Disappointing ESPN Power Rankings offer little reason for Rams to celebrate

ESPN Power Ranking are quite disappointing as they underestimate the LA Rams in 2024
1982 NFL Player Draft: ESPN Announcers
1982 NFL Player Draft: ESPN Announcers / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

When the LA Rams ended the 2023 NFL season, the team had pulled off a mini-miracle. Despite starting the season with a record of 3-6, the Rams put on a red-hot push for the NFL Playoffs to end the season with a record of 10-7, and the sixth-seeded beirth in the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Ranked against all NFL teams, the Rams finished as the 11th best team through the 2023 NFL season.

With such a lofty perch, and such a red-hot finish, you might expect the Rams to crack the Top-10 in off-season power rankings. Or to hold their spot at a minimum. But that is not the case.

The LA Rams come in at 14th place in the latest ESPN post-draft power rankings for 2024. That is no better than the 14th-place projections after free agency and is not exactly a vote of confidence for the team. In truth, it's a bit insulting to a team that ended the 2023 NFL season as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

And after a rather robust and aggressive off-season efforts, has every reason to be more optimistic this season.

Rams new direction dumbfounds analysts once more

I don't think it's a secret to reveal that the team's front office is an NFL think-tank, a collection of sharp football strategists that offer innovations to all of the behind-the-curtain functions that are necessary to make a football team click. After trading picks for today's talents, the team has begun to leverage the affordability of drafted rookies to compensate the high cost of elite players.

Eventually, other NFL teams see and mimic the Rams plans. When that happens, the team merely changes long-standing plans instantly and dramatically, as occurred after the 2022 NFL season. Right now, the Rams are in Year 2 of that new strategy, which aims at becoming more physical, better able to run the football, and powered by the physicality and passion of young players.

Even after the NFL was amazed at the collective performance of Rams rookies like P Ethan Evans, IOL Steve Avila, OLB Byron Young, NT Kobie Turner, and WR Puka Nacua in 2023, still they shirk acknowledging this team's upward moment less that several months later.