This LA Rams roster has the making of a very good team, someday
By Bret Stuter
Restocking an NFL roster has a bit of science to it, a bit of art to it, and a lot of luck to it. As such, the challenge of the matter is that regardless of the ocean of data available from the Rams data analytics team, affectionately known as the Nerd's Nest, it's still pretty much a shot in the dark.
That is not to say to chuck the data to the closet. Nor is this a "data rules" petition. It's just that the forces that impact the success, durability, communication, and chemistry necessary to propel any NFL to win the NFL Championship in any given NFL season is greater than the sum of individual players.
The challenge of building that type of roster is that so many chances have to 'hit' simultaneously. Not only must everyone be healthy and remain so over a 17-game regular season gauntlet, but the team must emerge from the regular season with enough momentum and confidence to mow down up to four very competitive NFL teams in consecutive fashion. And the process of building that team starts nearly a year earlier.
Reset the roster for another run
The LA Rams took their shot from 2017-2021, appearing in two Super Bowls and enjoying remarkable success. But the 2022 NFL season was a bit more challenging than the Rams organization expected. Over the course of the season, the Rams rifled through an amazing number of players due to injury, and exhausted their financial resources in the process.
That forced the team to take a step back, pause, and refocus on building a roster that will be there for the next four seasons, or longer. That meant that this team has pivoted from win-now veterans to win-tomorrow rookies. That led to the LA Rams drafting 14 rookies from the 2023 NFL Draft, signing 26 undrafted rookies, with more open slots remaining on the 2023 Rams roster. And the Nerd's Nest, while limited in the ability to guarantee success, ensures that the Rams rookie draft class ends up as close to what the Rams are shopping for.
The Rams are parking a great deal of confidence in their rookies this year. But perhaps a better statement is that the Rams are exhibiting a great deal of confidence in themselves to find and select the rookie additions to the roster who will carry the team forward into the foreseeable future..
The question is how long will it take this Rams roster to gel? While I am optimistic and do believe that if the dominoes fall correctly, this team could be in the conversation for an NFL Playoffs berth, I won't hold the team to that. Even a 4-13 season can be a positive development if the Rams, like their young players, exhibit a steady path of growth and development over the course of the season.
That's not hating on the team. It's simply being pragmatic and allowing a very young Rams roster to make mistakes, learn from them, and play better the following week. A 5-12 record in 2023 is far different from the 5-12 record of 2022. After 2022, everyone asked where do the Rams go from here. Even if the Rams end up at 5-12 in 2023, we already know where this team is going from here.