Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart: Does Matthew Stafford make them a title contender?

Following an intriguing NFL offseason, there are several questions to be answered on the Los Angeles Rams’ depth chart. Which players are locked in to start, and who is fighting for a starting spot or a roster spot in the coming weeks?

Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart

How does the Rams’ depth chart shape up ahead of training camp?

Offense

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, Devlin Hodges, Bryce Perkins

Running Back: Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, Raymond Calais, Otis Anderson

Wide Receiver: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Nsimba Webster, Trishton Jackson, Ben Skowronek, J.J. Koski, Landon Akers, Jeremiah Haydel

Tight End: Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins, Jacob Harris, Kendall Blanton

Offensive Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans, Alaric Jackson, Tremayne Anchrum, Max Pircher

Offensive Guard: David Edwards, Austin Corbett, Joe Noteboom, Jamil Demby, Coleman Shelton, Chandler Brewer, Jordan Meredith

Center: Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Steven Wirtel

Defense

Nose Tackle: Sebastian Joseph-Day, Bobby Brown III, Greg Gaines, Marquise Copeland

Interior Defensive Line: Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Hoecht, Jonah Williams, Earnest Brown IV, Eric Banks, George Silvanic

Outside Linebacker: Leonard Floyd, Terrell Lewis, Justin Hollins, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Chris Garrett, Justin Lawler, John Daka, Maximillian Roberts

Inside Linebacker: Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, Troy Reeder, Ernest Jones, Travin Howard, Christian Rozeboom

Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long, Dont’e Deayon, Robert Rochell, Brontae Harris, Dayan Lake

Safety: Taylor Rapp, Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Nick Scott, JuJu Hughes, J.R. Reed, Paris Ford, Jake Gervase, Jovan Grant, Troy Warner, Kareem Orr

Special Teams

Kicker: Matt Gay

Punter: Johnny Hekker

Long Snapper: Kendall Blanton

Rams Depth Chart Analysis | Offense

With a clear upgrade at quarterback, what is the shape of the Rams’ depth chart when it comes to their offense?

Quarterbacks

In terms of offseason moves in the 2021 offseason, acquiring Matthew Stafford via trade from the Lions might be the most significant change in the entire NFL. While productive, the Rams felt they needed an upgrade over Jared Goff and to get out of the mistake that was his contract.

Stafford has a top-three arm in the NFL. Yet, he’s never received the respect he deserves due to playing in Detroit. Now leading the powerful Rams depth chart, all eyes are on him in 2021.

Through 12 NFL campaigns, the 33-year-old signal-caller has surpassed 4,000 yards eight times but only thrown for 30+ touchdowns on two occasions. Expect him to exceed the 30-TD total under Sean McVay fairly easily.

Running Backs

The injury to Cam Akers has thrown the Rams running back depth chart into chaos for 2021. Darrell Henderson stands as the main remaining piece from 2020. However, the depth behind him leaves a lot to be desired. It would not be a surprise to see the Rams add a veteran free agent quickly following the Akers news.

Xavier Jones saw his workload limited to special teams last year, playing on 177 special-teams snaps in 13 games. He is expected to compete with rookie addition Jake Funk for the third back on the Rams’ depth chart. Funk ended his college career with 1,102 total yards and 13 touchdowns on 158 touches.

Wide Receivers

After seeing 129 targets in 2020, Robert Woods continues to be a target monster for the Rams. He converted those copious targets into 90 receptions, 936 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He also set a career-high with a pair of rushing touchdowns on 16 carries for 155 yards. 

Although he led the Rams’ depth chart in receptions and yards, Cooper Kupp saw a dip in production from the year prior when he posted a stat line of 94 receptions, 1,161 yards, and 10 touchdowns. In 2020, Kupp recorded 92 receptions on 124 targets for 974 yards and 3 touchdowns. On any given week, both Kupp and Woods can take over the game. You just never know which one it is going to be.

It’s hard to find any downside in the signing of DeSean Jackson. Bringing in a veteran like Jackson to the Rams’ depth chart is a low-risk move that could have massive dividends given his skill set. Even at 34, Jackson is a big-play threat so long as his body holds up. But that also is the problem and what prompted his release from the Philadelphia Eagles, as Jackson played in only eight games over the last two seasons.

The signing of Jackson could once again leave Van Jefferson on the outside looking in to start the season. Jefferson had 31 targets as a rookie while playing on 23 percent of the offensive snaps. However, he will see significant competition from the Rams’ second-round selection Tutu Atwell. In 139 career receptions, Atwell finished with 2,303 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee could not match the high expectations he set for himself after his blowup 2019 campaign. In his fifth year, Higbee finished the 2020 regular season with 44 receptions for 521 yards and 5 touchdowns in 15 games. Much of his lack of success can be attributed to Gerald Everett setting career-high totals in receptions, receiving yards, and offensive snaps. Now that Everett is with the divisional rival Seattle Seahawks, Higbee could shine again in 2021.

Serving as primarily a blocking tight end, Johnny Mundt re-signed with the Rams during the offseason to a one-year deal. He caught all 4 of his targets for 53 yards in 2020.

Brycen Hopkins will be a hot name to keep an eye on as the season gets going. Hopkins is an athletic tight end who has legitimate receiving skills over the middle of the field. 

The addition of Jacob Harris in the fourth round was somewhat of a surprise. Harris had 8 touchdowns and 539 receiving yards in his final college season. He mostly played receiver in college but is viewed as a potential tight end candidate in the NFL. He could be an intriguing receiving weapon for the Rams if he has a strong camp.

Offensive Tackle

One of the NFL’s eldest statesmen, Andrew Whitworth just keeps on trucking. Even at his age, he is still the best performing offensive lineman on the Rams’ depth chart. Whitworth even managed to somehow start in the team’s Wild Card game despite suffering a torn MCL and damaging his PCL in Week 10. 

Starting on the opposite side of Whitworth is Rob Havenstein. This almost didn’t happen, however, as the Rams made him available to trade and could have been a roster cut due to the Rams’ fiscal constraints. Since his selection in 2015, Havenstein has started all 84 games he’s been available and played on 100% of the offensive snaps last season.

Bobby Evans will resume his role as the primary backup for the Rams at tackle. Taken in the third round in 2019, Evans played 472 snaps in his rookie season while filling in for Whitworth but saw action on only one snap last year.

While unlikely to see the field much other than in injury relief, a four-year starter at Iowa, Alaric Jackson is a candidate to make a strong impression at Rams training camp. Jackson could put himself in a position to take over from Whitworth if he retires following the 2021 NFL season.

Offensive Guard

David Edwards replaced Joe Noteboom in the starting lineup at left guard in Week 2 against Philadelphia and never gave up the starting job. Edwards started 14 games, playing a total of 977 offensive snaps during the regular season. At 6’6″ and 310 pounds, Edwards can play both guard and tackle.

A mainstay on the offensive line since being acquired via trade from the Browns, Austin Corbett started all 16 games and played on all 1,119 offensive snaps last season.

Noteboom filled in last season, making nine starts and allowing just two sacks on 57% of the team’s offensive snaps (633).

Center

After losing Austin Blythe in free agency, Brian Allen is likely to take over the starting role. Allen has been in this role before, as he was the starting center to open the 2019 season but suffered a devastating injury during the season. He missed seven games that year plus a significant part of the 2020 season as he continued to recover from tearing his MCL, meniscus, and fracturing his tibia.

It was a huge shock not to see the Rams address the center position in the 2021 NFL Draft. After Allen, there is very little in terms of experience at the center position. Coleman Shelton played a handful of snaps at the position in 2019, but that is really all there is in terms of a backup.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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