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 has the vast majority of players who will be on it come the start of the regular season.
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: Defensive tackle
Departures: Kendall Langford
Projected starters: Donald, Brockers
Battle to watch: There's really not much suspense to be found here. Donald and Brockers will start, with Fairley getting plenty of opportunities to work his way into the mix, especially on passing downs. Theoretically, Trinca-Pasat and Worthington could evolve into a competition for a possible fourth defensive tackle spot on the roster. But the Rams paid Trinca-Pasat a hefty bonus, and he appears to be in the driver's seat for a job. One thing that could alter the situation is how the Rams view end Ethan Westbrooks. Westbrooks can play inside as well and so, too, can fellow linemen William Hayes and Eugene Sims. Most likely, the competition won't be to win the fourth defensive tackle spot so much as competing to prove they should keep one.
Outlook: Donald changed the entire look of this group in 2014, instantly becoming one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the NFL on his way to the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Entering his second season, Donald should be even better than he was as a rookie. And it should only help him that the Rams have added a motivated Fairley, who signed a one-year "prove it" deal with an eye toward cashing in following a big season. He's already trimmed his weight below 300 pounds and looks poised for a breakthrough season. With Fairley, Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the Rams have a group that should leave plenty of one-on-one opportunities. Brockers embraced his role as a run-stuffing nose tackle in the latter stages of last season but is still only 24 years old with plenty of upside as a pass-rusher. Trinca-Pasat is built like Donald but without the quickness or hands. He still figures to have some upside as a pass-rusher. Donald, Brockers and Fairley should handle the majority of the work inside on a line that should again be among the best in the league in 2015.