Los Angeles Rams July Scouting Report
Let’s go camping! Rams training camp opens this week and HC Sean McVay will have his team working to improve on everything they installed in the off-season. Not much has happened since the team broke mini-camp, including a new contract for DT Aaron Donald, but more importantly, the players are healthy and ready to go. Let’s take a look at the current Fantasy positions heading into training camp.
QB: QB Jared Goff remains the focal point of hope or skepticism (depending on who you talk to) for a successful season. Everyone from the organization has given Jared positive reviews but that is what they are supposed to do. We will see when the games start how much he has improved. QB Sean Mannion is the number two quarterback and according to Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson should be given an opportunity to start. It would take an injury or major flop from Goff for that to happen so hopefully it doesn’t. The Rams recently signed QB Dan Orlovsky to bring veteran presence and another arm to training camp. If Goff takes off in this new offense he could possibly be a low end QB2 but for now he is nothing more than a QB3.
RB: RB Todd Gurley is looking to bounce back and appears to have confidence in the new offense. Gurley has been donating his off time to partake in several football camps/clinics and other public services as he becomes a positive role model for youth in Los Angeles as well as his hometown of Tarboro North Carolina. Todd has the potential to be a solid RB1 and could be a draft value if your other Fantasy Owners neglect him. The other backs on the training camp roster RB Lance Dunbar, RB Malcom Brown, RB Aaron Green, and rookies RB Justin Davis and RB Lenard Tillery need to fight to make the team and none have much fantasy value.
WR: With an unproven receiving corps and so many players on the roster, there will be plenty of competition during camp. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, WR Tavon Austin, WR Robert Woods, and rookies WR Cooper Kupp and WR Josh Reynolds are the only locks for the 53-man roster. Second year players WR Pharoh Cooper, WR Mike Thomas, WR Nelson Spruce, and WR Paul McRoberts along with long shot undrafted rookie free agents WR Brandon Shippen and WR Shakeir Ryan will battle for roster spots. For now, the top Ram receiver is to be determined and when that player is identified, he might only be a low end WR2 but more likely a WR3 for your Fantasy team.
TE: Rookie TE Gerald Everett and second year TE Tyler Higbee should compete for the starting spot and whoever wins that battle could have sleeper potential in McVay’s offense. TE Temarrick Hemingway and TE Cory Harkey are also on the roster but neither has much fantasy value.
K: PK Greg Zuerlein is set as the starter and should have a good season.
DEF: The defense has potential to be a top ten unit but the Rams need to get DT Aaron Donald’s contract situation settled as soon as possible. LB Robert Quinn needs to bounce back from two injury shortened seasons as he learns a new position. LB Alec Ogletree should continue to lead the team in tackles and is also in line for a big raise. CB Trumaine Johnson will play under the franchise tag for the second season in a row as he and the Rams could not agree on an extension. I think that is a smart move by the team as Johnson is good but not nearly as important as Donald and Ogletree. My favorite pick of the 2017 draft was LB Samson Ebukam and I am anxious to see him play. Once Donald has a new contract, this defense can become dominant under DC Wade Phillips.
This time of year always brings optimism for most NFL teams, especially with a new coach. Rams fans like me have cautious confidence that McVay and his staff can get this team on the right track. At the very least, I expect this team to be more exciting and produce better offensive numbers than the previous regime. Next month’s report will cover the start of preseason so hope to see you then. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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