When will LA Rams draft special teams specialists?
By Bret Stuter
Let's talk about the LA Rams 2023 NFL Draft strategy. More specifically, the Rams special teams specialists, who have all gone on to sign free agency contracts with new NFL teams. That means that the LA Rams need a long snapper, a punt/kickoff return specialist, a placekicker, and a punter. So the question is, will the Rams draft those players, sign those players after the draft, or a mix and match strategy?
Special teams can play a crucial role in any NFL team's success, or failure, and the difference between an NFL Championship Team and the runner up has often fallen upon that special teams' play that becomes legendary, or lives on in infamy. If you doubt that, just google the term "Wide Right," and you will find 4.36 million hits that cover Buffalo Bills' plackicker Scott Norwood's failed field goal attempt in Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991, against the New York Giants.
Special teams generate special moments
There are few moments in the NFL as exhilerating and exciting for NFL fans as a game winning field goal as time runs out. Conversely, few events compare to the frustration and disappointment to a missed potential game-winning field goal as time runs out. Of course, if you are cheering for the defense, then flip the two scenarios.
Because special teams hold the key to those special moments that can decide the outcome of games, and those moments can have significant impacts on an NFL team's season, let's weigh the should-they-or-shouldn't-they decision of whether to address the position in the NFL Draft. In short, the LA Rams have no special team veterans returning to the team for the 2023 NFL season. That means the Rams must start from scratch. That opens the door for the LA Rams draft to add four special team specialists to the Rams roster. What could go wrong?
Okay. A blank slate could open the door of opportunity to do better than last year. Or it could be an opportunity to do worse. For now, let's agree that no matter which method the LA Rams employ to find a new placekicker, they will have a very difficult time of signing a kicker who was as effective as Matt Gay.