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Rams' 53-Man Roster Takeaways: Undrafted rookies earn their spot

As the Rams set their initial 53-man roster, it's important to remember that this is just the first draft and not the final answer.

Last year, it took some 80 contributors to reach and win a Super Bowl.

And the roster will likely undergo some fine-tuning between now and kickoff against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium on September 8.

Nonetheless, here are some instant reactions to the roster decisions the Rams made on Tuesday.

Rams Keep Three Quarterbacks

For the second consecutive season, the Rams chose to preserve their quarterback depth chart, as John Wolford and Bryce Perkins both make the initial roster.

The downside of having three rostered quarterbacks is that one of them is typically inactive on game days, as was the case with Perkins in 2021.

The benefit is not risking the loss of a player at the most important position in sports who: has earned the right to make the team, has built up an understanding of your offense, can serve vital practice roles, and in the worst-case scenario can win you a game or multiple games should something happen to Matthew Stafford.

Parting With Recent Draft Picks

As with each of these decisions, there's a one-in-one-out reality. And in this particular case, the Rams were forced to part ways with a few recent draft picks who still possess a ton of NFL upside.

Offensive tackle A.J. Arcuri was just selected in the seventh round of 2022. Receiver Jacob Harris was a fourth-round pick in 2021 and had a gameday role on special teams, when available. Outside linebacker Chris Garrett was the 252nd pick of that draft, and unfortunately wasn't healthy enough at key junctures this summer to secure his spot.

Fingers crossed these three talents clear waivers and can continue their development in Los Angeles as practice squad players.

Only Two Tight Ends, For Now

With the release of Kendall Blanton last week, we already knew the tight end room would take on a different composition than perhaps we might have expected in the spring.

But by waiving Jared Pinkney and Roger Carter, the Rams are left with only two options – Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins – in that position group at the moment.

Despite having the lowest waiver wire priority in the NFL, perhaps the Rams get lucky with a claim in the next 24 hours. Alternatively, if Pinkney and-or Carter clear waivers, they could provide some tight end depth via the practice squad (including game day promotions, if necessary for a particular game plan).

Undrafted to Rostered

It happens every August, and you can't help but celebrate the accomplishment of college free agents who nonetheless secure one of 53 roster spots going into the season-opener.

Receiver Lance McCutcheon was the breakout star of the preseason, carving out a reservation in a crowded position group.

You could tell early in camp that linebacker Jacob Hummel was a candidate to be a core special teams contributor, and he delivered on that promise.

Then, as numbers dwindled at outside linebacker, the Rams needed a fourth edge rusher like Keir Thomas to make their decision for them in Cincinnati. And the 24-year-old, who played six college seasons in the SEC and ACC, did just that against the Bengals.

The underappreciated part of draft weekends has to be all the tireless work that the front office puts into identifying and attracting college free agent candidates like these, who are able to burn the fuel of going undrafted in order to prove themselves throughout the offseason program and training camp.

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