St. Louis Rams Grade Report: The First Four Games

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DL: William Hayes, Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn

So Sack City… This defense is on pace for four sacks this season. FOUR. The Rams’ defense blitzes the most in the NFL, but still can’t get to the quarterback. The Rams are the third worst team stopping the run and that all starts up front. In order for the Rams to turn things around these four players have got to step up their game. I’m going to give them a low grade, but its well deserved for how little production the Rams are getting for how much they have invested.

Grade: D

LBs: Alec Ogletree, James Laurinaitis, and Jo-Lonn Dunbar

The Rams currently are pretty thin at the linebacker position and the three that are starting haven’t played all that great. Ogletree leads the team in tackles and has shown his playmaking ability, however, he still takes bad angles when pursuing. Laurinaitis’ age is solid in the middle, but could do better, and Dunbar has improved off a disastrous 2013. Lots of room for improvement here however.

Grade: C

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Cornerbacks: E.J. Gaines, Janoris Jenkins, and Lamarcus Joyner

The Legion of Boom lies in Seattle huh? Well not according to the stats. The St. Louis Rams have the best pass defense in the NFL allowing only 192 yards per game, and a lot of it has to do with these guys. Its hard to imagine how much better they will be once they get Trumaine Johnson back. The Rams also allow the third least amount of yards after the catch. This group is exceeding expectations by far.

Grade: A

Safeties: T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod

McDonald is a good safety but has been picked on in pass coverage which was a problem for him at USC. McLeod is not an NFL caliber safety and continuously is the reason behind miscommunication errors in the secondary. Until the Rams can draft or sign somebody this is going to be a weak position on the Rams defense.

Grade: D+

Special Teams: Johnny Hekker, Greg Zuerlein, Punt Return, and Kick Return

Johnny Hekker did have a punt blocked last week, but overall has bee pretty solid and Zuerlein kicked a game winning field goal against the Buccaneers. However, where the Rams haven’t been exciting is in the return game. Cunningham does get the Rams to the 25 which is the 6th best in the NFL, but lacks that break out speed. Meanwhile, Tavin Austin averages 3.8-yards per return on punts which is last in the NFL.

Grade: B

Defense/ Special Teams Overall Grade: C-