Many teams in this modern era have devalued the running back position in recent years. The one team to recently buck that trend were the then St. Louis Rams and begrudgingly former head coach Jeff Fisher. With the success 2015 first round pick of Todd Gurley had in his rookie season, teams started gobbling up running backs like 8-year-olds eating candy on Halloween night. While other teams might have trouble backing up their star investment running backs, the Sean McVay-led offense has some hidden gems that might shine brightly during the little bit of rest that Gurley gets from time to time.
First off, we’ll take a look at the veteran of the group. As an undrafted free agent coming out of the University of Texas, Malcolm Brown was not highly regarded as a high draft pick. Given a chance to back up Gurley in 2015, Brown impressed with his gritty blue collar attitude. He spent his rookie season between practice squad and special teams duty but was kept in mind for the move to L.A. Brown has since endeared himself to Rams fans. With the arrival of Coach McVay and younger, quicker running backs, this year could be a tough test for Malcolm.
Now I’m going to break with the order of seniority for this running back. Me being a union man at heart, I tend to rank according to their years of service. But rookie running back John Kelly out of University of Tennessee could be the perfect substitute in the Rams’ hyper offense. During the preseason game against Oakland, Kelly threw his hat in the ring to show Coach McVay that he could be a game-changer with an impressive outing while scoring the team’s first touchdown of the day. Although he needs to work on ball handling skills, Kelly has been more than willing to play special teams as well.
The final running back in the group that I think has the best chance to make team is Justin Davis from the University of Southern California. With a hand full of picks in 2017 and other priorities, the L.A. Rams happened to have Justin fall into their laps as an undrafted free agent. Davis made the team with blazing speed and quick cuts, mainly playing special teams with spot duty handling the ball in his rookie season This former Trojan has the talent to be on an NFL team, the question is whether or not he can earn a spot on this high-octane Rams offense.