7 Rams players who improved their stock this preseason

·4 min read

The preseason was a great opportunity for younger, less-proven players to make a name for themselves before final roster cuts are made. For the Rams, several guys improved their stock throughout the three weeks of games, led by wide receiver Lance McCutcheon.

Whether they’re able to make the 53-man roster remains to be seen, but these seven players did everything they could to push for a spot on the team this season.

WR Lance McCutcheon

McCutcheon boosted his stock more than anyone in Los Angeles this preseason – maybe more than any player in football. He led the NFL in receiving yards with 259 in three games, 33 more yards than any other player. He scored two touchdowns, caught 15 passes and was a reliable source of offense every time he was on the field.

It’s hard to imagine he didn’t do enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, even if it’s only as the eighth wide receiver. The undrafted rookie out of Montana State would give the Rams a big target in the red zone, someone who could develop into an eventual contributor down the road.

CB Derion Kendrick

Cobie Durant also had a good showing in the preseason, but Kendrick was a little bit more consistent. He made five tackles, broke up one pass and recovered a fumble, looking comfortable both in coverage and as a tackler in the open field.

Kendrick will probably begin the year as the fifth or sixth cornerback, but he’s in no danger of getting cut after the way he played in the preseason. He looks like a future starter in the NFL if utilized properly in the secondary.

S Russ Yeast

Yeast plays with a ton of energy, especially when coming down in run support. He could probably play under a little bit more control to avoid missing tackles, but that’s something easy to teach. The Rams would probably rather him play too aggressively than not aggressively enough.

It’s still not clear whether Yeast will make the team, but he’s done nothing to suggest he shouldn’t make the cut. The Rams could use a safety like him on defense and on special teams.

DL Jonah Williams

Williams ended the preseason with six tackles, one sack, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble, consistently disrupting opposing offenses. He’s squarely on the roster bubble and in danger of not making the team, but it won’t be because of his play in the preseason.

Williams can line up at multiple spots on the defensive line and contribute both as a run defender and pass rusher. The Rams need depth up front after losing Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Williams helps in that department. I like his chances to make the team.

OLB Keir Thomas

Thomas was the Rams’ highest-graded defender in the preseason finale, recording one sack and three tackles for a loss in the first half alone. He didn’t flash much before Saturday’s game against the Bengals, but he saved his best for last and showed the Rams he’s deserving of a roster spot.

It could come down to Thomas, Chris Garrett and Benton Whitley for one of the final roster spots, but Keir definitely played the best of the bunch this preseason.

QB Bryce Perkins

After playing the entire preseason last year, Perkins played all but one half this preseason. And though he only threw two touchdown passes, he completed 71.4% of his throws, didn’t turn the ball over and rushed for 73 yards with another two touchdowns on the ground.

At the very least, he should be the Rams’ No. 3 quarterback. In a best-case scenario for him, he’ll unseat John Wolford as QB2 – though that’s unlikely to happen. As Sean McVay said after the game, he made a strong case to secure a spot on the 53-man roster, just as he did last year.

LB Jake Hummel

Hummel was a relative unknown going into the summer, and all he did was finish with 22 tackles across three games – a team record for the preseason. Though it’ll still be tough for him to make the 53-man roster, Hummel did everything he could to land a spot on the team.

In addition to his 22 tackles on defense, Hummel also had one tackle for a loss and a one stop on special teams. He should be deserving of a practice squad spot if he doesn’t make the regular-season roster.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire