Defensive End has historically been one of the Rams strongest positions. Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy, and Jack Youngblood are all some of the greatest Rams. More recently players like Kevin Carter, Grant Wistrom and Leonard Little have kept the tradition of excellence at defensive end alive for the Rams.
It continues today.
The Three Pass Rush-keteers (sorry.....sort of)
Chris Long: Long has shown improvement every single year of his 5 year career. He is one of the better pass rushers in the NFL. His sack total may not be incredibly high, but he has been among the league leaders in QB pressure that last two seasons.
Many complain about his rush defense, and it's true that it's not his best strenght. Still, it's not a big issue, as the Rams ask their defensive ends to get pressure on the QB first and foremost, and Chris Long can do that. He can do that very well.
Robert Quinn: After a rookie season in which Quinn was mostly a situational player, he was able to have his first double digit sack season in his first year as a starter. His raw pass rushing skills are tremendous. If he can better his bull rush, and add a couple more solid moves, he could be the Rams leader in sacks for quite some time. He has a chance to explode this year. And he's only 23, entering his third season in the NFL.
William Hayes: Hayes filled the all important third defensive end role for the Rams last season, and he was tremendous. His rush defense is solid, and he was able to bring pressure from both defensive end and defensive tackle on passing downs. He finished the year with 7 sacks. The Rams being able to retain his services this offseason was key.
The Solid Role Player
Eugene Sims: Sims was a favorite of the Steve Spagunolo regime, and I thought his days were numbered with the Rams. He secured his roster spot in training camp last season, and he was able to provide decent play as a role player. He also did some work with special teams.
Players like Sims aren't spectacular in any way, but they are very much needed.
The Rams brought in Mason Brodine who was an undrafted free agent for the Raiders in 2012, who appeared in 2 games. They also added two undrafted rookies of their own with Gerald Rivers and R.J. Washington.
The Rams only kept 4 defensive ends last season, so for any of these three to make the roster they will have to perform very well in camp.