Do the LA Rams have anything left to do in free agency?
By Bret Stuter
What were your expectations for the LA Rams in the 2021 NFL Free Agency market? After all, the team elevated their defense to tops in the NFL but watched as the special teams and offense continued to backslide. And the 2020 activity of signing just two mid-level free agents to the defense would have led everyone to expect the opposite.
The Rams re-signed all of their offensive linemen in 2020. And yet, the offense suffered and the defense was the much-improved unit. This year, the Rams free agency script merely added wide receiver DeSean Jackson to the team. No offensive center. No offensive tackle to stash for future needs. And yet, the NFL Free Agency market has run its course.
So does it feel as though the LA Rams have gotten ahead or fallen behind?
Well, I think it’s far too easy to discount the stockpiling of talented players a year ago. The Rams signed up talent in the NFL Draft and afterward, and continued to do so into the season. The team added Justin Hollin, J.R. Reed, and Raymond Calais to the roster after training camp. That option will likely be a huge weapon as the Rams go about window dressing the roster for the 2021 NFL season.
Give me something to believe in
Still, the Rams current roster, as-is, places a lot of faith in remaining healthy at key positions, and a lot of trust in the untested inexperienced ranks of younger players.
This was never going to be an off-season shopping spree. But even with modest hopes and lowered expectations, did the Rams do enough? The team lost an edge rusher, two defensive linemen, an offensive center, a wide receiver, a tight end, and two starting defensive backs. Was that the plan all this time? While I can point to multiple positions where the Rams youth appear capable of compensating, can they do so everywhere?
The 2021 NFL Draft awaits. But it feels as though the Rams will be forced to draft an offensive center, a cornerback, a linebacker, and edge rusher with at least four of their six picks.
Yes, if no trades happen before the draft, trading back makes the most sense. Can the draft board all correctly to the Rams if they won’t be making their first pick until round three? Can the Rams hope to find impact players at the offensive center, cornerback, edge rusher, and linebacker on day three? It’s been done before. Perhaps the LA Rams simply love working under tremendous pressure.