Players officially reported to Rams Training Camp presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union earlier this week. As they gear up for a return to the practice field later next month, theRams.com takes a look at five of them to watch on offense.
Note: Choices and analysis reflect the author's alone and do not represent the views of the Rams coaching staff.
1) Malcolm Brown – Running back
Undoubtedly, there will be interest in rookie Cam Akers and second-year pro Darrell Henderson, but Brown is just as deserving of attention. Last season, Brown was a dependable option near the goal line, as all five of his rushing touchdowns – a career-high – came inside the opponent's five-yard line. He also finished 69 carries for 255 yards – both career-highs.
However, as Brown reminded fans via his Instagram account below, he's capable of being a multi-dimensional option out of the backfield.
2) Van Jefferson – Wide receiver
Jefferson was well-regarded among this year's wide receiver draft class for his route-running prowess and separation skills. While Rams evaluators – and via YouTube, fans – have seen those attributes on film, padded practices and team drills will offer L.A.'s coaching staff its first chance to see both in-person.
3) Brian Allen – Offensive lineman
Allen's first season as a full-time starter ended prematurely due to a knee injury sustained against the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 10. However, Rams head coach Sean McVay said last month players like Allen and Joe Noteboom that had those surgeries and were in the middle of rehab pre-COVID-19 pandemic "are feeling good," and that he didn't anticipate any players not being ready for training camp.
With no on-field work this spring due to a virtual offseason program, training camp will be the first opportunity see Allen on grass.
4) Joe Noteboom – Offensive lineman
A season-ending knee injury against the 49ers in Week 6 ended Noteboom's first year as a full-time starter sooner than expected. Considering he will be vying for a starting spot again this year and is viewed by Rams general manager Les Snead as a potential candidate to eventually replace left tackle Andrew Whitworth when Whitworth retires, it will also be worth watching to see how Noteboom looks and where he is at in his development.
5) Gerald Everett – Tight end
Many of the offseason headlines externally have focused on Tyler Higbee after his historic 2019 season, but it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge Everett's contributions. Though he missed three games due to injury, Everett still recorded career highs in receptions (37) and receiving yards (408). His two touchdowns fell one shy of matching his career-high for that category.
"Really, really excited about what Gerald Everett's going to do," McVay said in early April. "I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Gerald Everett's a guy that I've got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because he's a difference-maker. But he's got to get the opportunities and I think that starts with some of the things I know I can do a better job of."
The first chance to see if Everett gets those opportunities will likely be training camp.