LA Rams must build a better roster for the 2023 season

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

When the LA Rams stepped up to the podium for the first time in the 2021 NFL Draft, the plan seemed to be doing exactly the opposite of what fans expected from the team.  The Rams’ roster needed investment into beefy, sturdy players from top to bottom. Whether found on the offensive line, defensive line, offensive weapons, or defensive secondary, the Rams needed to add the type of personnel who enjoyed slugfest, who got stronger as the opponent became more physical.

Instead, the Rams selected those players who did not meet a four-down profile, who were more garnishes than entrees, and who seemed to be more about niche than need.

The Rams roster has invested in receivers for years. Right now, the team has Cooper Kupp (IR), Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, Jacob Harris, and Lance McCutcheon. For tight ends, the LA Rams boast TE Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins. But why? The Rams’ offense is not exactly known for involving receivers in the offense with a balanced measure of targets.

With the Rams having played 10 games, three wide receivers have less than 20 targets, and a tight end that has less than 20 targets. And that’s not going to improve with the team likely looking at playing a number of if not all of, their remaining games with either backup quarterback John Wolford or Bryce Perkins.

The Rams Roster loaded up on fine china but forgot about everyday dishes

In many ways, the LA Rams have built this roster akin to shopping for fine china but forgetting how the everyday dishes in the cupboard were chipped, cracked, or broken.

It makes perfect sense to load up on receiver talent if there is a reasonable chance to use that talent. But the LA Rams do not spread the wealth any longer. Instead, this team has clung to overworking the same star players who carried them to a Super Bowl LVI victory.  The problem with that? Both QB Matthew Stafford and WR Cooper Kupp are injured at the mid-season mark.

The Rams proved in Week 11 that this team can rush with the football. The offensive gained 148 rushing yards on just 30 rushes. So the Rams can run if they want to. But this is not the Rams’ game plan, which we recall from the 2020 NFL season aftermath when this offense ended the season among the Top 10 running offenses.

The Rams wanted to become more explosive, triggering the trade for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. But in the process, the team lost a realistic perspective of succession. The Rams started the 2022 NFL season with only one starting offensive lineman from the 2020 season which ran so effectively.

The Rams rushing futility is not simply 2022 offensive linemen injuries. This began in 2021 when the Rams failed to draft an offensive lineman. It began when the Rams were more than happy to allow free agent RB Sony Michel to sign elsewhere, despite leading the team’s rushers last season, and emerging as the only truly healthy running back.

The Rams continue to favor smaller rushers and pass-blocking offensive linemen. So it should not come as a surprise when these Rams struggle to run the football. The LA Rams must build a better roster in 2023, one that is durable. One that can win a slugfest. And one that can run the football.

LA Rams past draft whiffs now present roster woes. light. Trending