Kayvon Webster locks down starting CB job for Rams

"He's been a huge addition to our secondary," Rams coach Sean McVay said of Kayvon Webster (21). " ... I love the way that he works, and he's been a joy to be around." Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Kayvon Webster spent four years buried in the depth chart of a Denver Broncos secondary that was among the game's best. He started only two games during that stretch, both as a rookie.

From 2014 to '16, Webster received a mere 247 defensive snaps, sitting behind the likes of Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Bradley Roby while forced to make his mark almost exclusively on special teams.

The Los Angeles Rams see him differently.

"Unless something changes, he's starting," Rams coach Sean McVay said of Webster following Monday's practice. "... He's a starting corner that's going to be very important for our defense moving forward."

Heading into training camp, Webster appeared to be in competition with E.J. Gaines for a starting job on the outside opposite Trumaine Johnson. Gaines had a solid rookie year in 2014, then spent the entire 2015 season recovering from a foot injury and dealt with a few lesser ailments last season. But Webster's play and his familiarity with Wade Phillips, also his defensive coordinator with the Broncos these last two years, ultimately gave him the edge.

The Rams will scale back Webster's demands on special teams because they want him playing every snap for them on defense.

"He's been a huge addition to our secondary," McVay said. "You look at he and Trumaine Johnson, they offer a nice pair at the corner spot. I love the way that he works, and he's been a joy to be around."

The Rams are off on Tuesday, then host a second joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers at UC Irvine at 4:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Three days later, they'll play their first preseason contest against the Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Leading up to that game, the Rams released an unofficial depth chart.

Here's a position-by-position look ...

Quarterback: Jared Goff is the starter, Sean Mannion is the backup and Dan Orlovsky is third string, as expected. The question is whether the Rams will ultimately keep Orlovsky on the 53-man roster. They might, given the youth of their top two quarterbacks.

Running back: It's Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Lance Dunbar, Aaron Green and Justin Davis, respectively. Dunbar's knee injury, which has basically kept him out of practice since signing with the Rams, has opened the door for Brown to be Gurley's backup.

Wide receiver: In a three-receiver set, the Rams listed Tavon Austin, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, just like they did before training camp. Problem is, Austin is now dealing with a hamstring injury that has made the Rams very slot heavy. Mike Thomas, activated off the physically unable to perform list on Monday, was listed second in one of the receiver groups, but he is suspended for the first four regular-season games. Josh Reynolds, another vertical threat, was listed fourth in another, but he's dealing with an injured quad.

Tight end: Tyler Higbee is the starter and Gerald Everett is his backup, though they might see a lot of time on the field together. Third is Temarrick Hemingway and fourth is veteran Cory Harkey. That doesn't seem to bode well for Harkey's chances of making the team, but McVay recently said he sees Harkey as both a tight end and a fullback. The only fullback currently listed on the Rams' depth chart is rookie Sam Rogers.

Offensive line: McVay recently began experimenting with the right side of his offensive line, but Rob Havenstein is listed as the right guard and Jamon Brown is the starting right tackle here. Andrew Whitworth (left tackle), Rodger Saffold (left guard) and John Sullivan (center) are solidified. Pace Murphy and Darrell Williams are listed as the backup tackles. Cody Wichmann and Andrew Donnal are the backup guards, though Donnal has been dealing with a knee injury. Austin Blythe is listed as the backup center.

Defensive line: Dominique Easley tore his ACL and is out for the year, while Aaron Donald continues to hold out (a close look at his situation can be found here). Michael Brockers is the last man standing. He is flanked by Ethan Westbrooks and Louis Trinca-Pasat on this depth chart. Once Donald reports, it'll probably be the more experienced Westbrooks who stays. But several others will get snaps, Trinca-Pasat included. Morgan Fox, Mike Purcell and Tanzel Smart are listed as backups.

Outside linebacker: Connor Barwin and Robert Quinn are the starters, as expected. Matt Longacre and Cassanova McKinzy are their backups. Samson Ebukam, a fourth-round pick out of Eastern Washington, is expected to play a significant role, but he has been among several nursing a soft-tissue injury.

Inside linebacker: No surprise with the starters here, either, with Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron. One mild surprise is that Josh Forrest is listed third string. Forrest was impressing as a rookie before a knee injury prematurely ended his season.

Cornerback: Johnson and Webster are the starters, while Gaines and Nickell Robey-Coleman, a standout slot corner who has impressed during training camp, are the backups. The Rams did a nice job over the offseason of replenishing some depth here. Mike Jordan and Troy Hill, suspended the first two games, are third string.

Safety: Maurice Alexander is the strong safety and Lamarcus Joyner is the free safety. That much has been established. But it'll be interesting to see how much the Rams also use Joyner as a slot corner. John Johnson, a promising third-round pick out of Boston College, is currently third string, which is somewhat surprising. Isaiah Johnson and Cody Davis are listed as backups.

Specialists: The Rams are solid on special teams, with punter Johnny Hekker, kicker Greg Zuerlein and long snapper Jake McQuaide. Austin is currently listed as the only punt returner, but Kupp and Pharoh Cooper are under consideration there, too. Cooper is listed as the kick returner, and it seems safe to say he'll play that role when the regular season begins.