Rams 53-man roster projection includes three backups for Todd Gurley

Malcolm Brown, left, has backed up Todd Gurley the last three seasons, but he suffered a shoulder injury against the Lions. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams open training camp July 27 on the campus of UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif. Here's a 53-man roster projection.

QUARTERBACK (3): Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen

Goff is not expected to sign a long-term extension before the opener, but coach Sean McVay emphasized several times throughout the offseason that he wanted the former No. 1 pick as his quarterback for the long term. Bortles joins the Rams on a one-year deal to provide experience in the backup spot (he led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game during the 2017 season) and learn under McVay in hopes of winning a starting job elsewhere in 2020.

RUNNING BACK (4): Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, John Kelly

The Rams spent some resources insuring their backfield, as uncertainty looms over the health of Gurley's knee. They wasted little time matching the Lions' two-year, $3.25 million offer sheet for Brown, who returns from a clavicle injury that he suffered in Week 13 and sidelined him for the season. Then they used a third-round pick (their second overall in the draft) to select Henderson, whom McVay calls a "change of pace" back, from Memphis. The only real competition here is between Kelly and Justin Davis for the fourth spot (if the team decides to carry four).

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, KhaDarel Hodge, Mike Thomas

Kupp's progress from a season-ending knee injury that he suffered in Week 10 was apparent throughout the offseason program as he worked on the sideline and was inserted in some team drills at jog-thru speed. Kupp is expected to participate in drills throughout camp and be ready to play Week 1 against the Panthers. Thomas, a sixth-round pick in 2016, is returning from a season-ending groin injury that he suffered in Week 1. JoJo Natson, who was a dynamic returner last season, also has a chance to make this group.

TIGHT END (3): Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt

Everett, who is entering his third season, was the standout player throughout the offseason program. He is a prime candidate to earn an elevated role in the offense. It will be interesting to see if McVay uses any two tight end sets in camp.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Andrew Whitworth, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe, Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Jamil Demby

Training camp, which includes joint practices against the Chargers and Raiders, will be critical for the offensive line as two veteran starters are replaced by second-year players. Left guard Rodger Saffold departed in free agency and the team did not exercise an option on center John Sullivan's contract. Noteboom will take over at guard and Allen at center. Both received substantial practice time last season, and they will undoubtedly benefit from the return of Whitworth, who put off retirement to return for his 14th season. Depth will be developed with Evans and Edwards.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Greg Gaines, Morgan Fox, John Franklin-Myers, Sebastian Joseph-Day

Donald, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Brockers will anchor a line that will also include a first-time starter in place of Ndamukong Suh, who departed in free agency. Gaines, a fourth-round pick from Washington, is expected to fill the role at nose tackle. Coaches have also lauded the development of Joseph-Day, a second-year pro who will compete for the spot.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5): Clay Matthews, Dante Fowler Jr., Samson Ebukam, Justin Lawler, Trevon Young

Fowler was a top priority to sign in the offseason before he reached unrestricted free agency. He's on a one-year deal, and -- after joining the team midway through last season -- will have the chance to prove he can be a big-time presence off the edge after he learns the nuances of the system throughout training camp. Matthews signed a two-year deal and will provide veteran savvy in a group that also includes Ebukam, who started last season and will continue to compete for a role.

INSIDE LINEBACKER (5): Cory Littleton, Micah Kiser, Bryce Hager, Josh Carraway, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Littleton returns to his starting spot, but beyond Littleton's role, it appears much will be determined in training camp in a group of relative unknowns. Kiser has impressed with his development, Hager -- a big contributor on special teams -- also returns, Carraway was signed in the offseason and Okoronkwo, a fifth-round pick in 2018, will get a chance to prove he's worth a roster spot after he spent last season dealing with a foot injury.

CORNERBACK (5): Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Nickell Robey-Coleman, David Long, Troy Hill

A group of savvy vets return in Talib, Peters and Robey-Coleman. Peters is entering the fifth and final season of his rookie contract and is expected to engage in negotiations as camp opens. Talib, a 12-year pro, also is entering the final season of his contract. Hill will be a backup, and Long will be learning for the future.

SAFETY (5): Eric Weddle, John Johnson III, Marqui Christian, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott

Weddle and Johnson could prove to be a dynamic duo, as Weddle plays the role of savvy, experienced vet and Johnson, entering his third season, continues his ascension as a dynamic playmaker. Last season, Johnson intercepted a team-best four passes, and added another in the NFC Championship Game. Rapp, a second-round pick from Washington, could compete for time.

SPECIALIST (3): K Greg Zuerlein, P Johnny Hekker, LS Jake McQuaide

This group is the definition of consistency since it was formed in 2012.