There's not much job security on a team coming off a 2-14 season with a new coach and coordinators. And few players shined in the Rams' 38-3 loss to the Colts on Sunday. So the roster remains a major work in progress. Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2.
Stock rising: OL Rokevious Watkins. The rookie from South Carolina was unable to practice early in camp because he reported 16 pounds overweight. Now he's getting snaps with the starting unit. If Watkins continues to develop and seizes the left guard job, the Rams could have a road-grading unit.
Stock falling: OL Jason Smith. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft has been demoted to second string behind Barry Richardson. “There's been flashes where I've done what he's asked me to do, or shown me,” Smith said, referring to O-line coach Paul Boudreau. “And there's flashes where I just look like somebody who's not even capable of playing football. So I'm honest with myself. And at the end of the day I want to prove my own self and prove my own work."
QB -- In: (3) Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis. Out: Tom Brandstater. Analysis: Clemens, a seven-year vet who played for OC Brian Schottenheimer with the Jets, entered camp as the favorite for the No. 2 job. But the undrafted rookie Davis opened eyes by keeping plays alive against the Colts and hitting 12 of 18 throws. "He was real active, has a good feel for what we're doing and, you know, he extended some plays with his legs, which is good to see," Fisher said of Davis, who broke many of Brett Favre’s passing records at Southern Miss. "At times, they brought some unique pressures and he had to flush and make some plays running around."
RB -- In: (4) Steven Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, Ovie Mughelli (FB). Out: Calvin Middleton, Todd Anderson, Chase Reynolds, Nicholas Schweiger, Brit Miller (FB), Ben Guidugli (FB). Analysis: Pead, a speedy second-round pick, will play a significant role as a runner/receiver behind Jackson. Richardson, a seventh-round pick, has impressed in camp and should edge Calvin Middleton for the final tailback spot. Fisher called the recently-signed Mughelli “one of the better fullbacks of the modern era.” The former Pro Bowler is favored to unseat Miller as Jackson’s lead blocker.
WR -- In: (6) Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Brandon Gibson, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Greg Salas. Out: Danario Alexander, Nick Johnson. Analysis: This would be a much tougher decision if Austin Pettis, the best receiver in camp, wasn’t suspended for the first two games. Without Pettis the toughest cut likely will be Alexander, whose hamstring has kept him off the field. The Rams will be patient with rookies Quick and Givens, so Gibson, Smith and Salas must perform before Pettis returns in Week 3.
TE -- In: (3) Lance Kendricks, Michael Hoomanawanui, Matthew Mulligan. Out: Jamie Childers, Cory Harkey, Mike McNeill, Deangelo Peterson. Analysis: Eight tight ends are in camp, including Brody Eldridge, who’s suspended for the first four games. Kendricks and Hoomanawanui are the top pass-catchers, and Mulligan played for Schottenheimer with the Jets. McNeill is a hometown kid who could crack the roster if the Rams keep four tight ends.
OL -- In (9) Rodger Saffold, Rokevious Watkins, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl, Barry Richardson, Jason Smith, Quinn Ojinnaka, Bryan Mattison, Robert Turner. Out: Kevin Hughes, Jose Valdez, T-Bob Hebert, Tim Barnes, Joe Long, Ryan Mckee. Analysis: Two starting jobs remain up for grabs. The rookie Watkins (6-4, 328) has gotten in shape and is pushing for the left guard spot along with Ojinnaka and Mattison, while Richardson has unseated Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in 2009, at right tackle. Turner is taking first-team reps as Pro Bowl center Wells continues his rehab from knee surgery.
DL -- In (9): Chris Long, Kendall Langford, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, William Hayes, Eugene Sims, Darell Scott, Jermell Cudjo, Matthew Conrath. Out: Cornell Banks, Trevor Laws, Jamaar Jarrett, Scott Smith. Analysis: Hayes and Sims will back up Long and Quinn on the outside. Laws, who played four seasons with the Eagles, was signed to be the top backup at tackle but has been sidelined with a knee injury. That’s opened up opportunities for Cudjo. The 6-7 Conrath has gotten first-team reps and should make the team as an undrafted free agent.
LB -- In (7): James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Mario Haggan, Rocky McIntosh, Josh Hull, Aaron Brown, Justin Cole. Out: Sammy Brown, Alex Hoffman-Ellis, Noah Keller. Analysis: The top five are set. Brown, a seventh-round pick out of Hawaii, helped himself in the preseason opener by blocking well on kickoff returns. Cole is a special-teams asset. Haggan and McIntosh are fighting for a starting job on the outside.
DB -- In (9): Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Bradley Fletcher, Jerome Murphy, Josh Gordy, Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart, Craig Dahl. Out: Jeremy Caldwell, Kendric Burney, Matthew Daniels , Rodney McLeod, Quinton Pointer. Analysis: Cornerback was a disaster area last year. But with the signing of Finnegan and the drafting of Jenkins, the Rams are noticeably better. Stewart and Dahl continue to battle for the starting free safety job. Fletcher or Murphy will be the nickel back.
Special teams -- In (3): Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide. Out: Garrett Lindholm, Tom Malone, Travis Tripucka. Analysis: This is one area the Rams feel good about. Zuerlein is booming field goals, and fellow rookie Hekker downed two punts inside the 20 in the preseason opener, including a 67-yarder to the Colts’ 2. McQuaide returns for his second season as long snapper.
Get more Rams updates and analysis from Larry Hartstein @CBSSportsNFLSTL.