Every NFL team has its strengths and weaknesses. Even the best teams in the league have places where you can attack them. To end up with a super bowl championship, it’s about overcoming those weaknesses and minimizing them as much as possible.
The same can be said for the Los Angeles Rams. With that said, let’s take a look at the strongest spots on the Rams roster and the weaknesses.
Obviously, when it comes to the Rams defensive line, the first name that comes to mind is Aaron Donald. Donald has become not only one of the best defensive players in the league but players overall. The Rams defensive end is a dominant force that opposing offenses have to gameplan for on a weekly basis.
However, it’s behind Donald where the Rams are also impressive. The team caught a lucky break when Michael Brockers’ deal with the Baltimore Ravens fell through. A’Shawn Robinson also brings a veteran presence and experience to the offensive line.
Brockers has been the definition of consistency for the Rams through his eight years in horns while Robinson provides a versatile piece that can play both the three and one techniques. Both players excel at stopping the run.
Behind them, the Rams have depth with Sebastian Joseph-Day who shouldn’t be overlooked as a solid contributor upfront.
This group won’t be considered a top-three group in the NFL, but they definitely belong in the top-10 and could make an argument for the top-5.
The back end of the Rams defense is just as strong as any group in the NFL. Led by Jalen Ramsey, this is a group that also headlines a promising second-year player in Taylor Rapp, John Johnson III, and Troy Hill. The Rams made a blockbuster trade for Ramsey last season who is one of the premier cornerbacks in the league. Pair him with Hill who has become a top-25 cornerback and you have a very good group on the outside.
The Rams got a little weaker here by cutting Nickell Robey-Coleman, but Taylor Rapp has shown the potential to be one of the best box-safeties in the league. The former Washington safety recorded 100 total tackles by the end of his rookie year. If he can get better in coverage, he’ll be an elite player.
Pairing Rapp with John Johnson gives the Rams quite the safety duo who complement each other well. Johnson’s wingspan in the secondary makes him a dangerous player. Prior to an injury last season, Johnson III was on his way to being a top-15 safety in the NFL.
The starting four is very good, but behind them, Terrell Burgess is an intriguing player and David Long showed flashes as a rookie and could take over in the slot. Darious Williams and Donte Deayon provide good depth at cornerback as well.
This one may seem a little bit crazy, but while this group was one of the worst last season, it’s hard not to see a big step forward. Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth still provide top talent at the tackle positions. Inside at guard, David Edwards showed promise as a rookie and Austin Corbett showed flashes. Add in Blythe at his more natural position at center, and the Rams have a decent starting five.
However, it’s not just the starting five that make up an offensive line, the Rams also have good depth. Bobby Evans showed that he can play both guard and tackle. Joseph Noteboom may not have shown starting ability in his limited action at least showed depth. Lastly, Brian Allen has starting experience in this system at center.
The top projected eight players on the Rams offensive line all have meaningful starting experience. That’s not something that you can say about many offensive lines in the league. This isn’t a top-10 group right now by any means, but the amount of depth should make this group a strong point on the roster.
Tight end is one of the strongest groups on this roster. Higbee took advantage of a weak slate at the end of last season to have a historic run. If he continues that level of play, Higbee could be a top-10 tight end in the league. Add in Everett who has shown flashes throughout his career and arguably the best rookie tight end in Brycen Hopkins and this is a solid group.
The Rams and Sean McVay are going to be able to play 12 personnel and mix tight ends into the offense more frequently which should scare defenses with this group.
That’s the number of tackles last season from the Rams linebackers currently on the roster.
4 is the number of tackles from linebackers Kenny Young and Micah Kiser who are currently slated to start.
Losing Cory Littleton, while understandable, is a big hit to the Rams defense. This is a group that has very little experience and is going to need someone like Kiser to step up. There also isn’t a lot of depth with Troy Reeder as the only backup with experience.
This is a group that’s going to be attacked consistently by opposing offenses and it’s going to be up to Brandon Staley to scheme around them and make the hole seem not as big.
As is the case with the linebacker position, this is just a position with not a lot of proven talent. The Rams signed Leonard Floyd in free agency, but he had just three sacks last year. The former Bears linebacker has 11.5 sacks over the last three years which is the same number as what Dante Fowler had last season.
Outside of Floyd, Obo Okoronkwo, Samson Ebukam, and Terrell Lewis will be expected to step up. Okoronkwo and Ebukam have never been full-time starters while Lewis is a rookie that needs to prove that he can stay healthy.
With a player like Aaron Donald, the Rams need to be able to generate pressure off of the edge. That’s something that they weren’t able to do in Donald’s 20-sack 2018 season. Opposing teams are going to focus on Donald, especially now with Fowler off of the roster, and these players are going to need to take advantage of the opportunity.
This isn’t a position that teams can necessarily attack, but it is one that the Rams are weak at. The backup quarterback position is going to be very interesting especially if the NFL continues to play in the pandemic. Jared Goff has managed to stay healthy throughout his career, but what if he tests positive for COVID-19?
Behind Goff, the Rams only have John Wolford. Wolford showed flashes in the preseason last year after standing out in the AAF, but both are significant differences than actually starting in the NFL. If Goff goes down with injury or tests positive for COVID-19, it would be hard as fans to feel confident.