No position battles are being won in training camp just yet, not with only a week of practices in the books. But a handful of players certainly have stood out for the Rams in the early goings.
Two rookie cornerbacks and two offensive linemen are among them, as well as a pair of receivers – one young and one in his first season with the Rams. Looking back on the first week of camp, here are six standouts from the action so far.
1 Decobie Durant
Durant has been one of the biggest stars of camp so far, highlighted by his two interceptions during Friday’s practice. One came against Matthew Stafford and the first-team offense, undercutting a route by Cooper Kupp to pick off the Rams’ starting quarterback.
Durant has received high praise from Sean McVay, Jalen Ramsey and Jordan Fuller, among many others. It’s a clear sign of the job he’s done in camp so far, standing out in a crowded group of cornerbacks with the Rams searching for a reliable and consistent No. 3 option to start alongside Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill.
2 Derion Kendrick
Kendrick has been right there with Durant as a training camp standout, too. He actually flashed just before Durant. On Wednesday, Kendrick matched up with Allen Robinson and more than held his own. He broke up not one end zone pass, but two of them – both intended for Robinson.
Kendrick isn’t the biggest cornerback either, so it’s impressive that he was able to win against a receiver as physical as Robinson. Kendrick has also been complimented several times by the likes of McVay and Ramsey, impressing those in attendance at UC Irvine.
3 Allen Robinson
It’s not really a question of whether Robinson will bounce back from a shockingly poor 2021 season with the Bears. It’s more about whether he’ll approach career-best numbers in his first season with the Rams.
So far, he’s off to a great start. Robinson has been everything the Rams expected, and then some. The team loves his route-running ability, as well as his versatility, being able to line up at any of the receiver spots.
Stafford talked about how he helps the Rams in the red zone, too, which he showed in practice over the weekend by making a great diving catch in the back of the end zone.
4 Jacob Harris
Harris wasn’t able to contribute much as a rookie because not only was he a raw prospect who needed developing, but he also suffered a torn ACL in November on a special teams play, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. But more will be expected of him this year, especially with Van Jefferson’s knee issue and the uncertain future of Odell Beckham Jr.
Now that he’s transitioned fully to playing wide receiver, he should have more comfort in Year 2, as well. He’ll be asked to do what he does best, and that’s using his big, athletic frame to catch the ball, not block as a tight end.
So far, he’s doing a nice job of that in training camp.
5 Coleman Shelton
Shelton is one of the winners of camp so far because it seems he and Logan Bruss are the primary candidates who could replace Austin Corbett at right guard. Shelton has been moved around a little bit on the offensive line, but right guard is clearly his best shot at starting since the other four spots are all but locked up.
Shelton has impressed McVay early on in camp, and though the coach said the Rams have a long way to go before deciding on a starting right guard, he’s squarely in the mix to replace Corbett.
6 Logan Bruss
In the same way that Shelton has done a nice job in camp., so too has the rookie Bruss. Bruss is even getting some one-on-one time with Andrew Whitworth, who has attended a couple of practices, and Whitworth has had some great things to say about the rookie in their brief time together thus far.
Bruss is transitioning from right tackle to guard but that’s a switch he’s made look easy. As camp continues, he should only get better, too.