The superb LA Rams 2023 rookie class will pay dividends for years to come

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

If you have followed the track record of the LA Rams over the course of the past seven seasons, you will find that the Rams have been one of the most competitive teams in the NFL over that time frame. But 2022 was the lone exception. It was a season that forced the entire LA Rams organization to stop and ponder about where this team had traveled, and where the team intended to go.

When the LA Rams realized that they had come to the end of the line for the all-in strategy, the team needed to push the pause button on how they could and would move forward into the 2023 NFL season. After limited convertible assets like draft picks fell short, the Rams had to accept the daunting reality that their financial resources could no long support the speed at which the team burned through their annual salary cap allotment.

The Rams had to rejuvenate the team across the board. The Rams were overstocked with veterans who wanted immediate results. The Rams had overspent on players who failed to deliver to the level of their compensation. And worst of all, the Rams had been depleted of coaching staff who truly understood the value and the methods to develop players into their optimal form.

And so, the Rams went about the process of hiring not just coaches, but artisans who held strong fundamental qualities of playing football the right way. The Rams drafted 14 rookies in the 2023 NFL Draft, all of whom loved to play the game of football. And on the financial front, the Rams swallowed all of the financial faux pas in one gulp, eating over $77 million of dead salary cap monies spent in the past.

Rams top-shelf players at bottom shelf prices

To win in 2023, the Rams could not outspend other NFL teams, nor could the team outdraft other NFL teams in terms of Day 1 or Day 2 draft picks. So the Rams had to be smarter than other teams. In terms of shopping the 2023 NFL Free Agency market, the Rams certainly hit the mark with signing free agent DB Ahkello Witherspoon, WR Demarcus Robinson, and to a lesser extent, DB John Johnson III and RB Royce Freeman.

But the real LA Rams strength comes from a 2023 rookie class that has no fear and seems to have no limits as to what they can accomplish. Some are even claiming that this is Rams GM Les Snead's best draft class:

The LA Rams needed their rookies to show up in a big way and deliver. But the Rams have gotten so much out of their rookie class already in ways that nobody expected. The Rams did not have a draft pick in Round, and yet the Rams have rookies who lead all rookies in terms of sacks, receiving yards, and more.

Best of all, these rookies are under contract to play for the Rams through 2026. That will allow the Rams to get unprecedented performances from young and very talented players at below-market prices at their positions. If the Rams have a similarly effective draft in 2024, the Rams will have more than half of their starters competing on very team-friendly contracts.

Eventually, the Rams will restock the roster with market-priced veterans. And the Rams will need to pay the young players who are oh-so-effective for the team in 2023. The superb LA Rams 2023 draft class will pay dividends for years. That will ensure that the Rams will be back in the hunt for another Lombardi Trophy sooner rather than later.