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More than 500 players across the NFL were cut this week as teams trimmed their rosters down to the league limit of 53 players. The Rams were forced to waive a lot of good players, but there are plenty of talented guys who were cut by other teams that might interest Los Angeles, too.
The Rams should consider claiming or signing these 11 players to help round out their 53-man roster before Week 1.
DB Myles Bryant, Patriots
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Bryant was a surprise cut by the Patriots, being in just his second NFL season. He played nine games for them last season and even had an interception against the Rams. The Patriots are talented in the secondary, but Bryant can play, even if he is just 5-foot-8. The Rams met with him before the 2020 NFL draft, too, so they were at least somewhat interested in the Washington DB last year. He’d be a nice addition to the secondary and a candidate to contribute in the slot.
LB Benardrick McKinney, Dolphins
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
McKinney was traded by the Texans to the Dolphins this offseason, but he didn’t make Miami’s roster. He was limited to four games last season, making 37 tackles with one pass defensed and a tackle for a loss in that brief action. He’s not someone the Rams should count on to be their primary starting linebacker, but he’s a proven player with 77 career starts – more than the Rams’ entire linebacker group combined.
CB Mike Ford, Lions
Ford is entering his fourth NFL season and has 31 games played under his belt, seven of which were starts. He hasn’t been great in coverage, allowing 40 receptions on 55 targets in his career, according to Pro Football Focus, but he has good speed to go with a solid frame (6 feet, 194 pounds). The Rams have talent at cornerback, but Ford is a promising young player who could add depth to that room.
OLB Curtis Weaver, Browns
(AP Photo/David Dermer)
The Rams will once again have a shot at Weaver. They attempted to claim the former Boise State edge rusher last August after he was cut by the Dolphins, but the Browns were awarded him off waivers. He never played last season, spending the year on injured reserve, but if he’s healthy now, the Rams might be interested again. He was a fifth-round pick in 2020 and is a Long Beach native. Bringing him back home to Southern California wouldn’t be a bad idea.
C Michael Menet, Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
With Rodney Hudson entrenched as the starter, the Cardinals didn’t need to hold onto Menet, who was a seventh-round pick this year. Menet looked like he might’ve been a late-round target for the Rams, but the Penn State product landed in Arizona instead. He needs work in his technique and isn’t the best athlete, but he’s got good size at 6-foot-4 and was a three-year starter in college.
CB Jimmy Moreland, Washington
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Moreland being cut by Washington was a fairly big surprise after he played 30 games and made 10 starts the last two seasons. He can play nickel or outside corner, similar to the way Troy Hill did last season. He isn’t a great tackler and has allowed a completion rate of 75.7 rate in coverage the last two years, but at just 26 years old, Moreland still has time to improve. The Rams should certainly consider claiming him to add depth in their secondary, which is admittedly already loaded.
WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Washington
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Gandy-Golden has the athleticism and size to succeed in the NFL, but he dealt with injuries as a rookie that kept him out of 10 games last season. He’s 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds with a wide catch radius and good length, which are traits the Rams could use on their roster despite being deep at receiver already. Gandy-Golden has the potential to be a deep threat in the NFL, and even though the Rams have two of those in DeSean Jackson and Tutu Atwell, neither has the size of Gandy-Golden. It’s highly likely he’ll be claimed off the waiver wire by a team seeking help at wideout. He was a fourth-round pick just last year.
WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Packers
St. Brown had chances in Green Bay, starting eight games in three seasons, but he never truly carved out a role for himself. He dropped two of his 13 targets last season and hasn’t been productive despite having potential as a downfield threat. Like Gandy-Golden, St. Brown has good size and speed, standing 6-foot-5 and running a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash three years ago. He offers a blend at wide receiver that the Rams don’t currently have, which could earn him a look from Los Angeles on the waiver wire.
CB Isaiah Johnson, Raiders
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
This isn't the same Isaiah Johnson who was with the Rams a few years ago, but rather a 2019 fourth-round pick who was a favorite of draft analysts coming out of Houston. He's 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, making him a bigger cornerback who fits well on the outside. The Rams aren't desperate for help in the secondary, but Johnson has been decent when given opportunities. He has five passes defensed on just 23 total targets in two seasons, allowing only 14 catches.
WR Dazz Newsome, Bears
The Rams probably have their return specialist in Tutu Atwell, but Newsome could be another option if they don’t want to risk injury to their top draft pick. Newsome has experience in the return game and plenty of juice in the open field, which makes him an intriguing player on special teams. The Rams met with him before the draft this year, too, so the interest should be there.
RB Ito Smith, Vikings
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The Rams don’t have a clear candidate to return kickoffs right now and they could also use some depth at running back after only keeping three on the roster. Smith is a decent receiver and has return ability, making him a nice fit with the Rams. He’d slot behind Jake Funk as the No. 4 back, adding insurance in case of injury and another option on kick returns. Last season, he rushed for 268 yards on Raheem Morris’ Falcons, carrying it 63 times.