Position(al groups) with plenty of questions: Part II
Special teams: Coverage unit - The LA Rams landed an excellent punter in the 2023 NFL Draft by selecting Wingate's Ethan Evans. The Rams not only landed an excellent punter, but the team also took an unprecedented step to make Ethan Evans responsible for kickoffs. The problem is: Ethan Evans is such a powerful kicker that he outkicks the Rams coverage units.
Nothing is more frustrating as a fan that to see the punter boom a 60+ yard punt, but watch in horror as the punt returner negates the punt with a huge return. The LA Rams simply must improve in coverage, and that oftentimes means loading up on strong athletic types of players on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
Defensive line - While the LA Rams defensive line is in excellent shape overall, the team is looking at the loss of two rotational players in DE Jonah Williams and DT Larrell Murchison, as well as two practice squad players in DT Marquise Copeland and DE Earnest Brown IV. That is a significant number of players to lose from one positional group. But perhaps even more importantly, the contracts of NT Bobby Brown III and All-Pro DL Aaron Donald expire at the end of the 2024 NFL season.
Historically, the Rams front office has tried to stay ahead of expiring contracts by drafting players in those positions a year early. If that is the case, then the Rams will need to give a long hard look at adding multiple defensive linemen in the 2024 NFL Draft. How great is the need? If you accept the fact that Aaron Donald fills one spot, and the combination of Kobie Turner/Bobby Brown III fills the second starting role, then the Rams will need to find at least one starter in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Rams found Turner in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. To find another starter, I believe that the Rams will need to draft a defensive lineman no later than Round 4.