The Rams made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2019, ultimately losing to the New England Patriots.
While the result was disappointing, it didn’t warrant major changed to the roster or coaching staff. In fact, the Rams have one of the more stable coaching situations in the league with Sean McVay, one of the most promising young head coaches in the league. The team had one of the most electric offenses, racking up the second most yards from scrimmage in the league in 2018, while the defense, despite heavy investments in big name free agents and being aggressive on the trade market, finished in the bottom third of the league in total yards allowed.
Offensively the team returns a good chunk of starters that helped carry them to the Super Bowl. Goff will look to build on his impressive third year in the league, the only question the Rams have at quarterback is if they want to invest in Goff long term for big money.
On paper the running backs also look to be a strong group headlined by Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown. One thing to watch is how Gurley’s knee injury impacts his usage going forward, as some reports indicate that he will no longer be relied upon as a workhorse. Brown is a capable back who should flourish given more opportunity but make no mistake about it, there is no running back in the league who can do the things Gurley can do when healthy.
The receiving core should get a boost from the return of Cooper Kupp at some point and Brandon Cooks getting another year in the system. Cooks will be hungry after losing back to back Super Bowls with two different teams. The offensive line is the competition to watch as only Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein should be considered locks to start along the line right now. Rookie third round pick Bobby Evans out of Oklahoma is a strong candidate to replace the departed Rodger Saffold at left guard, but there will be strong competition for the three interior offensive line spots.
Defensively, the Rams still have Aaron Donald which makes them good regardless of who else you fill out the depth chart. No seriously, Donald is one of the the most dominant defensive football player in the league and could very well argue he is the best defensive player on the planet right now. The team also held onto trade deadline acquisition Dante Fowler and added former Packer Clay Matthews to give themselves a strong edge presence besides Donald and Michael Brokers on the interior.
The interior linebacker position is one of the team’s weaker groups, with Cory Littleton the most viable option right now. I expect the rams to be aggressive in addressing this group as the summer winds down. At cornerback the Rams return their strong (and loud) duo of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. While Peters struggled and Talib dealt with injuries, this group has the talent to be one of the elite groups in football. If they can stay focused and on the field then watch out.
At safety the team replaced LaMarcus Joyner with Eric Weddle, who should bring a more physical brand of football to LA. They also drafted Taylor Rapp, a promising safety prospect out of Washington. Just like last year, this defense has the potential to be one of the leagues best, but its going to require more consistent production from everyone not named Aaron Donald.
Offseason Grade: C+ | Expected 2019 NFC West Rank: 1
The Rams didn’t have a lot of holes in their roster, but the few that did exist could have been filled better. Despite this, they have the most complete roster in the division, and baring something unforeseen should be NFC West champions once again.
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady