LA Rams News: Team faces boom or bust in 2021 NFL Draft
By Bret Stuter
More roster needs
The LA Rams averted a minor crisis at the cornerback position by extending a First-Round Qualifying Tender offer to restricted free agent DB Darious Williams. But that is merely an injunction that will keep Williams on the roster for one more season. Right now, the Rams do not have an obvious successor to his position, which is quite concerning.
The Rams lost a starting cornerback with the signing of Troy Hill to the Cleveland Browns. So the Rams will need to fill those vacant defensive snaps for 2021, and keep an eye to fill additional vacated snaps in 2022. In short, the Rams will need talent at the defensive back position. And yes, they are on it. The Rams have met with no less than three defensive backs and could double or triple that number by draft day. It’s a deep position so the Rams could draft a rookie, and then sign more after the draft.
Cornerback? Check. And outside linebacker too
The Rams have lost both starting outside linebackers in 2020 and avoided losing both in 2020 by re-signing veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd to a four-year contract. While Samson Ebukam was not on track for a Pro Bowl season, he did give the team steady production at the position that will need to be picked up by someone. In a pinch, the Rams can lean more heavily upon Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis, Justin Lawler, and Justin Hollins to shoulder the burden, but I suspect that the team will want someone from the deep OLB class of 2021 on the roster.
What about that inside linebacker position? The Rams could agree to duct tape the same group of linebackers from 2020 to reform the crux of defensive snaps for 2021. But what of 2022? Well, the picture goes pitch black there. All four linebackers projected to contribute to the 2020 roster face expired contracts by 2022. So how many linebackers do the Rams need in 2021? Well, at least one.
If you are keeping track, we have three picks used up already. Hmm. just three more to go?