The Los Angeles Rams were the toast of the town last season in the NFL and will be looking to add some free agents in 2018 to take the next step.
Not many NFL zealots could have predicted how the 2017 season would go as well as it did for the Los Angles Rams. They went 11-5 and could have hit an even dozen wins had they not rested starters in the final game of the season. They had the NFC West wrapped up and couldn’t move their seeding, so Coach Sean McVay opted for health. They would up losing thier first playoff game to the Atlanta Falcons, but there is no shame to be had in Los Angeles. They went through an incredible turnaround in 2017. Now the goal must be to continue to set the bar higher in 2018.
The Rams have already shown a willingness to be aggressive this offseason as they made a stunning trade for Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters. This addressed one of their biggest needs before the new league year even started. If there’s a defensive coordinator who can get the best out of Peters, it’s got to be Wade Phillips. Having defensive lineman Aaron Donald up front and a ball hawk like Peters in the back is a formidable combo. It’s also a good time to mention that McVay turned the Rams offense into a juggernaut.
They finished first in the league in total points last year and are so young at quarterback, running back, tight end and even receiver that improvement isn’t out of the question. Having said all of these good things, that doesn’t mean that the Rams can’t improve. They have a decent amount of cap space, even with an extension for Donald. As in roughly $30 million in space, even if Donald comes in around $20 million per season. These five players should be on their radar to bring in and take the leap to contend for a Super Bowl this year.
5. Offensive skill depth
One area the Rams do need to address may seem odd considering they just led the NFL in points, but they should be on the lookout for a couple key spots on their offense. The first in wide receiver because as of this writing, they may not retain Sammy Watkins. His presence in the offense was much more than the raw numbers show and Los Angeles would take a step back without Watkins. If they keep him, receiver is set along with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
If Watkins heads out of town, one player that the Rams could look at is Allen Robinson. Although he’s coming off a torn ACL, Robinson is an immensely talented receiver and it would be fun to see him with a great young offensive mind like McVay. Jared Goff is coming off a breakout campaign and the Rams must continue to nurture him and give him as many weapons as possible. While Woods and Kupp were excellent in their roles, it might be too much to ask them to be true number one threats.
Another spot on the offense the Rams need quality depth is running back. With the obvious statement of Todd Gurley is one of the NFL’s best players, he touched the ball 343 times. That’s a big workload for a back, especially when he touched the ball 321 times the previous season. If Gurley were to get injured, the Rams have Malcolm Brown and Lance Dunbar as the primary backups. Neither player screams that they could carry a full workload and it wouldn’t be the worst idea to snap up a cheap running back as an insurance policy.
Perhaps Jeremy Hill or ageless wonder Frank Gore could be a fit? Both backs would want to be starters but that’s not likely for either player at this point. Being a backup on a high powered offense could be the route to go. Sure, they wouldn’t get much work as long as Gurley is healthy. However, if he gets hurt, the backup really could shine in the Rams offense.