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St. Louis Rams: Filling In The Blanks On DEFENSE

Armchair GM’s collaborated on Thursday and put together some impressive offensive units for the St. Louis Rams’ 2014 season. Now, who can take the Rams’ defense to the next level?

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The time has come for you to build the ultimate St. Louis Rams’ defense for the 2014 season. In case you missed it, we kicked off the fun with the Rams’ Offense yesterday. Hopefully you were able to flex your General Manager skills…if not, feel free to do so now.

For those who are ready to take the Rams’ defensive unit to the next step, here’s your opportunity. The Rams’ defense has been it’s strong suit over the last few seasons, and it may only be a piece or two away from being one of the league’s most dominant.

A few things to note:

* We’re using the 2013 depth chart to assume the number of players on the defensive side of the ball. The offense had 27, but the defense had only 24. I’ve broken down starters and backups based on the official 2013 depth chart. It’s your show, though. If you want to carry one less Free Safety and one more Cornerback, go for it!

* I’ve filled the starters as I see them heading into the offseason. The Rams aren’t blowing up my phone for suggestions, so it doesn’t mean those players will enter the season as the starter. That being said, there have been rumblings about certain players - based on performance - that lead me to leave their starting spot vacant. You pencil them right back in as you see fit. As it stands, I see 17 of the 24 spots as an opportunity for a player [whether it be starting or backup] to earn a roster spot.

* There are several Rams’ players who will be competing against free agents and rookies to earn a spot as a backup in 2014. The "Potential" players underneath each position will display "free agents" and "rookies." Links to free agents will direct you to the list of 2014 FA's - on Spotrac - for that particular position [If you’re not familiar, the site is great for player contracts, and how keeping/cutting them could impact the team]. The "Rookies" link[s] will direct you to CBS Sports, which is sorted and ranked by position for the 2014 draft class.

Interestingly enough, players like Chris Long and James Laurinaitis have drawn complaint about their less than stellar 2013 performance[s]. While many consider them sure-things for 2014, you certainly don’t have to. Could Alec Ogletree play MLB? Could the Rams draft Jadaveon Clowney? Former Pro-Bowler, Cortland Finnegan, had an atrocious 2013 campaign…is he still a Ram next year?

You be the judge. Who can build the best - albeit realistic - defense for the 2014 Rams?

Right End

Starter: Robert Quinn

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Eugene Sims, Free Agent, or Rookie

Right Defensive Tackle

Starter: Michael Brockers

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Jermelle Cudjo, Free Agent, or Rookie

Left Defensive Tackle

Starter: __________________

Backup: _________________

Potentially: Kendall Langford, Matthew Conrath, Free Agent, or Rookie

Left Defensive End

Starter: Chris Long

Backup: William Hayes

LDE3: __________________

Potentially: Free Agent, or Rookie

Left Outside Linebacker

Starter: Alec Ogletree

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Ray Ray Armstrong, Free Agent OLB's, or Rookie

Middle Linebacker

Starter: James Laurinaitis

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Alec Ogletree, Free Agent ILB's, or Rookie

Right Outside Linebacker

Starter: _________________

Backup: ________________

ROLB3: ________________

Potentially: Jo-Lonn Dunbar [FA], Will Witherspoon [FA], Darren Bates, Free Agent OLB's, or Rookie

Right Cornerback

Starter: Janoris Jenkins

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Brandon McGee, Free Agent, or Rookie

Left Cornerback

Starter: _________________

Backup: ________________

Potentially: Cortland Finnegan, Trumaine Johnson, Free Agent, or Rookie

Free Safety

Starter: ________________

Backup: _______________

FS2: __________________

Potentially: Rodney McLeod, Darian Stewart [FA], Cody Davis, Free Agent, or Rookie

Strong Safety

Starter: T.J. McDonald

Backup: _______________

Potentially: Matt Giordano [FA], Free Agent, or Rookie


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