NFL

Los Angeles Rams: Potential surprise cuts and starters

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp begins for the Los Angeles Rams this week. Take a look at some players who could emerge as surprise starters or surprise cuts.

Tre Mason

Surprise Cut

Not too long ago, Tre Mason seemed like was becoming a starting running back. The Auburn product got more than 700 hundred yards in his rookie year. It is reported that Mason was called to the family home

Then, Todd Gurley became the focus of the Rams offense. Now, it is reported that were called to the Mason family home five times in four months. He also got into an incident with a possible DUI.

Hence, Mason may get cut as his status is already ‘to be determined.’ It may not be a real surprise considering his off-field history. Talent-wise he could add something as a  change of pace back.

T.J. McDonald

Surprise Cut

Speaking of DUI, McDonald also had his own possible DUI situation this offseason. Unlike Mason, the safety is in camp.

The Rams will need McDonald in as they already lost two starters in the secondary from a year ago. Rodney Mcleod and Janoris Jenkins bounced in free agency. Hence, McDonald would bring some familiarity.

However, McDonald missed five games last season due to injury. If he fails to return to 2014 form, McDonald could also find himself looking for a new job. Don’t forget that McDonald could also see discipline from the league for his DUI arrest.

E.J. Gaines

Surprise Cut

Again, the Rams need veterans in the secondary. Gaines is a prime candidate for a starting position. He started in 2014 but missed last year with an injury.

The Rams do not have other options at corner. Therefore, it would be surprising for them to part ways.

Nonetheless, the young Rams team may decide to go with Cody Sensabaugh at corner instead. Sensabaugh started 15 games for the Titans last year. He may step in for the Rams as a starter.

Pharoh Cooper

Surprise Starter

Conversations about Rams receivers usually begins with Tavon Austin. The speedy receiver is usually called a game changer for the offense. However. his production has not matched that. 

Cooper is a young and fast receiver out of South Carolina. He registered 2,109 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his final two seasons. He also got three rushing touchdowns and 311 rushing yards.

Therefore, Cooper could find himself a starting role on the Rams offense. Los Angeles desperately needs playmakers. If Cooper proves he can play consistently, the Rams must carve him a starting role from the slot or outside position. 

Tyler Higbee

Surprise Starter

Higbee was relatively unknown in the draft out of Western Kentucky. However, the 6-foot-6-ince tight end is also a natural athlete. His twelve touchdowns in his final year of college prove he can be an end zone threat.

The Rams need tight ends. Both Cory Harkey and Lance Kendricks are unproven as pass catchers.

Therefore, a great camp could insert Higbee as a starter. The Rams will need pass catching from the position, so they should not be afraid to start Higbee.

Dominique Easley

Surprise Starter

The defensive line is probably the Rams’ biggest strength. Hence, Easley would have to fight hard for a starting position.

Los Angeles seems set in the front-four with Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn and William Hayes as the starters. However, Easley is talented enough to do it.

The 2014 first-round pick saw his share of injuries and inconsistencies in New England. Nonetheless, he possesses the pure talent to challenge Brockers for his starting job. It would be a huge surprise if Easley won, but it is possible.

 

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Pete D. Camarillo is currently a credentialed Lakers writer for SportsOutWest and co-host of the weekly Touchdowns and Tangents podcast. Pete enjoys creating content about music, life and West Coast Sports, specifically the NBA and NFL. He has published more than 1,000 articles across various publications including ClutchPoints, FullPressCoverage, TheSportsDaily, Fansided and Inquistr. Pete is also currently a full-time media relations professional for Business Wire and he is active in ONA, SPJ, NABJ and AAJA organizations in Los Angeles. The 2015 CSUN Journalism grad volunteers on his Journalism Alumni Association Board of Directors now. His background includes community relations with the L.A. Clippers during the 2014-15 season. studying sports management, football coaching and earning a fellowship for his entrepreneurship ventures. Follow him on Twitter @petecertified.
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