Expectations are sky high for the St. Louis Rams in 2014. First things first though. They must sort out their roster.
Running Back: Benny Cunningham vs. Tre Mason
The general consensus is that Zac Stacy will remain the starting running back for the St. Louis Rams. No such statement can be made about the backup job however, At present it seems like a clear tossup between Bennie Cunningham, who filled it well for Stacy last season when he was injured, and promising rookie Tre Mason, fresh off his dominant run for Auburn last season. Both have their merits with Cunningham being a classic grinder while Mason is slightly more versatile with receiving ability. It could come down to what each player might not do well rather than the other way around.
Guard: Roger Saffold vs. Davin Joseph
Yes, the Rams paid a rather hefty price to Roger Saffold in terms of a five-year deal when he returned in free agency. However, it’s important to note that came after a failed physical in Oakland and Saffold has not been a picture of perfect health during his NFL tenure. That is why his hold on the starting guard job should not be confirmed just yet. He’ll have plenty of competition. Among the most immediate threats is Davin Joseph. The former Pro Bowler had a falling out in Tampa Bay due to contract and production issues but has a chance to find his footing again in St. Louis. He’s only 30, experienced and perhaps just in need of the right coaching.
Slot Cornerback: Brandon McGee vs. Lamarcus Joyner
Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson seem like locks to start at corner for the St. Louis Rams for the 2014 season. The real roster battle in the secondary will focus on the third position, or slot corner. At least in the early running, 2013 fifth round pick Brandon McGee has the edge to start given his experience and upside. His principle opponent will be rookie second round pick Lamarcus Joyner. Though he played safety in college, Joyner has the athleticism, smarts and speed to excel in the slot, an area that wouldn’t demand as much from his limited 5’8″ frame. He is a playmaker for certain, but in order to topple McGee he will need to make a statement early in training camp.