LA Rams: Youngest team as Top-10 NFL roster is miraculous

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams take a lot of hits in NFL discussions about their methods and tactics over building an NFL roster. All the while, those same detractors have yet to answer one simple question: How can an NFL team be so very young and yet so very talented?  No one has the answer.

By many accounts, the LA Rams are doing the impossible.  They are working with a fraction of the available salary-cap space as 31 other NFL teams due to their dead cap space, they are choosing players no earlier than in the midst of round two of the NFL Draft, and they are the youngest team in the NFL. Oh, one final thing. They are winning. And they are winning consistently. In fact, the team’s record over the past four seasons is an impressive 43-21.

And yet, they are very young. The youngest team in the NFL this year. So imagine our surprise when we discovered that the very same roster is ranked among the Top-10 rosters in the NFL?

It’s an oxymoron of unfathomable reasoning in the NFL. After all, the two are polar opposites, aren’t they? Youth denotes energetic, vigorous, eager, but naive and inexperienced players. Excellence denotes disciplined, consistent, regimented, veteran players.  Somehow, the LA Rams have found the path to interweave both into their roster?

Yes. Yes, they have.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Donald effect

We have noted how it happens by referencing it as the Aaron Donald effect. As the LA Rams have focused upon elite players to add to the roster, they not only get the benefits of mentoring and osmosis, but they create a rising tide that raises all of the players’ performances.

As each team chooses rookies from the first round of the NFL Draft, they are committing their roster to inexperienced players who might develop into something special. Then again, they might not. The Rams methodology not only ensures that game-changing veterans are added, but that in turn adds expertise plus talent to the roster.

One example? The LA Rams added Texas A&M defensive lineman Bobby Brown III in the fourth round with the 117th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Will he have a more productive NFL career than New Orleans Saints’ first-round choice of defensive end Payton Turner? Who can say? But the fact is that Brown, chosen much later in the draft, has a strong chance to be as successful illustrates the point.

Many point to the Rams’ methods as wrong but fail to say why. After all, isn’t the goal to win games, get a playoff berth, advance to the Super Bowl, and win the Super Bowl once you get there? The only task remaining for the Rams over the past four seasons, that is as yet unaccomplished, is winning the Super Bowl. If you believe the oddsmakers, this could be the year that the Rams check the box on that last task.

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The youngest team in the NFL is also among the Top-10 rosters. Love them or hate them, that right there is an almost impossible feat to accomplish.