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5 Players to Watch Against the Saints

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Myles Simmons provides direction on five players to watch during tonight's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.

YOUNG PLAYERS TO WATCH

The first preseason gameday of 2014 is upon us, as the Rams will take on the Saints tonight at the Edward Jones Dome. With many veterans set to take either limited reps or sit the game out entirely, young players should see plenty of time on the field. Here are some to look out for tonight.

AARON DONALD

The rookie out of Pitt has been impressive since he first put on a Rams jersey, and should see some significant playing time tonight. The 13th overall pick in this year’s draft has been rotating in with the first-team defensive line, and could impact the game in the early going.

GARRETT GILBERT

With starting quarterback Sam Bradford unlikely to play, the sixth-round pick out of SMU should get his fair share of snaps. Gilbert has flashed his potential in practice with his strong arm, and it should be interesting to see how he adjusts to the speed of the NFL in his first professional action.

E.J. GAINES

After Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, there isn’t much separation within the cornerback position. That means Gaines, a sixth-round pick out of Mizzou, has a chance not only to make the roster, but also to make an impact in his rookie year.

JUSTICE CUNNINGHAM AND ALEX BAYER
 
Speaking of Gilbert, he’ll likely be targeting at least one of these two young tight ends. Cunningham was "Mr. Irrelevant" in the 2013 draft and spent much of last season on the Colts’ practice squad. He signed on with St. Louis after being waived following the regular season. The Rams picked up the rookie Bayer as an undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green. With Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, and Cory Harkey firm bets for the roster, Cunningham and Bayer will be trying to open some eyes for the fourth tight end spot.

MICHAEL SAM AND ETHAN WESTBROOKS
 
With a team full of talented defensive lineman, Sam and Westbrooks will have to make a strong impression to stick around. Many of those strong D-lineman are veterans, so the pair of rookies could see plenty of time at defensive end tonight. 

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