EARTH CITY, Mo. -- With the NFL draft and free agency complete, the St. Louis Rams' 53-man roster will likely come mostly from the players already on the team.
With organized team activities (OTAs) less than a week away, we take a look at where each position stands heading into next week. The next in the series continues today by examining the wide receivers.
Who is gone: None
Projected starters: Givens, Austin
Pending competition: There's a lot to sort out at this position. It seems likely Givens will get first crack at nailing down one of the jobs though nothing is guaranteed. After that, Austin is almost certain to play and play a lot though whether he's a "starter" might depend on if the Rams come out in three-wide sets to open the game. Either way, Austin will be on the field and in a role that has him moving all over. From there, it figures to be a battle. Bailey might have earned a shot at playing time with his late-season performance but his four-game suspension complicates matters. The team would probably like to see Quick win the job as he enters Year 3. He's a good blocker on the outside and provides a size element that Givens and Austin don't. But Quick will need to be much more consistent as a pass-catcher. The Rams brought Britt in to push for a job, also, and coach Jeff Fisher clearly believes Britt has the potential to contribute. It's been a while since he produced, though, so he'll also need to prove himself. Pettis still lurks and might have a shot at a reprieve with Bailey's coming absence. If the Rams keep six wideouts, most of the jobs are likely spoken for though they could carry one of the younger guys like Moe, Veltung, etc. for the first four weeks and re-evaluate when Bailey returns.
Outlook: After making Britt the only noteworthy addition at receiver, the Rams sent a clear message that they are willing to bet on the development of the young group they have in place. In fairness, this group hasn't had much of a sample size yet with players like Quick and Givens entering Year 3 and Austin and Bailey beginning Year 2. Still, the time is now for a couple of these guys to validate the team's faith. There's no clear-cut No. 1 wideout but the Rams can get away with that if a couple can be consistent enough to produce in the range of 800 yards. That was the formula Seattle followed to a Super Bowl last season and it can work if paired with a strong run game and defense. Still, until someone proves they can consistently get open outside the hashes from down to down, this is a position that will be closely monitored from the outside.