The Los Angeles Rams wrapped up their preseason on Saturday evening against the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Rams fell short, they escaped the preseason as healthy as they could have hoped. In the preseason, that’s all that matters. All prep will now be on the Buffalo Bills for the season opener.
The coaching staff will now have some difficult decisions to make when it comes to the initial 53-man roster. Here’s a quick stock up, stock down look at the Rams roster after the loss to the Bengals.
Stock Up: EDGE Keir Thomas
Keir Thomas made a strong final push for the Rams roster. Throughout the entire first half, Thomas stood out and was making plays. In the first half alone, Thomas had a sack, a quarterback hit, and three tackles for loss. Thomas’ sack came with the Bengals in the red zone and helped the defense force a field goal.
Making the 53-man roster won’t be easy. Thomas could benefit from Daniel Hardy starting the season on IR. He leads the Rams defense in quarterback pressures this preseason. At the very least, Thomas showed why he deserves a long look after Saturday night’s performance.
Stock Down: Running Back Depth
Kyren Williams suited up for Saturday night, but he didn’t play. Had he not gotten hurt this offseason, he may have seen some time in the preseason. That left the running back duties to Jake Funk and Trey Ragas.
Funk will probably make the roster, but he didn’t help his case against the Bengals if he was on the bubble. He had 12 carries for just 32 yards and had a fumble in the red zone. The fumble cost the offense points that could have made a difference in what was a pretty close game.
Ragas also had a fumble when the offense was driving, although not in the red zone. Ragas had 11 carries for 52 yards. However, if Ragas was being considered for the roster, the fumble certainly didn’t do him any favors.
With the injury history of Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson added to Kyren Williams’ injury this offseason, there are questions surrounding the Rams top three running backs. Right now, there wouldn’t be a lot of faith in the guys behind them to be able to carry the load.
Stock Up: WR Lance McCutcheon
It wouldn’t be a stock up, stock down list without Lance McCutcheon. The Montana State wide receiver continues to impress. He had a nice catch along the left sideline that led to the Rams only touchdown. For the third straight game, he also led the Rams in receiving with five catches for 76 yards.
However, it wasn’t necessarily what happened on the field that made McCutcheon’s stock rise. On the TV broadcast, Rams general manager Les Snead seemed to give the wide receiver his stamp of approval.
#Rams GM Les Snead to the TV broadcast on Lance McCutcheon’s chances of making the 53-man roster: “Lance is doing his part to make it easy. … Sean likes his receivers, so it’s OK to have as many as possible.”
— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) August 27, 2022
At this point, McCutcheon seems like a lock to make the 53-man roster. With how deep the Rams receiving room was and coming in as an undrafted free agent, to make the roster would be quite the accomplishment. In three games, McCuthceon had 15 catches for 259 yards.
Stock Down: CB Cobie Durant
It wasn’t a great night overall for the secondary. Brandon Allen and Jake Browning combined for 30-for-39 for 303 yards and a touchdown. Duron Lowe dropped an interception as well.
However Cobie Durant had some moments that he’d like to forget and will certainly learn from. Durant allowed two long catches and also missed a tackle. After having two strong performances to start the preseason, Saturday came as a bit of a surprise. It’s worth noting that Durant was in coverage at the end of the half that denied a touchdown.
The cornerback depth chart will be something to keep an eye on. Durant may contribute as a rookie, but Derion Kendrick is someone who has been consistent throughout the preseason and had a Jalen Ramsey-esque hit in the second half.
Stock Up: LB Jake Hummel
Jake Hummel continued to put out impressive tape in the preseason on Saturday against the Bengals. Additionally, Hummel broke the preseason tackle record of 21 with his six tackles in the finale.
Stat I didn’t know: McVay says preseason tackle record was 21, which ILB Jake Hummel broke tonight with his six stops (one for loss).
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 28, 2022
McCutcheon has been stealing the spotlight for the Rams’ undrafted free agents. However, Hummel has stood out as well. His spot on the 53-man roster is going to be one worth monitoring.
With Christian Rozeboom not playing this preseason, it’s assumed that he’s made the roster. Ahead of Rozeboom are Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones. If the Rams keep four linebackers, Hummel will certainly make it. The hard part is going to be making the numbers work in other positions.