Okay, the LA Rams shopping list for secondary help has been pushed to the top of the chart on my 2023 NFL Draft needs. Why? Thanks to the Rams' trade of defensive back Jalen Ramsey for a backup tight end and a Round 3 draft pick, the Rams' secondary appears to be a dumpster fire right now. Don't believe me? Well, sit down because I'm about to share confidence-shattering facts:
Don't look now, but the longest-tenured defensive back on the LA Rams roster right now is seldom used defensive back, Robert Rochell, who has only been with the LA Rams since 2021. The defensive back who saw the most work in 2022 is rookie Derion Kendrick who played 483 defensive snaps in 2022. His teammate, Cobie Durant, played 281 defensive snaps in 2022. Robert Rochell played just 26 defensive snaps. Russ Yeast played 113 defensive snaps, and Quentin Lake played 53 defensive snaps.
OL or DBs? My vote is secondary
Casual LA Rams fans have dug in their heels over the condition of the LA Rams offensive line. And for a 10,000 foot level, the likely loss of starters David Edwards and Coleman Shelton does pose a bit of a challenge. If you factor in the belief that the Rams cannot allow either Joe Noteboom or Brian Allen start this season, then you could argue that the offensive line needs attention too, and it does.
But the Rams also have a number of players who saw action in 2022 with promising results. Alaric Jackson could start at left tackle, freeing up Joe Noteboom to slide over to left guard, which is where he should be more effective. Chandler Brewer can slide in at right guard. If the Rams extend Coleman Shelton, I would start him as the team's center. That would leave the Rams with viable backups in Brian Allen at center, Logan Bruss as a backup guard, and Max Pircher as a backup tackle. Ideal? No. But serviceable.
The LA Rams are described as a team that is working from a 'refurbish' perspective. I'm sorry, but the secondary is led by Robert Rochell and Cobie Durant, that's not a refurbish. The LA Rams have knocked everything out of the defense but the frame and floorboards. This is a complete remodel.
And even if the Rams land elite rookie defensive backs in the 2023 NFL Draft, it will take time for their learning curve to get them all up to speed. Whether or not the LA Rams can play competitive football in 2023 seems less and less likely. But what is becoming more likely? The LA Rams seem to be positioning for a huge draft haul in 2024.