We continue our countdown to camp series with a breakdown of Los Angeles' inside linebackers. The club's rookies will report in a week and a half on July 23, and the veterans report in just under two weeks on July 25.
Newcomers: Ramik Wilson, Micah Kiser, Travin Howard, Tegray Scales
The Rams' inside linebacker position will look different than it has for a while in 2018 with the departure of Alec Ogletree.
A former Rams first-round pick, Ogletree was the defensive signal-caller for the past two seasons. He was also a captain and leader in the locker room, which makes him a tough person to replace.
However, Los Angeles still has Mark Barron at its second inside linebacker position — who finished second on the team with 108 tackles in 2017. In order to keep Barron as healthy as possible for the regular season, Los Angeles mostly had the linebacker working on the side during the offseason program.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said during the offseason program that Barron could call the defensive signals. But because he was sidelined in the spring, third-year linebacker Cory Littleton took over that role as the defensive player with the green dot. The Washington product said calling signals was an adjustment, but was one he got more comfortable with as the offseason program went on.
With Littleton taking on the 3-4 'Mike' role — effectively replacing Ogletree — free agent signee Ramik Wilson played in the 'Moe' position for Barron during the offseason program. Wilson is heading into his fourth season, having played 30 games over the previous three seasons with Kansas City.
Selected in the seventh round back in 2015, Bryce Hager should have a chance to compete for the defensive signal-caller role as well. Hager replaced Ogletree when suffered an elbow injury in Los Angeles' 32-16 victory in Arizona last year, and the Baylor product played well.
The Rams also brought in three rookies to compete at inside linebacker. Los Angeles drafted Micah Kiser out of Virginia in the fifth round, Travin Howard out of TCU in the seventh round, and picked up Tegray Scales as an undrafted free agent. All three will likely have to contribute heavily on special teams in order to make the initial 53-man roster.
Previously on Countdown to Camp: