Long before the 2023 NFL Draft, LA Rams fans knew a great deal about the 2023 NFL season and the Rams roster. For starters, the Rams entered the draft with just 44 players under contract, a far cry less than the 90 player roster limit set by the NFL for summer training camp. The Rams entered the 2023 NFL Draft with 11 draft pick, which is significantly more than the standard seven pick allotment that each NFL team gets annually.
So it came as no surprise that the LA Rams roster would be constructed with a significant number of rookies. In fact, 14 rookies heard their names called out during the draft, and another 26 (or so) were signed to the team after the draft. Rookies bring inexpensive and energetic talent to the team. They are younger, and in many ways more durable than seasoned veterans.
Rookies also come with their own unique weaknesses and vulnerabilities. For starters, many arrive without the refinement of techniques necessary to succeed in the NFL. That means that rookies must learn, and will do so at varying rates. It also means that they demand a significant amount of coaching time and patience. In fact, early reports from the LA Rams OTAs are that the Rams are going over the basics, essentially training rookies how to train in the NFL.
Rookies mean look for Rams to have plenty of ups and downs this season
But it doesn't end there. Veteran NFL players have plenty of valuable experience to draw upon. NFL rookies, no matter how effective and intricate the training camp, will be seeing things for the first time in the NFL all season long. That leads to inconsistent play, being fooled one time yet making a great play the next. And that learning curve will extend over most of the 2023 NFL season, even for those rookies who may start for the Rams on Day 1.
So the burning question that is on everyone's mind over so many LA Rams rookies: How soon until they are ready? The answer to that question is the fundamental key to the LA Rams 2023 NFL season. If the Rams rookies are ready quickly, the Rams could be competitive enough to surprise some contenders early. With each victory, this Rams roster will become more confident, and that will lead to more success down the road.
However, if the Rams struggle early, this team may be forced to tinker with the starters, trying to find the best group of players to give the Rams the best chance of winning. That could result in some ugly looks from the Rams, as numerous rookies learn how to compete in the NFL the hard way.
The Rams roster simply does not have the same luxury as earlier seasons have enjoyed. This season, the Rams will need to start rookies instantly, ready or not, as there simply is not enough veterans to go around. Will those rookies be ready? Well, ready or not, here they come.