8 Rams players who could shine in Week 18, and into 2023

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 5
LA Rams News Rams Roster Michael Hoecht
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive standouts

As much of the season was a lack of offensive production, far too many Rams fans continue to grab torches and pitchforks to demand that the LA Rams part ways will far too seldom-understood defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.  The Rams’ defense was not the top defense in the NFL, but it was most certainly not the problem. Well, that’s not always the reason for fan unrest.  But even as the fanbase demands a new defensive coordinator

Rookie defensive back Cobie Durant may not stand out to you, but he has certainly taken every opportunity afforded to him  And the promising aspect is that he should be even better in 2023. Right now, Cobie Durant has played just 232 defensive snaps. But he has18 tackles and three interceptions that resulted in 151 return yards plus one touchdown. Of his 18 targets, he allowed just 10 completions. He was even able to break up five passes. It would be wonderful for him to get one more pick to close out 2022, and set himself up for an even better 2023.

#DAWGWORK delivers

Defensive lineman Larrell Murchison has played just two games for the LA Rams so far but has five tackles and two quarterback sacks in just 40 defensive snaps. While it’s an incredibly small sample size, it’s certainly promising enough to envision a bigger role for Murchison in 2023. What better way to seal the deal on those expectations than to showcase his stuff? A sack, multiple tackles, anything to reinforce the perception that he is a solid IDL for the 2023 NFL season.

The fact is that there is no way to gauge the upside potential of interior defensive lineman turned outside linebacker Michael Hoecht. In just six games at the outside line role, a role that he cross-trained into mid-season for the Rams, mind you, Hoecht has played 330 defensive snaps, has played six games and started the past five games, and has set the Rams defense back on track.

Over that period, he has recorded 28 tackles, 3.5 quarterback sacks, one forced fumble, seven quarterback hits, and three tackles for a loss. While he is still learning the nuances of pass coverage, he has only allowed one reception for 17 yards.  I was a fan of Michael Hoecht as soon as the Rams signed him after the 2020 NFL Draft. Wouldn’t it be great for both Hoecht and the team for him to stamp his claim at the outside linebacker role with another multiple-sack performance?