EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams don't start Organized Team Activities until June 2 but with most of the offseason heavy lifting complete, the roster you see now likely consists of most of the players who will be on it when the regular season starts.
With that in mind, we'll spend the next week or so delving into each position group with some thoughts on who will start, who might be on the bubble, and how the depth chart could shake out.
Position: Wide receiver
Projected starter(s): Britt, Quick
Battle to watch: It might fly under the radar, but it's fair to wonder whether Bailey has a chance to unseat Austin in the slot. But the reality is that both will get opportunities with the bigger, more physical Britt and Quick on the outside, which could leave an intriguing battle for the fifth receiver spot. The Rams have kept six receivers in the past but tend to prefer to keep an extra tight end. If they only keep five, the onus then falls on Givens to secure his spot. Givens was once considered the top receiver on the team but hasn't developed beyond being a deep threat. Givens is entering the final year of his contract and if he is unable to chip in on special teams, the Rams could look to replace him. Sasser stands as the most likely to claim the job after the Rams used a sixth-round pick on him in this year's draft. Sasser is a bigger, more physical threat than Givens and would seem to fit into the power running offense with his ability as a blocker. The rest of the group probably won't pose much of a threat, though it's always possible an under-the-radar wideout could emerge as a dark horse.
Outlook: The Rams could undoubtedly use more production from this group after it was second-worst in the NFL behind the Kansas City Chiefs in combined receiving yards last season. Getting Quick back at full strength and re-signing Britt offers plenty in the way of continuity. Britt led the team in receiving yards a year ago and could become a prime deep target for new quarterback Nick Foles. The Rams won't ask much of their receivers in the passing game, but those who prove capable of helping as blockers in the run game should be on the field the most. When they aren't doing that, the Rams' play-action game will ask this group to make plays down the field. Quick is a free agent after the season and needs a big season to prove he can be the guy who flashed potential last year before a season-ending shoulder injury. The Rams must find a way to use Austin more effectively than the past two seasons. As it stands, Austin looks like a square peg in a round hole, but new coordinator Frank Cignetti has vowed to get him more involved. No matter where it comes from, the Rams need this group to do more in 2015.