QB Blake Bortles, ILB Clay Matthews, S Eric Weddle
QB Sean Mannion, RB C.J. Anderson, G Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, DE Ethan Westbrooks, DT Ndamukong Suh, OLB Matt Longacre, ILB Mark Barron, CB Sam Shields, DB Lamarcus Joyner
2019 draft class
S Taylor Rapp (2.61), RB Darrell Henderson (3.70), CB David Long (3.79), OT Bobby Evans (3.97), DT Greg Gaines (4.134), OT David Edwards (5.169), S Nick Scott (7.243), ILB Dakota Allen (7.251)
QB: Jared Goff
RB: Todd Gurley
WR: Brandin Cooks
WR: Robert Woods
WR: Cooper Kupp
TE: Gerald Everett
LT: Andrew Whitworth
LG: Joseph Noteboom
C: Brian Allen
RG: Austin Blythe
RT: Rob Havenstein
DT: Aaron Donald
DT: Michael Brockers
OLB: Dante Fowler Jr.
ILB: Clay Matthews
ILB: Cory Littleton
OLB: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
CB: Aqib Talib
CB: Marcus Peters
CB: Nickell Robey-Coleman
S: Eric Weddle
S: John Johnson
QB Blake Bortles, RB Darrell Henderson, RB Malcolm Brown, WR Josh Reynolds, TE Tyler Higbee, OT Bobby Evans, OT David Edwards, DE John Franklin-Myers, DT Greg Gaines, OLB Samson Ebukam, ILB Micah Kiser, ILB Dakota Allen, ILB Bryce Hager, CB David Long, CB Troy Hill, S Taylor Rapp, S Nick Scott, S Marqui Christian
Biggest strength: Wide receiver
Quarterback or running back should also be considered, but the Rams have arguably the best wide receiver trio in football, and Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp all have a unique skillset that perfectly fits Sean McVay’s offense. If not for Kupp’s season-ending knee injury last year, he and his teammates would have had an excellent shot at becoming the sixth trio in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards each—a feat I would bet on them accomplishing in 2019.
Biggest weakness: Overall depth
The drawback of being a “superteam” in the NFL (and the Rams could classify as one because of their spending in free agency and the trade market last offseason) is that the roster depth isn’t great. While injuries didn’t hit Los Angeles like they did other teams in 2018, we still saw the impact that Kupp’s absence had on the passing attack down the stretch, and the secondary really struggled when Aqib Talib missed a chunk of the year. Fortunately, the rookie class looks promising, but the Rams could struggle to overcome a string of significant injuries.
Position battle to watch: Outside linebacker
A foot injury that forced Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to fall to the fifth-round in the 2018 NFL Draft kept him out his entire rookie campaign, but I think the Oklahoma product will be ready to contribute as LA looks for a boost on the edge across from Dante Fowler Jr. The main competition for “Obo” will be Samson Ebukam (who started 14 games last year), but both guys showing well—and maybe picking up some tricks from Clay Matthews—would allow the former Packer to stay inside.
One more thought
Early over/under: 10.5 wins (via CBS Sports)
Over. The rest of the NFC West seemed to improve this offseason, but I don’t see a Super Bowl hangover coming for Los Angeles if they can stay healthy. We might see the passing attack really explode in Sean McVay’s third season as head coach with the same core in place.