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5 Positional Battles to Watch During St. Louis Rams’ OTAs

5 Positional Battles to Watch During St. Louis Rams' OTAs

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For a team with the youngest roster in the NFL, OTAs and training camp are where identities are forged for some future stars. The St. Louis Rams will likely claim that title for the third straight year in 2014, and there will be plenty of battles going on between established veterans and some underachieving youngsters alike. Here are five interesting positional wars to keep an eye on during OTAs and into training camp.

5. RB, Zac Stacy – Tre Mason

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5. RB, Zac Stacy – Tre Mason

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It might seem somewhat ridiculous to suggest that a rookie from a year ago would be usurped by a rookie this year in the Rams’ backfield, but this “battle” is more like a timeshare. Stacy’s 5-foot-8, 224-pound body will be the thunder while Mason’s 5-foot-8, 207-pound stature will act as the lightning. This combo is likely to yield some serious results on the ground in the upcoming season.

4. WR No. 2, Austin Pettis – Tavon Austin

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4. WR No. 2, Austin Pettis – Tavon Austin

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Austin Pettis is a reliable target whereas Tavon Austin was just learning the ropes in 2013, but this year will see the two competing for targets at the No. 2 wideout spot. Though Austin can line up in multiple places from the slot to the backfield, he will likely take some reps from Pettis in the coming year. Hopefully some of Pettis’ savvy route-running rubs off on the diminutive second-year jitterbug and he can see a huge boost this season.

3. WR No. 1, Chris Givens – Brian Quick – Stedman Bailey

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3. WR No. 1, Chris Givens – Brian Quick – Stedman Bailey

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This three-way competition is likely to get a long look in OTAs and into training camp. Chris Givens fell off a year ago after a stellar rookie campaign, and Brian Quick has yet to live up to his lofty expectations. Stedman Bailey took reps away from Givens toward the end of last season, and he could easily claim an even larger role in the St. Louis offense in 2014.

2. DT, Aaron Donald – Kendall Langford

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2. DT, Aaron Donald – Kendall Langford

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First-round picks don’t generally sit on the sidelines, but Aaron Donald will likely have to earn his starting spot in St. Louis. A lack of discipline and lackluster play overall have Kendall Langford falling out of favor with the Rams, and he could easily find himself out of a job if Donald impresses in OTAs heading into camp. This battle will be intriguing for a defense that was gashed at times on the ground a year ago.

1. FS, Lamarcus Joyner – Rodney McLeod

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1. FS, Lamarcus Joyner – Rodney McLeod

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As bad as the run defense was in 2013, the pass defense was even worse. Rodney McLeod was one of the weakest links on the back end, and do-it-all defensive back Lamarcus Joyner could easily overtake him on the depth chart throughout OTAs and training camp. Joyner is capable of playing the nickel, on the boundary or the free safety spot, and the Rams would be wise to have him on the field quite a bit during his first season in St. Louis.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.