The Los Angeles Rams got into the 2018 offseason with the goal of solidifying the team as a Super Bowl contender over the next couple of seasons.
One of the main goals was to get Aaron Donald extended which we managed to do getting him and his sacking buddy Michael Brockers extended for four years. Rookie Harisson Phillips was brought in to close the DL, one of the strongest aspects of the defense all three players should cause havoc among OLs for years to come. Another free agent aquisition was Allan Branch who came over after being cut by the Patriots, a rotational piece in the line up who not only gives son of Bum another option inside depending on the situational package as well as bringing in Super Bowl experience to a team that has Super Bowl aspirations in the next two seasons.
The linebackers in the Rams team simply did not fit Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme very well, another goal was to bring in players who fit the mold better as well as improving the teams run defense which struggled in 2017, a lot of cap was invested in this positional group so they were used as trade fodder. ROLB Robert Quinn was sent to Tampa for Desean Jackson (more on him later) as well as a third round pick. Quinn had a high price tag for a player who struggled with injuries and was a liability in the run defense. In his place The Rams drafted Sam Hubbard who should play well alongside Aaron Donald, for depth and different situational packages we also plan on using Matt Longacre and veteran acquisition Elvis Dummervil who came over on a veteran minimum contract in free agency. ILB Marc Barron was traded to the 49ers in order to move up in the third round and Eli Harold, another cheap young OLB who played well in the 3-4 in the past. Avery Williamson was the big free agent pickup, one of the leagues best ILB against the run in 2017 Williamson should pair well with Alec Ogletree inside. Brian Cushing who had some great seasons under Wade was brought in on a Vet Minimum contract to add some depth as well as rookie Nick DeLuca, who showed plenty of promise in college but struggled with injury. Finally Anthony Zettel was brough in from the Lions on a trade involving Rodger Saffold. Zettel was the primary pass rusher in a team with Ziggy Ansah, Zettel led the team in QB pressures before his injury, he should translate well from LE to OLB in Wade's scheme, basically an all out pass rusher.
John Jonson last years rookie sensation will return alongside Lamarcus Joyner whom received the Franchise Tag before being extended for another 4 years.
Aquib Talib arrived on a trade from the Broncos (4th round pick), his best seasons were under Wade Phillips, again another perfect fit for our scheme. Terrance Mitchell and Adam "PacMan" Jones arrived from free agent and will battle Kayvon Webster for that number CB spot. Nickel Robey Coleman got resigned and will remain as the teams primary slot corner, a position he has excelled in. Tavarus McFadden was also drafted, physically very similar to Trumaine Johnson whom the team decided to let go. McFadden has plenty of upside and may develop into that number 2 corner role.
Not a lot of changes needed to the highest scoring offense in 2017
Jared Goff should continue to develop
Todd Gurley should continue to hurdle over opponents into the league leading TDs stats
The Rams will continue to develop their young TEs who should figure more prominently into the teams scheme. Perhaps a free agent acquisition will be brought in before the beginning of the season.
Sammy Watkins wasn't worth the price tag but he had an important role in stretching the field. So why not the man that did it best under McVay in Washington? Desean Jackson comes into the team hoping to relive his 2016 season in Los Angeles, a perfect fit for the McVay offense who should get the best out of the wideout. Rookie Cedric Wilson was drafted to complete a WR corp that consits of Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp (who we expect to grow upon his great rookie season) and Josh Reynolds who could also develop into a more prominent role after really stepping up last season when Woods went down. Wilson is a very polished route runner and has tons of upside, look for him to be one of the steals of the draft.
Here we have some significant changes. Andrew Whitworth didn't show signs of slowing down so we hope to have him play at least two more season as one of the league's best LTs.Next to him the Rams will be converting another great veteran tackle to Guard. Jason Peters came in on a sad day for Eagles fans for a measly 5th round pick, after a year of speculation on his conversion to Guard, one of the most consistent LTs in the NFL will be playing in Rodger Saffold's LG in 2018, his quality, leadership and work ethic should compensate for any growing pains of the new position. At Center the Rams lost veteran John Sullivan in free agency and so went with youth in the draft, bringing in Frank Ragnow, the top Center in this years class by a lot of experts, Ragnow was a four year starter in Arkansas and already shows the leadership skills so important to the position, we expect him to grow under the tutelage of Whitworth and Peters into the leader of this line once the two vets are gone. RG Jamon Brown will play in his last year of his rookie contract, the young guard showed a lot of promise in 2017 and will have another year to show he belongs in the Rams OL for years to come. Finally Rob Havenstein will once again return at RT, young strong and like Brown with one more year to prove he can be a franchise tackle. The rest of the acquisitions were for depth as we picked up Max Garcia(Broncos), Andrew Tiller(Saints) and former Rams Tim Barnes makes his return, maybe someone can impress the coaching staff during training camp and fight for a starting spot.
That's it for now, vote @Fragafootball and the Los Angeles Rams for some of these awards. Is there a Rookie of the year award?