LA Rams Mission Impossible: Replace an NFL legend on the fly. Here are some options:

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
2 of 6

Hang on, help is on the way

The Rams front office hit some home runs in the 2023 NFL Draft, adding both NT Kobie Turner and OLB Byron Young to a defensive front that had relied on veteran DL Aaron Donald to lead the group. Both stepped up admirably in just their rookie season to give the Rams pass rush a young, but promising four-pronged attack that included: OLB Michael Hoecht (6.0 sacks), DL Aaron Donald (8.0 sacks), OLB Byron Young (8.0 sacks) and NT Kobie Turner (9.0 sacks).

I'm not attempting to compare any of the LA Rams young guns to the Great One, Aaron Donald. But it's not fair to younger players on the team's roster to be ignored or looked past in the view of what the future may hold for the team. To be brutally honest, the defense has two or more rising stars who could have incredible NFL careers.

Three conditions must exist for any NFL player to enjoy a long career. The first is that the player must have the talent to realistically compete in the NFL. The second, and one that derails the careers of many talented prospects, is opportunity. Players need to play simply to improved and develop to their optimal performance. But the third condition is equally important and often ignored, and it affordability.

Great players command huge salaries. Teams allocate limited resources to maintain that player on their roster. It's that affordability factor that prompts a team to release one player who has proven to be a quality starter, in favor of a less expensive player who may develop into a quality starter. The team must walk that fine line between value and production. That won't be easy.

Still, the huge void in the Rams roster must be addressed somehow. What can the Rams do to compensate for that void? We have several options just off the top of our heads: