The LA Rams simply did not draft enough DBs
By Bret Stuter
There was always going to be a huge gap between the LA Rams roster needs and the ability to meet those needs by entering the 2023 NFL Draft with 11 draft picks. Although the Rams did trade many times throughout the draft, and eventually did emerge with 14 rookies (the all-time record was 16 rookies), the LA Rams simply could not meet the needs of all vacancies on the Rams roster.
A huge glaring need for the Rams is the secondary. Just for quick review, the LA Rams traded away starting defensive back Jalen Ramsey. The team did not counter the offers that lured starting safety Taylor Rapp to sign with the Buffalo Bills, nor did the team counter the offer that lured safety Nick Scott to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals. Even cornerback David Long was left to freely sign with the Las Vegas Raiders without an attempt by the Rams to keep him.
That's emptied the Rams secondary of three starters and four players. But there's more.
Two additional former Rams cornerbacks, former starting defensive back Troy Hill and backup defensive back Grant Haley remain unsigned.
I hate to sound the alarm, but . . .
So the Rams plan to enter the 2023 NFL season with a completely new group of defensive backs? And to make matters worse, the Rams have added only two defensive backs via the draft: Cornerback Tre Tomlinson and safety Jason Taylor II. While I believe that both rookie prospects are quite talented and bring plenty to the table, the truth is that the Rams have parted ways with six defensive backs and placed out the welcome mat for the arrival of two new defensive backs.
That's a new loss of four defensive backs, and four starting defensive backs to boot.
I am typically an optimistic type of person. But even I have my realistic limits. The LA Rams have left room for plenty of doubt and concern with the performance of the team's secondary throughout the 2023 NFL season. Might a player or two step up? Sure. But the secondary, much like the offensive line, relies upon cohesion, communication, cooperation, and collaboration as much as the talent of the individual players.
Not only will the Rams' secondary rely heavily upon young and inexperienced players, but the team is attempting to give them all a crash course in trusting one another. That's fraught with dangers. And with so few replacement onboarding via the 2023 NFL Draft, the Rams will likely depend heavily upon competition among undrafted rookies to meet even their basic roster depth needs. And to confirm that matter, the LA Rams have signed seven defensive backs out of 16 undrafted rookies so far. The Rams have 16 more open roster spots to go.
Wish the team luck. This time, I'm afraid, they'll need it.