3 under-the-radar Rams players who could make a massive impact this season

Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Ernest Jones, Byron Young
Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Ernest Jones, Byron Young / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Life in the NFL is not easy. The average successful career is less than four seasons. Rare successful football players who do well sign a second contract, sometimes for lavishly lucrative amounts. But before we begrudge them of that huge payday, keep one thing in mind.

Far too few in professional football ever see those big paydays. Yet, it's the big contracts that make the headlines. Aaron Donald, perhaps one of the greatest football players in the modern era, retired after 10 NFL seasons. While that is certainly a lengthy career by NFL standards, it does illustrate how quickly a player's career cand end.

Time is of the essence.

While we await new NFL rising stars to arrive via the 2024 NFL Draft, let's pause and revisit some players whose story has yet to be written. Three rookies who arrived in 2023 and who still have the potential to step up to much larger roles this year.


TE Davis Allen is a promising young rookie who got some work in 2023 and is due for a larger role in 2024. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 245 pounds, Allen makes a huge target in the red zone, and that is a role that I expect the coaching staff to emphasize for him in 2024. He was originally slotted as the team's fourth tight end, but nagging injuries to TE Hunter Long and a lack of interest in expanding TE Brycen Hopkins's role promoted Allen to action in 15 games and one start.

He did everything asked of him in 2023, catching 10 of 11 passes for 95 yards, seven first downs, and one touchdown. He was also a formidable blocker, often showing up in post-game footage at making key blocks to spring a runner. The only question is why didn't the Rams ask more from him?

After starting TE Tyler Higbee fell to injury in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs, Allen stepped in and caught both passes thrown his way for 28 yards and one first down. Will that catapult him to a larger role in 2024? I think so. In fact, if Higbee's return is delayed, I believe that Davis Allen wins the starting role over FA signing Colby Parkinson and veteran Hunter Long for Week 1


While RB Zach Evans did not show up in 2023 as much as hoped, he is in a great position to step up this year. Of course, he lobbied that point in 2023, and then the sizzle fizzled. So what has changed? Well, Cam Akers is no longer on the roster to siphon off offensive snaps and carries from Evans this year. In fact, at 5-foot-11 and 202 pounds, Evans is the biggest running back on the roster. While he only saw action in 16 offensive snaps that led to nine carries for 19 yards, Evans was simply trying to go through the motions in this offense.

He has acclimated now. In 2024, I expect to see much better production from him.

He arrived, then disappeared on the teams depth chart last season. I do not believe that repeats in 2024. As of right now, the team's running back room no longer boasts Akers or veteran RB Royce Freeman. By default, Evans has moved up at least two spots on the depth chart. I believe that as much as the team loves RB Ronnie Rivers, they view him as an understudy for feature RB Kyren Williams. Evans has the ability to put up yards on the ground and through the air. I think that with one NFL season under his belt, he delivers a bit more this year.


As much as I love the upside of DB Tre Tomlinson, I am even more optimistic now that the team has brought back DB Darious Williams to the fold. I expected rookie Tomlinson to earn a much bigger role in the secondary than he showed in 2023. Last year, he only saw action in the secondary for 45 defensive snaps. That is quite a bit under the 'could be a starter,' projections that I had for the guy last season

So what went wrong?

Well, the team signed veteran DB Ahkello Witherspoon to the roster. The Rams added veteran DB John Johnson III to the roster as well, allowing the team to repurpose both DB Derrion Kendrick and DB Quinton Lake as slot defensive backs.

Why be optimistic in 2024 about his chances?

With the return of Darious Williams, Tre Tomlinson will have the opportunity to observe, take notes, and interact with the veteran whose role he was tasked with replicating blindly one season ago. It's much easier to see the moves and reactions in live time, rather than try to watch video footage and then try to replicate that performance on the football field hours or even days later.

I believe that Tomlinson with take a huge step forward in 2024, just as ILB Ernest Jones made huge steps forward by playing next to All-Pro ILB Bobby Wagner.

Three players who could all make a massive impact for the team in 2024.