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Los Angeles Rams Roster Breakdown in 2020
The Los Angeles Rams are a weird team to try to assess for 2020. Two years ago, they were virtually unstoppable en route to a Super Bowl appearance. Last year, they dealt with a rapidly regressing Todd Gurley and couldn’t make the playoffs.
Gurley is gone, and this roster dealt with a ton of turnover. Suddenly, we need to ask if they might get even worse, or if it’s possible they’re still the team that competed for a championship.
There’s evidence of this going either way, as Sean McVay is still a genius, and offensively, the Rams could still field a very competitive team. And defensively, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey spearhead a star-studded unit.
Suffice it to say, it may make sense to take a look at the Los Angeles Rams’ depth charts for 2020 before placing any bets.
Note: Starters are bolded
Rams Quarterback Depth Chart
- Jared Goff
- John Wolford
- Bryce Perkins
- Josh Love
It’s likely we know who Goff is at this point: a solid quarterback who probably isn’t ever going to be elite. I’m not sure that’s a slight, as he can still execute this offense at a pretty high level.
Goff is two years removed from a 32-passing touchdown season, and last year, he put up over 4,600 passing yards and 22 scores in a down year.
I’m not enamored with Goff, but he can get the job done and still has a nice array of weapons around him. He kind of needs to, since the Rams have nothing but spares behind him on the quarterback depth chart.
Rams Running Back Depth Chart
- Malcolm Brown
- Darrell Henderson
- Cam Akers
- John Kelly
- James Gilbert
- Xavier Jones
The Rams finally moved on from Todd Gurley, who was not as healthy or as effective as he was the year they went to the Super Bowl. They really don’t have a direct answer for his departure, though, as McVay has constantly said the team will use a committee approach at running back.
That may be fine, as this keeps the running backs fresh and helps with effectiveness, in theory.
Malcolm Brown is tentatively listed as the starter but is more of a replacement-level option. Luckily, Darrell Henderson is rather explosive, and rookie Cam Akers has the potential to be a star.
Those three together formulate an underrated running back depth chart, which may not make this position a problem area.
Rams Wide Receiver Depth Chart
- Cooper Kupp
- Robert Woods
- Josh Reynolds
- Nsimba Webster
- Van Jefferson
- Greg Dortch
- Earnest Edwards
- JJ Koski
- Trishton Jackson
- Brandon Polk
- Easop Winston Jr.
The Rams said goodbye to Brandin Cooks this offseason. He’s still an effective receiver, but his history of concussions and fat contract probably make that a good call.
LA is still blessed with two very good receivers in Kupp and Woods, so it probably won’t matter. Josh Reynolds is a decent third option, too, while the team also drafted Van Jefferson.
Losing Cooks hurts the depth at receiver, but the talent here is still very good.
Rams Tight End Depth Chart
- Tyler Higbee
- Gerald Everett
- Brycen Hopkins
- Johnny Mundt
- Kendall Blanton
- Ethan Wolf
Los Angeles is good to go at tight end. They unearthed a star in Tyler Higbee last season, and he could form a nasty one-two punch with Gerald Everett.
Both of these guys are good athletes who can open up the passing game, which plays into the Cooks loss not being a huge deal.
The Rams honestly got even deeper here, as they spent a 2020 fourth-rounder on Brycen Hopkins, who is a solid athlete and was productive at Purdue.
Rams Offensive Line Depth Chart
|Position||Starter||Backup||Third String||Fourth String||Fifth String|
|Left Tackle||Andrew Whitworth||Chandler Brewer|
|Left Guard||Austin Corbett||Joseph Noteboom||Jamil Demby|
|Center||Brian Allen||Coleman Shelton||Cohl Cabral||Jeremiah Kolone||Nate Trewyn|
|Right Guard||Austin Blythe||David Edwards||Tremayne Anchrum|
|Right Tackle||Rob Havenstein||Bobby Evans|
The Rams have a very good o-line that delivered elite pass protection (fewest sacks allowed) in 2019. They probably could have been better with their run-blocking, but it’s worth wondering how much of their struggles had to do with Gurley or other circumstances.
From a talent perspective, the Rams should be good here. Whitworth is getting dangerously close to retirement, but he’s still very good, and the Rams could get bounce-back years from Rob Havenstein and others.
Rams Defensive Line Depth Chart
|Defensive End||Defensive Tackle|
|Michael Brockers||A’Shawn Robinson|
|Aaron Donald||Sebastian Joseph-Day|
|Morgan Fox||Greg Gaines|
|Marquise Copeland||Michael Hoecht|
Aaron Donald anchors an elite defensive line that ranked 4th in sacks but had issues in stopping the run. LA is better than that, and the talent is there in the starting lineup, so expecting improvements isn’t too silly.
Morgan Fox is a solid rotational defensive end, but the Rams aren’t overly deep here. Their top defensive linemen are studs, but they need to stay on the field for this unit to be effective.
LA did add four rookies to shore up the depth, but Donald, Brockers, and Robinson better not get hurt.
Rams Linebacker Depth Chart
|Samson Ebukam||Terrell Lewis||Micah Kiser||Leonard Floyd|
|Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Justin Lawler||Travin Howard||Kenny Young|
|Josh Carraway||Natrez Patrick||Clay Johnston||Troy Reeder|
|Greg Reaves||Daniel Bituli||Christian Rozeboom||Jachai Polite|
|Bryan London II|
LA completely retooled their linebacking corps, as Dante Fowler Jr., Clay Matthews Jr., and Cory Littleton are all gone. Fowler was a strong pass rusher, while Littleton was a force in the middle and honestly was a massive loss.
The Rams still may be okay here, though. Leonard Floyd comes into town as a solid pass rusher from Chicago, while rookie Terrell Lewis could be a nice find on the inside.
Right there, the Rams may have effectively replaced Fowler and Littleton, while Matthews had been regressing, anyway.
Micah Kiser missed all of last year with a torn pectoral muscle, so the jury is out on him. The potential is there, as is the case with Ebukam in a more expanded role.
I see the upside, but a lack of experience could be an issue, at least early on, for the Rams.
Rams Cornerback Depth Chart
- Jalen Ramsey
- Troy Hill
- Darious Williams
- David Long
- Adonis Alexander
- Donte Deayon
- Levonta Taylor
Jalen Ramsey is obviously a superstar cornerback and anchors a hopefully improved Rams secondary. LA was 12th against the pass last year, but losing veterans like Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters still stings.
Ramsey wasn’t consistent last year, but he has the talent to shut one side of the field down. Troy Hill was very good in 2019, and while he’s far from elite, he could operate as a solid number two next to Ramsey.
Darious Williams also performed well last season in limited action and could carve out a bigger role moving forward.
Rams Safety Depth Chart
- Taylor Rapp
- John Johnson
- Jordan Fuller
- Terrell Burgess
- Jake Gervase
- Nick Scott
- Tyrique McGhee
- Dayan Ghanwoloku
- Juju Hughes
Eric Weddle retired in the offseason, which creates a pretty big hole at safety. The good news is Taylor Rapp flashed brilliance as a rookie and has the sure tackling and overall athleticism to be a terror.
John Johnson projects as the other starter next to Rapp, but it’s tough to know what version LA will get. Jordan Fuller and Terrell Burgess round out a relatively deep safety depth chart, but this position certainly has its question marks.
Rams Special Teams Depth Chart
- Kicker: Sam Sloman Austin MacGinnis Lirim Hajrullahu
- Punter:Johnny Hekker
- Long Snapper: Jake McQuaide
- Holder: Johnny Hekker
- Punter Returner: Nsimba Webster
- Kick Returner: Greg Dortch
The Rams took a hit on special teams, as big-legged kicker Greg Zuerlein left in free agency. The team invested in Miami (OH) kicker Sam Sloman in round seven of the 2020 NFL Draft but figure to have an open competition at the position.
Punter Johnny Hekker ranked 7th in punting net average in 2019 and has been rock steady for the franchise since taking over the helm in 2012.
In the return game, the Rams will likely turn to Webster or Dortch. This is Dortch’s first year with the Rams, but he’s a good return man that could demand a roster spot.
Webster had nine total returns with LA in 2019 and will be the first contender to replace Jojo Natson, who signed with the Browns.
Rams Roster Analysis
- Grade: B-
The talent is still there for the Rams to win a good amount of games and get back to the playoffs. The offensive line should be able to keep Jared Goff upright, and the star quarterback has the ability (as well as the surrounding talent) to be productive.
Goff bouncing back is crucial, but establishing the run could go a long way in helping him. It’s unclear who will help the Rams do that the most, of course.
Defensively, the Rams have some big names but lack depth. They have a lot of questions that need answering in their secondary, while young talents need to step up at linebacker, as well.
Betting on the Los Angeles Rams in 2020
The Rams still have the big names that can carry them on both sides of the ball, while the team hasn’t had a losing season in Sean McVay’s three years in town.
Los Angeles is still a playoff threat, and if they get in, who knows what happens? Just consider the roster turnover they’re dealing with, as well as the tough environment of playing in the loaded NFC West.