The Rams, as expected, shook things up this offseason after failing to make the playoffs last season for the first time under coach Sean McVay.
Among the players the Rams parted with include running back Todd Gurley, receiver Brandin Cooks, and linebackers Dante Fowler, Cory Littleton and Clay Matthews. Los Angeles also said goodbye to safety Eric Weddle, who decided to retire following a highly successful career.
Despite the loss of talent, the cupboard is not bare in Los Angeles. The Rams still have Aaron Donald, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Los Angeles also has Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey along with quarterback Jared Goff. In the draft, the Rams selected several players who they hope will make an impact this season. Those players included running back Cam Akers, receiver Van Jefferson, pass rusher Terrell Lewis, safety Terrell Burgess and tight end Brycen Hopkins, among others.
Now that we've re-capped the Rams' offseason, let's take a look at some of their biggest training camp position battles.
Now that Austin Blythe is slated to move over to be the team's new starting center, both of the Rams' guard positions are up for grabs during training camp.
Corbett, the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 draft, started eight games for the Rams after he was traded from Cleveland during the 2019 season. His experience last season should give him a leg up on the competition for the starting left guard position.
Noteboom, a third-round pick in the 2018 draft, started the '19 season as the Rams' starting left guard before missing the final 10 games with a torn ACL and MCL. He may be in line to be the Rams' starting right guard if Corbett is named the starter on the left side. Noteboom, however, may have to hold off Edwards, a 2019 fifth-round pick who started 10 games at right tackle as a rookie.
With Chandler Brewer choosing to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, that should further increase Anchrum's odds of getting significant playing time as a rookie. The team's final pick in the 2020 draft, Anchrum goes to Los Angeles after being Clemson's starting right tackle each of the last two seasons.
2. Running back
Even if he doesn't win the starting job, Brown, a battering ram at 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, brings value to the offense as a strong, no nonsense back who has a nose for the end zone. His experience with the Rams (he came to the team as an undrafted rookie in 2015) also gives him an advantage when it comes to being the team's Week 1 starter. That being said, the Rams didn't spend their first pick in this year's draft to not use Akers. In fact, Thomas Brown, the Rams' new running backs coach who had recruited Akers when Brown was at the University of Miami, said that he sees Akers potentially "growing into an every-down back."
"(Akers) can play between the tackles, can play in space," Brown said of Akers, via the team's official website. "Obviously the pass protection aspect of it is going to be the biggest part for any running back, especially young backs, coming into this league with the different number of looks and pressures you'll have a chance to go against week in and week out."
"A guy that I've continued to grow some confidence in, just meeting with from a virtual standpoint, of him understanding more about the offense and having the chance to come in and compete,"
While Henderson -- a 2019 third-round pick who had just 39 carries last season -- should get more chances to make plays in 2020, fans should expect Akers, who rushed for 14 touchdowns during his final season at Florida State, to lead the club in carries this season.
3. Right tackle
A starter on the Rams' offensive line since the 2015 season, Havenstein was in the midst of a disappointing season before he suffered a meniscus injury that prematurely ended his 2019 season. But, based on McVay's recent comments, he believes that a healthy Havenstein will return to form in 2020. If Havenstein is able to hold him off, don't be surprised if Evans, a 2019 third-round pick who made seven starts as a rookie, is in the mix to be one of the team's starting guards, something McVay alluded to earlier this summer.
"I thought Bobby Evans, being able to step in and play well towards the latter half of the season was really good for his confidence," McVay said, via the team's official website. "But I'm not convinced that guy couldn't play guard, either."
4. No. 3 receiver
Candidates: Van Jefferson, Josh Reynolds
While the Rams are armed with two 1,000-yard receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, Los Angeles needs another receiver to step up after the team parted ways with Cooks, the team's fourth leading receiver last season. Reynolds, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, enters camp as the frontrunner to fill that void. In fact, McVay said earlier this offseason that he anticipates Reynolds "being a big-time part of this offense" heading into the 2020 season. Over the past two seasons, the 6-foot-3, 196-pound receiver caught 50 passes for 728 yards and six touchdowns. He had a big day in the 2018 NFC title game, as his 74 receiving yards helped Los Angeles defeat the Saints in overtime.
While he has his work cut out for him, fans shouldn't immediately rule out Jefferson, who was selected using the draft pick the Rams acquired after trading Cooks to the Texans. While his college statistics aren't overly impressive, Jefferson, who started his career at Ole Miss before spending the past two seasons at Florida, has impressive tangibles that ultimately led to the Rams taking him with the 57th overall pick. While he didn't run the 40-yard dash at the combine, Jefferson was clocked by Zebra Technologies as the fastest receiver at this year's Senior Bowl. Jim Nagy, the Senior Bowl's executive director, compared Jefferson to current Washington receiver Terry McLaurin, a 2019 third-round pick who caught 58 passes for 919 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.
The Rams have three candidates to replace Greg Zuerlein, the team's kicker for the past eight seasons who's now with the Cowboys. Sloman, the team's seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft, has yet to receiving playing time during a regular season game. During his four seasons at Miami (Ohio), Sloman hit 79% of his field goal attempts and 97.4% of his point-after attempts.
MacGinnis, the University of Kentucky's starting kicker from 2015-17, attended the Bears' rookie camp in 2018 before spending time with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football. He was named the league's Player of the Week after making four field goals, including the game winner, in Memphis' 26-23 win. He also spent time with the XFL's Dallas Renegades before the league folded.
Hajrullahu, like the other two kickers on the Rams' roster, has never kicked in a regular season game. He's spent the past six seasons in the Canadian Football League, winning a Grey Cup as a member of the Toronto Argonauts in 2017. A two-time CFL All-Star, Hajrullahu also punted during his time in Canada, averaging 44.1 yards per punt during his time with the Argonauts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.