Rams 53-man roster projection ahead of OTAs

The Los Angeles Rams have a completely new look compared to last season. It looks nothing like the team that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, either. The front office is in rebuild mode right now, getting in better financial shape after a rough 2022 season, hopefully getting back in position to compete for a championship in a year or two.

The Rams don’t have to trim their roster to 53 players until September but with the draft and most of their free-agent work behind them, we can begin to project which players will be on the team for Week 1.

Here’s our initial 53-man projection with OTAs starting next week.

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Note: (*) denotes a rookie

Quarterback (2)

  1. Matthew Stafford

  2. Stetson Bennett*

As long as Bennett is the player the Rams expect him to be, it’s unlikely they’ll carry more than two quarterbacks. They no longer have to protect Bryce Perkins from being poached off the practice squad, which they did last season by keeping him on the 53-man roster. So they should be good with just Stafford and Bennett on the depth chart at quarterback. Dresser Winn and Brett Rypien will be candidates for the practice squad.

Running back (4)

  1. Cam Akers

  2. Kyren Williams

  3. Zach Evans*

  4. Tiyon Evans

The top three should be locked in, and the Rams could opt to only keep three running backs on the final roster. But if they go with four, it’ll come down to Tiyon Evans and Ronnie Rivers. Evans is a smaller running back who can also contribute as a receiver, and though he’s not the fastest back, he does have enough athleticism to make it in the NFL. Four running backs is plenty, with the assumption that at least one will land on the practice squad.


Wide receiver (6)

  1. Cooper Kupp

  2. Van Jefferson

  3. Ben Skowronek

  4. Tutu Atwell

  5. Puka Nacua*

  6. Lance McCutcheon

The Rams are going to keep at least five receivers, and in all likelihood, they’ll keep a sixth on the 53-man roster, too. That could come down to McCutcheon and a host of undrafted rookies, including Xavier Smith, Tyler Hudson and Braxton Burmeister.

McCutcheon already has a year of experience in the Rams’ system and showed plenty of potential last offseason when he stood out in training camp and the preseason. The No. 3 spot behind Kupp and Jefferson will come down to Skowronek, Atwell and Nacua, all of whom should play significant snaps this season.


Tight end (4)

  1. Tyler Higbee

  2. Brycen Hopkins

  3. Hunter Long

  4. Davis Allen*

Not much to sort through here. Unless Higbee is a post-June 1 cut for the Rams, this is what their tight end room will most likely look like in 2023. Hopkins is a good option as the No. 2 tight end, followed by the newcomer Long – the player acquired in the Jalen Ramsey trade. Allen should make the team as a rookie, bringing some upside to the tight end room with his wide catch radius and strong hands.

Offensive tackle (4)

  1. Rob Havenstein

  2. Joe Noteboom

  3. Alaric Jackson

  4. Warren McClendon Jr.*

Another position that doesn’t face many questions is offensive tackle. Havenstein and either Noteboom or Jackson will be the starting tackles, depending on which of the two wins the starting job opposite Havenstein. Noteboom, Jackson and McClendon could all fill in at guard in a pinch, too, which gives this group some valuable versatility along the offensive line. It’s possible that the loser of the Noteboom-Jackson battle at left tackle will compete for a starting spot at guard.


Center/Guard (5)

  1. Brian Allen

  2. Logan Bruss

  3. Steve Avila*

  4. Coleman Shelton

  5. Tremayne Anchrum

Avila is the only newcomer in this group, though Bruss can also be treated as a rookie after missing the entire 2022 season with a torn ACL. Avila and Bruss should be considered the favorites to start at guard, though Shelton and Anchrum will give them plenty of competition, as could either Jackson or Noteboom. The Rams have enough depth and talent at center and guard, it’s just a matter of finding the best possible combination on the interior.

Defensive line (6)

  1. Aaron Donald

  2. Bobby Brown III

  3. Marquise Copeland

  4. Earnest Brown IV

  5. Kobie Turner*

  6. Jonah Williams


It’s along the defensive line that we find our first drafted rookie who doesn’t make the team in this projection. Desjuan Johnson is left off this 53-man roster projection, getting beat out by Earnest Brown IV, Turner and Williams. There’s a lot still to be sorted out on the defensive line, which is now missing Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson, so there’s room for Johnson or one of the undrafted rookies to sneak onto the regular-season roster initially.

Outside linebacker (6)

  1. Michael Hoecht

  2. Byron Young*

  3. Daniel Hardy

  4. Nick Hampton*

  5. Ochaun Mathis*

  6. Keir Thomas

Talk about an inexperienced group of edge rushers. Hoecht is the only one of the six with a single sack in the NFL, but even he hasn’t been a full-time starter for an entire season yet. Young and Hampton should get a shot to contribute early, while Hardy is a candidate to take that second-year leap at outside linebacker. Mathis and Thomas will be the ones battling for two of the final roster spots, trying to hold off the likes of Zach VanValkenburg.


Inside linebacker (3)

  1. Ernest Jones

  2. Christian Rozeboom

  3. Jake Hummel

Jones is taking over as the top inside linebacker this year following the release of Bobby Wagner, and in this projection, he only has two backups behind him: Rozeboom and Hummel, both inexperienced when it comes to playing in the NFL. If Jones can stay healthy, the Rams really won’t need more than two linebackers, but it’ll be necessary to have three on the team just in case.

Cornerback (5)

  1. Cobie Durant

  2. Derion Kendrick

  3. Robert Rochell

  4. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson*

  5. Shaun Jolly

Like the edge rushers, the cornerback group is terribly inexperienced. There isn’t a proven veteran on the roster right now and unless the Rams sign one in free agency, this is probably the most experienced group they can roll with in Week 1. Durant, Kendrick and Rochell will probably be the starters initially but Hodges-Tomlinson has a lot of potential and could emerge as the best option in the nickel role.


Safety (5)

  1. Jordan Fuller

  2. Russ Yeast

  3. Quentin Lake

  4. Jason Taylor II*

  5. Quindell Johnson*

Fuller is really the only lock in this group, being the most experienced safety on the team. Other than that, it’s going to be a wide-open competition in camp and the preseason. Yeast and Lake should both make the 53-man roster as second-year players, too, while Taylor offers upside as a seventh-round pick; he can play deep or in the slot. Johnson is an undrafted rookie with good position versatility and instincts, making him an intriguing safety for Los Angeles.

Special teams (3)

  1. K Christopher Dunn*

  2. P Ethan Evans*

  3. LS Alex Ward*


As of now, the Rams have two kickers, one punter and one long snapper on the roster. So, we can’t project anyone other than Evans and Ward to make the team at punter and long snapper, but we’ll go with Dunn over Tanner Brown at kicker, another undrafted rookie. It’s truly a toss-up right now until they get into camp and the preseason, though.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire