10 bold predictions for LA Rams 2024 offseason

Los Angeles Rams, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams, Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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10: Rams will extend Michael Hoecht, Coleman Shelton, and Alaric Jackson

We'll start out slowly in this anthology of bold predictions by declaring the LA Rams front office will do something that some may not foresee as a sure thing. In this prediction, we believe that the LA Rams will extend three low-cost veterans for the 2024 NFL season and very likely beyond. The players who will re-sign with the Rams on team friendly contracts are: OLB Michel Hoecht, C Coleman Shelton, and OT Alaric Jackson.

On the face of it, that does not seem too radical. Both Michael Hoecht and Alaric Jackson are restricted free agents, and can be locked into a one-year deal to play for the Rams with a Qualifying Tender Offer. And while Coleman Shelton is technically still under contract, he met the conditions to void the second year of his contract by playing more than 55 percent of the Rams offensive snaps. But even though he will void his contract, the Rams will want to re-sign him.

I have seen some present each of these players as someone who can be upgraded with the right addition to the Rams roster. And in the Shan-Gri-La utopian world of the NFL offseason, I can see how that could be argued. But let's not ignore key factors that impacted the performance of these players in 2023.

Why bring them back?

The most obvious is the coverage of OLB Michael Hoecht. But no outside linebacker in what is essentially his rookie season shows up well when forced into coverage of a speedy wide receiver. In 2023, he put up 81 tackles, 6.0 QB sacks, two pass deflections, one forced fumble, seven tackles for a loss, and 11 quarterback hits. In terms of pass coverage, he was better than many credit him for, allowing just 24 of 31 passes to connect, a catch rate of 77.4 percent. While not superb, he is improving rapidly and has earned the right to return in 2024

When it comes to the Rams offensive center, there is more to the job than Coleman Shelton's performance. Shelton called the Rams blocking assignments at the line of scrimmage, Per the stats from Pro Football Focus, Shelton played 1,113 offensive snaps, allowed just two quarterback sacks, and was guilty of six penalties. But as a whole, the Rams' offensive line was a formidable and essential group that not only protected QB Matthew Stafford but paved the way for RB Kyren Williams. But Shelton's greatest contribution is the fact that he suited up for over 1100 offensive snaps. Oh, and Shelton played incredibly well in the NFL Playoffs.

Many believe that the Rams can upgrade at left tackle by moving Alaric Jackson to fill the projected void at right guard, but I don't see it that way. Jackson had his first chance to start for the LA Rams at left tackle and played incredibly well for his maiden voyage at Matthew Stafford's blind side. He did not get much help from 12-personnel packages either. Per PFF, In 968 offensive snaps, Jackson allowed just one quarterback sack and was flagged for three penalties. If he had heard his name in Round 1 of an NFL draft, many NFL pundits would be singing his praises. Jackson played an incredible first season at left tackle, and will only get better in 2024.