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Los Angeles Rams March Scouting Report
Layton Pang
3/28/2020

Trying times! Sorry I have been away since the end of the season and it has been a crazy 2020 in the NFL and in our daily lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone and put a huge dent in the sports world. Although sporting events and any type of gatherings have been halted recently, I realize that it is still important to maintain a positive attitude and care for our fellow human beings. So I will do my best to keep sending you my reports in hopes that it provides some sort of comfort during these trying times. Los Angeles is set to open their new stadium in 2020 and will do so without Todd Gurley who was released recently. The franchise let its former face of the franchise go while introducing a new logo and both moves were not very popular with the fans. Let’s take a look at the transactions the Rams have made since free agency opened.

 

PLAYERS THE RAMS ADDED:

 

LB Leonard Floyd: Floyd is a former first round pick who never reached his full potential with the Chicago Bears. Coming out of Georgia, Floyd was an explosive pass rusher with great athleticism; however, his play has been inconsistent and he has battled through injuries as a professional. The Rams had success developing Dante Fowler Jr, who was considered a bust when he joined Los Angeles and the hope is Floyd can have the same kind of success that Fowler did.

 

DT A’Shawn Robinson: Robinson is a former second round pick from Alabama who has been productive if not spectacular. 2019 was supposed to be a breakout year for this huge lineman; however, nagging injuries led to a disappointing season. Originally signed to replace DL Michael Brockers, A’Shawn will now team up with him to form a nice tandem next to All-Pro DL Aaron Donald.

 

PLAYERS THE RAMS RETAINED:

 

OT Andrew Whitworth: Whitworth signed a three deal to return to the Rams and anchor the left tackle spot. Having Andrew back is a huge gain for the O-line. He may no longer be the premier lineman that he once was, but he is still the best lineman on the team. His return also gives the young linemen on the roster more time to develop.

 

DL Michael Brockers: Brockers originally signed a three year deal with the Baltimore Ravens; however, an ankle injury suffered during the last game of the season made the deal fall through. Michael really wanted to return to Los Angeles anyway so he signed a similar contract to man his spot next to Donald. Brockers return along with the addition of Robinson turns the D-line position from a position in need to a position of strength.

 

OL Austin Blythe: Blythe has been a serviceable, but not dominant, lineman at multiple O-line positions. He started the 2019 season at right guard and took over at center when OL Brian Allen went down with a season ending injury. Blythe signed a one year deal and should compete with Allen to be the starting center in 2020.

 

PLAYERS THE RAMS LOST:

 

LB Corey Littleton: Littleton led the Rams in tackles the last two seasons and has also been productive as a pass defender. His stellar play landed him a three year 35 plus million dollar contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. Replacing Corey will not be easy; however, the Rams have confidence in third year LB Micah Kiser. Kiser was slated to start next to Littleton in 2019 but suffered a season-ending chest injury in the preseason. Micah is healthy now and ready to step into the starting spot vacated by Littleton. How he performs and who starts next to him will be determined.

 

DL Dante Fowler Jr: Dante was a high pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars who was considered a bust. The Rams traded for him during the 2018 season and he flourished with Los Angeles since then, recording double digit sacks in 2019. He signed a three year $48,000,000 contract with the Falcons. Los Angeles is hoping to find similar success with LB Leonard Floyd.

 

PK Greg Zuerlein: Greg "the Leg" signed a modest three year deal ($7.5 million) with the Cowboys and will join former Special Teams Coach John Fassel. Zuerlein had a down season in 2019 but has otherwise been spectacular. He was the hero of the NFC Championship victory against New Orleans and I do not understand letting him leave.

 

DB Eric Weddle: Weddle retired after one year with the Rams. Second year DB Taylor Rapp had a solid rookie season and should step into the starting lineup vacated by Weddle. Rapp started alongside Weddle in 2019 when DB John Johnson went on IR.

 

RB Todd Gurley: Saving the biggest loss for last; the Rams released the former All-Pro and face of the franchise. Todd signed the biggest running back contract just two years ago and it is unbelievable that he is no longer with the Rams after winning the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year award. The Rams can spin it however they want but I truly believe it was more than just injury and cap space concerns. The Falcons signed Todd right away and his 2020 performance will either vilify or vindicate the Rams decision to let him go. RB Darrell Henderson will be given every chance to take over the running back duties and improve upon a pedestrian rookie season.

 

PLAYERS ON THE BUBBLE:

 

WR Brandin Cooks: Cooks had a down season in 2019 and is in the second year of a 5 year $81,000,000 contract extension. Cooks could be traded but I do not think he will be cut like Gurley. I think the Rams keep Brandin as he gives Los Angeles the deep speed element to McVay’s passing game.

 

Los Angeles is going through a huge makeover and lost the heart and soul of the offense in Gurley. The Rams not only lost players this off season, they also moved on from several coaches. DC Wade Phillips and SC John Fassel are the two biggest departures and we will see how HC Sean McVay and his revamped coaching staff fare this season. One last change the Rams have made is their logo. Design and colors are suggestive but the funny comment I saw was from Rams legend Eric Dickerson that the Ram head logo looked like a male endowment! This has been a crazy and tumultuous off season with the Coronavirus pandemic causing havoc throughout the world. During trying times like this, faith and perseverance will see you through. Stay safe and think of others before yourself. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!

 

End.

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