. Dibs on "Jake McQuaide" as the name of the main character if I ever write a noire '50s detective novel.

DL (9): Long, Hall, Quinn, Sims, Selvie at DE; Robbins, Bannan, Muir, Gary Gibson at DT. Gibson's been ahead of Darell Dorell Scott on the depth chart the whole time they've both been on the team. Selvie's winning DE5 51%-49% over C.J. Ah You right now, since I assume he's cheaper, and I've never considered Ah You a good run defender.
PS: Damario Ambrose (5). A mild upset, but he's a prototype Spagnuolo DE.

LB (7): Laurinaitis, Poppinga, Leber, Kehl, Chamberlain, Jabara Williams, Josh Hull. Kehl impressed me last week in Kansas City, plus they like him on special teams. Zach Diles has had a mighty struggle up the depth chart, and right now, Hull is their best backup to Laurinaitis, whose pectoreal injury is worth insuring. Disappointing as it is for me to call it, I think Diles is more of a miss now than a hit.

DB (10): CB: Bartell, Fletcher, Al Harris, Justin King, Jerome Murphy.
S: Mikell, Stewart, Craig Dahl, Jermale Hines, Jonathan Nelson.
My mind still very subject to change on these. DBs picked up roster spots I originally had at TE and DL. I've seen the point, a good one, made frequently that Murphy doesn't need to be IR'ed, that he's due to come back the Rams' bye week. Tim Atchison could still win a job in Jacksonville imo, but he had some bad moments in Kansas City, so I put Justin King back in. Rookie safeties Hines and Nelson replace James Butler. There's really little point having him on the roster blocking players on the way up.
Practice squad: Atchison (6), Marquis Johnson (7). Note: I have little understanding whatsoever of the practice squad eligibility rules; Johnson may not be eligible. Mike Sando had a post regarding PS eligibility last year but I haven't seen this year's version.

And for the big finish:
WR (7): Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Sims-Walker, Salas, Pettis, Avery, Curry.
Danario Alexander is definitely on the outside looking in after a one-catch, three-yard game in Kansas City, and, his knees. Curry, imo, is a better pick to be an impact special teams player than Mardy Gilyard, so I'll continue to leave Gilyard out. It certainly is a close call, though.
PS: Greg Mathews (8).

Obviously tomorrow night's game can make a big difference for several or more players. Sam Bradford will be in flip-flops by the second quarter, but the game will still merit watching.


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