Sean McVay: Handful of Rams rookies will have ‘legitimate chances’ to start Week 1
The Rams will have a large quantity of rookies on their roster this offseason, all of whom will be fighting for a roster spot. Obviously, some will have a much better chance to make the team than others – Steve Avila, for instance, is a near-lock – but the Rams will give each rookie an opportunity to prove themselves this summer.
Looking at the Rams’ 14 drafted rookies, Sean McVay sees at least a handful who could be starters right away. They’ll still need to earn that job, but it’s good to see some confidence from the head coach in his rookies.
“We got a lot better in terms of the depth of our football team,” McVay said Saturday. “Now how these guys come in and earn their opportunities, what that looks like, but there’s a handful of these guys that are going to come in and have legitimate chances to be starters on opening day, but that’s all going to be earned.”
The obvious candidate to start in Week 1 is Avila. He was the team’s top pick and they have openings at both guard spots. Again, he won’t be handed a starting job, but he has the talent to beat out Logan Bruss, Coleman Shelton and Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
Byron Young, the edge rusher out of Tennessee, will get a chance to start early on, too. Same with potentially Nick Hampton. And if Clemson tight end Davis Allen can develop quickly, he can become the No. 2 tight end behind Tyler Higbee.
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson might’ve been a sixth-round pick, but given the Rams’ needs at cornerback, he also has a relatively clear path to playing time in the secondary.
As exciting as the Rams’ rookies are, their second-year players will be competing for starting jobs, too. Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, Daniel Hardy, Bruss, Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake will all be vying for more playing time, which McVay is looking forward to.
“We’ve got some guys that are in-house that we expect to take steps in the right direction, especially a handful of those guys that are going into their second year that got their feet a little bit wet as a result of the amount of injuries,” he said. “And so when you look at it from a positive lens, I think that’ll be a good thing, but we’re a much more competitive football team by the nature of these 14 players.”
More Latest Rams news!
Puka Nacua’s journey to the NFL took an unexpected turn that led him back home
Where each of the Rams' draft picks ranked on pre-draft big boards
Rams see some 'special traits' in rookie RB Zach Evans