With the season opener just over a week away, the Los Angeles Rams set their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday. It’s bound to change before Week 1 against the Seahawks, but we have a good sense of what the team will look like this season.
When comparing last year’s initial 53-man roster to this year’s, there are a lot of changes. Only 25 players from last year’s roster made the team again this season, meaning there are 28 new faces – more than half the roster.
There are also 15 total rookies on the 2023 roster, 14 of whom were drafted by the Rams in April.
Here’s a position-by-position comparison of the 2022 and 2023 rosters set by the Rams after final cuts.
Returning: Matthew Stafford
Newcomer: Stetson Bennett
Stafford is back as the starter but the rest of the quarterback group has changed. Not only did the Rams move on from Wolford and Perkins, but they only kept two quarterbacks on the roster this year.
Darrell Henderson Jr.
Returning: Cam Akers, Kyren Williams
Newcomer: Zach Evans, Ronnie Rivers
Evans and Rivers will back up Akers and Williams, who are both expected to be big parts of the Rams offense. It’s not the most proven group on the team, but Akers and Williams make for a good one-two punch.
Returning: Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell
Newcomer: Puka Nacua, Demarcus Robinson
There’s a good amount of turnover in this group. Robinson, Powell and McCutcheon are all gone, while Nacua and Robinson round out the wide receivers alongside the four returning veterans.
Returning: Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins
Newcomer: Davis Allen, Hunter Long
It’s easy to forget the Rams only kept two tight ends last year. They’ll carry four into this season after drafting Allen and acquiring Long in a trade, but things could change if an injury occurs or the backups struggle
Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
Warren McClendon Jr.
Returning: Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Alaric Jackson
Newcomer: Warren McClendon Jr., Steve Avila, Kevin Dotson, Zach Thomas
While there are six players who are returning from last year, there are also four new faces, including two rookies. The starting lineup is going to look very different than last year, too. Only Shelton and Havenstein will be back as Week 1 starters, alongside Avila, Jackson and Anchrum.
Earnest Brown IV
Returning: Aaron Donald, Jonah Williams
Newcomer: Bobby Brown III (suspended in 2022), Earnest Brown IV, Kobie Turner, Desjuan Johnson, Larrell Murchison
Bobby Brown was on the 53-man roster eventually last year but only after serving his suspension, so he wasn’t on it initially. That leaves Donald and Williams as the only returning players on the defensive line. This starting lineup is going to look very different than last year, too.
Returning: Ernest Jones, Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel
No new additions were made at inside linebacker and Wagner is now gone, which means the three returning players all move up one spot on the depth chart. Jones will be the primary starter, with Rozeboom mixing in as a backup and No. 2 linebacker in base packages.
Returning: Michael Hoecht
Newcomer: Byron Young, Nick Hampton, Zach VanValkenburg, Ochaun Mathis
Hoecht wasn’t on the outside linebacker depth chart early last year because he only moved there late in the season. But if you don’t include him, the Rams don’t have a single edge rusher from the start of last year who is still with the team.
Returning: Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick
Newcomer: Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Tomlinson, Shaun Jolly
The fact that Durant and Kendrick are the only returning cornerbacks from last year, which goes to show how much turnover there’s been at this position. Durant, Witherspoon and Kendrick figure to be the three starters, with Tomlinson potentially mixing in as a sub-package player.
Jason Taylor II
Returning: Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast
Newcomer: Quentin Lake (injured in 2022), John Johnson III, Jason Taylor II
While Fuller and Yeast are returning, neither of them played very much last season. So essentially, this position group will have all new starters and backups because of injuries and a lack of playing time in 2022.
Newcomer: Ethan Evans, Alex Ward
The Rams don’t have a kicker and their punter and long snapper are both rookies, so there isn’t a single similarity between last year and this season. Los Angeles will need to add a kicker soon before Week 1 approaches.