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Analysis: Rams' initial 53-man roster for 2020

This year's 53-man roster deadline saw the Rams reduce theirs to 52 players as of 1 p.m. pacific time, leaving them with an open roster spot. Here's a position-by-position first look at the Rams' 53-man roster presented by SoFi:

Italicized names = rookies

QUARTERBACKS (2): Jared Goff, John Wolford

With Blake Bortles gone after one season in Los Angeles, Goff is now backed up by Wolford. It's a big promotion for Wolford, who spent the entire 2019 season on the Rams' practice squad after a stint with the now-defunct Alliance of American Football earlier that year. While undrafted rookie Bryce Perkins did not make the cut, Rams head coach Sean McVay said Saturday the team would like to bring him back and onto the practice squad if he clears waivers.

RUNNING BACKS (4): Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson Jr., Cam Akers, Xavier Jones

Los Angeles has four running backs on its initial 53-man roster for 2020. The post-Todd-Gurley-era backfield includes two rookies: second-round pick Akers, and undrafted free agent signee Xavier Jones out of SMU. With Henderson missing a portion of training camp due to a hamstring injury, Jones was afforded more opportunities and did enough to capitalize on them to earn a roster spot. Jones' camp performance also caught the attention of defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6): Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Nsimba Webster, Van Jefferson, Trishton Jackson

Woods, Kupp and Reynolds embark on their fourth season together, with Woods and Kupp coming off 1,000 receiving yards each in 2019. Jefferson was praised by McVay for his performance in camp. Webster primarily saw action as the team's punt returner when JoJo Natson injured his hamstring in early December. A Syracuse product, Jackson was another undrafted free agent who made the initial 53-man roster.

TIGHT ENDS (4): Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins

The same three tight ends that were on L.A.'s initial 53-man roster last year carryover to the club's 2019 roster, with Hopkins as the new addition. Higbee had a franchise record-setting season for the tight end position in 2019. Everett provides the offense with a big-play passing target, having averaged 11.3 yards per reception through his first three seasons. Mundt was held in high regard for his impact as a run-blocker late last year. Hopkins offers a similar skillset to Everett and will provide depth.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10): Andrew Whitworth, Joe Noteboom, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Tremayne Anchrum Jr.

In a likely nod to the group's depth, L.A. kept 10 offensive linemen on its preliminary 53-man roster. Noteboom, Corbett, Evans, Allen, Edwards and Shelton all gained valuable experience last season due to injuries within the group. McVay said earlier this week that the starting offensive line combination remained an "ongoing evaluation."

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Morgan Fox, Greg Gaines, Eric Banks

The other undrafted free agent to make the preliminary 53-man roster, Banks (University of Texas at San Antonio) joins familiar names Brockers, Donald, Joseph-Day, Fox and Gaines. Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson is currently on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5): Samson Ebukam, Obo Okoronkwo, Leonard Floyd, Jachai Polite, Terrell Lewis

While Ebukam and Okoronkwo return, there are multiple new faces in this group in Floyd, Lewis and Polite. Polite makes the 53-man roster after joining the team's practice squad in late September 2019 and spending the rest of that season on it. Lewis has a "knee situation" that McVay said he'll get more clarity on by Wednesday. Justin Lawler was waived/injured ahead of the deadline.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (3): Micah Kiser, Troy Reeder, Kenny Young

Los Angeles will initially carry three players at inside linebacker. Kiser is back on the 53-man roster after missing last season with a pectoral injury. Reeder played in all 16 games last year as an undrafted rookie, making eight starts. Young played in nine games after being acquired in a trade with the Ravens, and has 30 career games under his belt including his time in Baltimore.

CORNERBACKS (4): Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Darious Williams, David Long Jr.

After initially carrying six cornerbacks last year, the Rams carry four this year. Hill emerged as a starter last season, while Williams and Long saw meaningful playing time late in the year. Williams flashed in camp.

SAFETIES (5): John Johnson, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller

Led by Johnson and Rapp, the Rams have five safeties on their initial roster. Scott primarily had a special teams role last season. Burgess and Fuller got valuable reps in training camp when Rapp was sidelined with a knee issue and received praise for their camp performances.

SPECIALISTS (3): Sam Sloman (kicker), Johnny Hekker (punter), Jake McQuaide (long snapper)

The three-way training camp battle to replace Greg Zuerlein was won by Sloman, a seventh-round pick out of Miami (Ohio) who beat out CFL product Lirim Hajrullahu and XFL product Austin MacGinnis for the starting job. Hekker and McQuaide enter their ninth season working together.

Roster is here! Tap through the photo gallery to meet your 2020 Los Angeles Rams.

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