After winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams have not taken their foot off the gas. Shortly after claiming the Lombardi Trophy, Los Angeles made splash moves by signing wide receiver Allen Robinson II, and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. While the Rams’ stars will once again play a huge role in the teams’ success, the team will only be as good as their role players. Here are three under the radar players who will contribute for the Rams in a big way in 2022.
1. S Nick Scott
After injuries throughout the Los Angeles Rams secondary and inconsistent play from Taylor Rapp, safety Nick Scott was thrust into action in the back half of the season. Shortly thereafter, Scott went from an afterthought in the secondary to one of the teams most important players. In 2021, Nick Scott registered 47 total tackles, two interceptions and four passes defended. Scott quickly cementing himself as a playmaker on this defense.
In 2022, Scott will most likely be lining up next to Jordan Fuller as the teams starting strong safety. This would put Taylor Rapp into more of a hybrid, dime linebacker role.With a full offseason as a starter and a pending free agency in 2023, expect a very productive season from Scott. His ability to fly around and rally to the football, underrated coverage ability, and high motor will stand out for the Rams this year.
Stat Prediction: 90 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 5 passes defended.
2. WR Van Jefferson
Jefferson showed major improvement from his rookie campaign in 2020 to his sophomore campaign in 2021 for the Los Angeles Rams. After all, he hauled in 50 catches for 802 yards in 2021, to go along with six touchdowns. The thing is though, Jefferson hasn’t even scratched the surface of what caliber receiver he can be in the NFL.
With gunslinging quarterback Matthew Stafford allowing him to showcase his playmaking ability, Jefferson showed last year that he can be a consistent deep threat in this offense. Even after adding Odell Beckham Jr. in November, Jefferson never went away. He is only improving as a route runner, and has sneaky speed to go with his lanky frame.
Although the Los Angeles Rams have added Robinson, there is plenty of room left for Jefferson to make noise. This is an offense with potential for a triplet of 1,000 yard receivers. With the injury and pending return Odell Beckham, expect Van Jefferson to surpass that mark for the first time in his young career.
Stat Prediction: 61 catches, 1,042 yards, 5 touchdowns.
3. OLB Justin Hollins
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Los Angeles Rams this year is how do they replace Von Miller? Well the simple answer is, they don’t. However, Justin Hollins is an emerging young talent in the NFL. Hollins was brought to LA in 2020 after being claimed off waivers from the Denver Broncos. Since then, he’s been one of the most intriguing prospects on the Rams roster.
Hollins isn’t someone who has been eye popping on the stat sheet. However, when he is on the field the defense is simply better. He is a relentless pass rusher with a high motor, and he thrives when all attention is being focused on Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd. He opened up 2021 as the starter opposite Floyd, and showed signs of being a consistent playmaker on defense. With no clear competition and a spot up for grabs, expect Hollins to take full advantage and play well.
Stat Prediction: 80 total tackles, 35 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks.