Get to know a rookie: Johnny Millard

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- We've officially reached the closest thing to a dead period the NFL has to offer these days as organized team activities are over and training camp has not yet arrived.

That means vacation time for the players, coaches and, yes, reporters. In the meantime, let’s get to know some of the less-heralded additions to the Rams roster: the rookie free agents.

Johnny Millard

Position: Linebacker

College: Cal Poly State

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 232 pounds

Stat to know: On his way to second-team All-Big Sky conference honors, Millard posted 108 tackles, three pass breakups and an interception. He started all four years for the Mustangs at outside linebacker and also served as a team captain.

Road to the roster: Few spots on the roster offer more opportunity than linebacker. A year ago, the Rams had three undrafted rookies make the initial cut to 53 (though one was cut soon after) and they still have little in the way of experienced depth behind projected starters James Laurinaitis, Alec Ogletree and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Ray-Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates, the two undrafted rookies who stuck a year ago, are good bets to stay again this year with Armstrong potentially having an expanded role. But the team will probably keep six or seven and, barring a veteran addition, Millard could be an option. To do so, he's best served to follow the blueprint set forth by Armstrong and Bates by winning a role on special teams first and foremost.