As Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams were clearly one of the teams to keep an eye on this offseason. would Les Snead and the front office be able to recreate the successful on-field product from this past season?
Some major departures have included linebacker Von Miller, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, cornerback Darious Williams, and receiver Robert Woods, but LA has kept the talent level high with signings of All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, Pro-Bowl receiver Allen Robinson II, and the return of corner back Troy Hill.
Securing a commitment from superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald to return for another season amidst retirement rumors was the cherry on top.
Allen Robinson II
PFF graded the offseason of all 32 teams Wednesday and gave LA a B-, while grading the team’s free agency performance as “above average” and the draft haul as a C+.
Here’s part of what the site had to say about the grade:
The Rams were surprisingly active given the framing of their entire all-in strategy by many people. Andrew Whitworth’s retirement led the team to throw considerable money at Joseph Noteboom to ensure he stayed in the building to take over at left tackle. Noteboom played well last season when Whitworth was hurt (PFF pass-blocking grade above 70 when lined up at left tackle), but his sample size of quality play is very low, so this is a calculated gamble.
The team did lose noteworthy players, however, with Von Miller, Darious Williams, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Corbett all signing elsewhere in addition to those already mentioned.
PFF failed to mention and seems to have forgotten what was arguably LA’s most notable signing. Inking a potential future Hall-of-Famer like Wagner to a deal, especially one that ripped him away from a division rival, shows LA’s intent on continuing to compete at the highest level.
What other intention would there be?
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Wagner was the league’s third-leading tackler last season (170). Still, there are certainly questions surrounding his five year, $50 million deal and if he’ll live up to it as he gets older. The veteran will be 32 by the time the season begins.
And ask Snead and coach Sean McVay what they think about the team’s draft haul for 2022 and they’ll rave about the selections.
The Rams had limited opportunity to get a franchise-altering player, as their first pick didn’t come until the second-to-last selection of the third round. But Snead and McVay selected players they felt were a compatible fit with the team’s system and culture. And it’s hard to argue with their judgment based on the Rams’ draft success during Snead’s tenure.
According to McVay, new rookie offensive guard and the Rams’ first selection, Logan Bruss, will immediately get a chance to start this season.
Additional secondary help was brought in with multiple picks. Decobie Durant, Quentin Lake, Derion Kendrick, and Russ Yeast are four defensive backs who all figure to hold a place on the depth chart this season.
The Rams don’t care about the grades. Pass or fail labels in the preseason simply don’t matter. Once the run for repeat titles begins in September, Snead and McVay’s offseason vision could see quick payoff.
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