What will LA Rams defensive line look like in 2021?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams 2020 defense was the best in the NFL, thanks in large part to the ability of the defensive line to control the line of scrimmage. That was handled by the rather rapid rotation of Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph Day, Morgan Fox, Greg Gaines, and as the season wore on, A’Shawn Robinson.

With Michael Brockers finding himself traded to the Detroit Lions, and Morgan Fox signing on with the Carolina Panthers, the Rams will sport at least two new defensive linemen in 2021.  That may increase if either rookie Bobby Brown III or Earnest Brown IV fails to earn a spot in the rotation among the defensive linemen.

But let’s pause a moment and reflect on the LA Rams defensive front for 2021. Will it truly be a wash, rinse, and a repeat of 2020? Or will the new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris seek to tweak the Rams’ defensive line of scrimmage?  After all, on a pure talent basis, the LA Rams defensive line is one of the deepest and most talented groups of the team right now.

Who gets larger roles in 2021?

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

We know that a leaner meaner A’Shawn Robinson will fill the void on the roster vacated by Brockers. The team will likely benefit from the play of rookie Bobby Brown this season. But that still leaves a roster spot to be filled, and as many as four talented competitors vying for that spot. The Rams loaded the practice squad rather heavily with defensive linemen through the 2020 season, as the team faced half of the year with A’Shawn Robinson on injured reserve.

The team may do so once more for the 2021 season.  After all, Robinson may be leaner, but he has to prove his durability to the team in 2021. The Rams may leverage their defensive line stockpiled talent to intermingle an occasional 4-3 front or even a 4-2 defensive formation. if the team goes heavier on defensive linemen usage, the roster may swell to carrying seven players on the 53-man roster.

That last one-two defensive line positions will depend heavily upon training camp.  That means that John Daka, Eric Banks, Earnest Brown IV, Marquise Copeland, Michael Hoecht, George Silvanic, and Jonah Williams will be competing under tremendous pressure to claim one of the final roster spots. The competition will be so stiff, that even the practice squad spots will be very difficult to earn.

Trending. LA Rams DC Raheem Morris needs to start 2021 hot. light

Of the new faces, only Bobby Brown III is likely to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. And if the competition heats up, even he may be pushed hard for a roster spot. It’s safe to conclude that the defensive line is loaded with talent. In fact, there is likely such a surplus that the team will be hard-pressed to keep everyone worthy of playing time on the 53-man roster.