I just realized something new about the LA Rams roster. Should we be concerned?

Sean McVay
Sean McVay / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Upon researching a few articles in the frantic (sarcasm warning) pace set by the LA Rams in the opening hours of the negotiation period of the 2023 NFL Free Agency Market, I was suddenly confronted with a fact that nobody is discussing. So, in the face of skepticism and the risk of being shunned or canceled for sharing unfounded information, I rechecked the data.

And it held up. So my reaction was one of astonishment. Yikes!?

At first, I wasn't quite certain what to make of the information. It's certainly shocking, a trend that has gone on unnoticed throughout the 2022 NFL season. Or maybe it has been noticed, but nobody else knew what to do with the data either? In any case, the facts are these: Of the LA Rams current 45 players under contract to play for the team during the 2023 NFL season, 13, or 29 percent of the Rams roster never heard their name called out in any NFL Draft. The Rams roster, right now, boasts 13 undrafted free agents. The curious thing is, the number could double or more as the team vies to reach their 90-man roster for training camp.

Who are the LA Rams undrafted free agent players?

We know that the LA Rams have not shied away from creating opportunities for depth, niche, and rotational players on their roster from the ranks of the undrafted. But 13 of 45 players on the Rams roster seems like a high percentage. So who are they?

  1. DB Shaun Jolly - after 2022 NFL Draft by Cleveland Browns
  2. OLB Michael Hoecht - after 2020 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  3. DE Jonah Williams - after 2020 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  4. OLB Zach VanValkenburg - after 2022 NFL Draft by Las Vegas Raiders
  5. DE T.J. Carter - after 2020 NFL Draft by Arizona Cardinals
  6. ILB Jake Hummel - After 2022 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  7. ILB Christian Rozeboom - After 2020 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  8. OLB Keir Thomas - After 2022 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  9. RB Ronnie Rivers - After 2022 NFL Draft by Arizona Cardinals
  10. OT Alaric Jackson - After 2021 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  11. OL Max Pircher - IPP During 2021 NFL season by LA Rams
  12. WR Lance McCutcheon - After 2022 NFL Draft by LA Rams
  13. WR Austin Trammell - After 2021 NFL Draft by Atlanta Falcons

Of the group, the LA Rams could be starting OLB Michael Hoecht in 2023. OL Alaric Jackson and/or Max Pircher could factor into the Rams 2023 offensive line. And the Rams could give serious looks to either Christian Rozeboom or Jake Hummel to line up next to Ernest Jones.

Stay Informed:. LA Rams Free Agency tracker 2023: Who’s coming and going in Los Angeles?. dark

Rams need more 'middle of the road,' roster depth

In fact, upon reviewing the 13 players on this list, an argument could be made for many of them to make the LA Rams' 53-man roster this season. So, do the Rams have so many undrafted contributors on the roster because the team drafts so poorly? Or do the Rams have competent positional coaches who coach up the young raw prospects into significant NFL-caliber players?

The most logical explanation I could come up with is this: As the LA Rams raced for years to pay their elite players, the team had to find some way of balancing it all out and fit everyone under the NFL salary cap. As a result, the Rams leaned more and more heavily into the most inexpensive options to round out the roster, undrafted rookie prospects. I'm not suggesting that players who make the Rams 53-man roster was influenced by finances, but it's quite clear that the LA Rams may recognize just how unsustainable their current build is.

Reset? Rebuild? Reboot? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But the 2022 NFL season, with an unheard-of number of injuries, was quite a system shock to a team that had relatively healthy rosters in 2020 and 2021. But as we all witnessed in 2022, injuries soon exhausted the Rams' game-ready reserves, and the Rams' risk-taking decisions only served as tinder to fuel the fire ever higher.

In the end, this may not be THE answer for the Rams' pause and reset in 2023, but I believe that this unexpected discovery, or rather revelation, is a component of the strategy in the end. I have always appreciated the LA Rams' willingness to give underdogs a chance to compete for a role in the NFL. But now that I realize that the Rams roster continues to lean more and more on undrafted players to contribute more and more to the team, I understand that this truly is not a decision to 'tank,' by the team.

Trending. LA Rams lose their first unrestricted free agent, and this one will hurt. dark

In the end, it's simply about adding more middle men to the Rams roster.