Many, including myself, would argue that the Rams do not have a very good front seven, mainly the D-line. That may not be entirely true. The Rams have made many changes to their front seven this year. None of them will make huge impacts and collapsing the pocket and getting to the QB. But if you look at all of the pieces, almost everyone's strength in the front seven is defending the run. I think we could have a pretty good run defense this year. I will look at all the pieces of the front seven.
I'll start off with the most obvious run stopping piece:
Coming into his rookie year he was thought of as a great run defender and he didn't disappoint. He was constantly in on tackles and was probably the most consistent player on the Rams defense. I don't think I need to say too much about him. He's an animal.
Na'il Diggs and Bobby Carpenter:
These two first-year Rams are expected to be the starting outside linebackers. These guys are both pretty big dudes. Diggs weighing in at 6'4'' 240 lbs. and Carpenter weighing in at 6'2'' 250 lbs. Getting bigger linebackers should definitely help in the run defense. These two are both much stronger against the run than what we've had recently (Paris Lenon, David Vobora).
This was written in a pre-draft scouting report about him:
While Long did not boast huge sack totals, he was as stout a run stopper as anyone in the country
I think that pretty much sums him up. He has always been a pretty good run defender, he just hasn't gotten the sack totals that most will like him to have.
Has the agility to keep containment on his side of the field, even on misdirection plays, whether or not he is engaged. Can swipe away oncoming blockers
He is also said to be a one-trick pony as a pass rusher, so run defense seems to be his strong suit. He is a later round rookie, so hopefully Spags can coach him to become a solid player against the run as soon as possible.
Robbins has had a successful career with the Giants and has been an important piece in their strong run defense.
His strong suit is also run defense.
Run Defense: When he stays low in his pads and gets a wide base, he flashes power and the ability to get to the ball. He seems to be more combative with his hands when working around the pile, using rip moves to jerk the blocker out of the way to hit the runner with impact. When he hunkers down, he generates the strength needed to gain leverage. When his motor is running, he can be tough to handle when closing, as he has the ability to jump around blocks
In this scouting report, each ability was given a scouting ranking and run defense was hist strongest by a point, in a 1-10 scale I believe.
Couldn't really find any scouting reports on him, but he has been our best DT. He had 35 tackles last year, which is not a bad number.
We also have recently drafted a hard hitting physical cornerback in Jerome Murphy and we have a couple strong safeties capable of playing in the box.
So our run defense could shape up pretty nicely if all players progress as expected. Our linebacking corps is definitely bigger and better than last year, and our DEs are more of run stoppers than pass rushers. And hopefully an improved Ryan and Scott and the addition or Robbins will help the center of our line. If we could just get some pass rushers, our defense would be looking a lot better. We have a secondary which I think is the strength of this team, and we have a front seven that is almost completely geared to defend the run. I'm looking for run defense to be a strength this year and think we will finish at least middle of the pack in rush defense this year.