LA Rams UDFAs will lead team to success one more time
Defense (13 UDFAs)
The LA Rams lost a number of key contributors this year to free agency, but to read the reactions from fans, you might get the impression that this is the first time something like this has happened to the Rams (it hasn’t). And the expectation that nobody fears this Rams defense as-is is something new for this time of year? It’s not.
A year ago, the Rams lost safety Eric Weddle to retirement, all four linebackers including Cory Littleton and Dante Fowler Jr, lost slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, cut RB Todd Gurley, and traded away WR Brandin Cooks. The team’s offensive line was in chaos, and many persons who chose to post comments then seem to be using a similar script as now: ‘Nobody fears this defense’, ‘We’ve only gotten worse,’ ‘look at what other teams have done, and tell me the Rams have kept pace’.
Argue the future on your own time, at your own peril
Well, we can’t, so we won’t try. But we can point to what happened in 2020. The Rams went from the middle-of-the-road defense to the Number-One defense in the NFL. How did they do that? They relied upon one key signing: OLB Leonard Floyd. Two key re-signings: Michael Brockers, and Morgan Fox. And they counted on players to improve. Which they did.
Defensive backs – Donte Deayon, Tyrique McGhee, Darious Williams, J.R. Reed, Jake Gervase, JuJu Hughes
Defensive linemen – Eric Banks, Marquise Copeland, Michael Hoecht, Jonah Williams
Inside linebacker – Troy Reeder, Derrick Moncrief, Christian Rozeboom
From each group? I would keep an eye on Donte Deayon and J.R. Reed from the defensive backs. I think that Micheal Hoecht has serious upside potential this year, and I believe that Christian Rozeboom has a serious shot at getting involved with the defense this year.
The defense alone has 13 undrafted players on the roster. Of this group, we already know that Troy Reeder and Darious Williams will be significant contributors to the team in 2021.