4 roster moves where LA Rams zigged and should have zagged

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Kyren Williams
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Zig vs Zag Example II

When the LA Rams entered the 2022 NFL Draft, there were plenty of needs on the projected 2022 NFL roster. But Drafting RB Kyren Williams, rather than signing a solid FA veteran running back was a bit confusing. The Rams traded up to draft a player who is in many ways quite similar in build, style and unfortunately durability as their veteran running back Darrell Henderson.

The Rams opted not to offer RB Sony Michel a contract, and instead set a rushing attack this season behind RB Cam Akers, RB Henderson, and rookie Kyren Williams. So far, the Rams’ offense has yet to see any production out of the twice-injured Williams, the Rams have only gotten modest production out of Akers, and the Rams are averaging less than eight carries per game for Darrell Henderson Jr.

The Rams missed another OL upgrade

During the NFL Draft, we like to cite those players who the LA Rams ignored and who were still on the draft board at the time the team made that selection. One such player who was left is Chicago Bears OT Braxton Jones, a player who has earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 71.5 as a rookie, has seen 417 offensive snaps, been called for two penalties, and allowed four sacks. An offensive lineman certainly would be welcome right now.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, right? Well, this is not the first time in which the Rams seem to focus on offensive weapons over the needs of the offensive line in the draft, as we will soon see.

I believe that the problem lies in the template used to select running backs does not fit how the Rams’ offense makes use of them. The Rams have shown a bias toward smallish versatile running backs. But when deployed in single-back formations, those smallish backs are simply not durable enough to break NFL-level tackles.  The offense could help with a blocking back, but that does not fit the Rams’ scheme either.

In the end, the Rams had the option to simply extend RB Sony Michel with an inexpensive contract. But the team opted for a rookie RB who we have yet to see perform.