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Taking a Look at the Depth in the 2016 UFA Class

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is in tune to the high-profile Free Agents. They grab headlines along with their massive new contracts. The Alshon Jeffery's and Von Miller's of the NFL rarely change teams, but they're the focus of the pageantry at this stage in the game. But for every Josh Norman and Muhammad Wilkerson, there's a Prince Amukamara and B.J. Raji.

Early in the Jeff Fisher regime, the Rams dropped big bucks in free agency to bring in high-profile signings. To put it kindly, that strategy didn't pan out. The past few offseasons, the Rams have instead focused on bringing in solid, less heralded free agents to augment the young core they're building through he draft.

With the ability to create some serious cap room with a few simple changes - we're looking at you Jared Cook - the first reactions of many fans is to make a splash signing to create some excitement in LA. However, due to the lengthy list of defensive contributors hitting free agency the Rams likely will end up shopping in the bargain aisle next March.

With that in mind, check out this list of free agents that could surprise next season via SI. Luckily for the Rams, it's heavy on positions of need for the team. There may be value signings here for the taking.

Rank 2015 Team Position Name
10 Washington DT Terrance Knighton
9 Cleveland RT Mitchell Schwartz
8 St. Louis DT Nick Fairley
7 Denver DT Malik Jackson
6 Kansas City DL Jaye Howard
5 Kansas City S Husain Abdullah
4 New England/New Orleans DL Akiem Hicks
3 Detroit LB Tahir Whitehead
2 Cincinnati DT Brandon Thompson
1 Cincinnati S George Iloka

For those counting, that's a top 10 list with 9 defensive players. Last I checked, Jeff Fisher loves him some defense. When you consider that the Rams could lose a defensive starter or two to free agency, you may find that Snisher is shopping from this list to fill potential gaps.

The names that jump out at me most are Terrance Knighton and George Iloka. Knighton would fill the same role Nick Fairley did in 2015 while provided a little more push against the run. If the Rams lost Rodney McLeod to free agency, I think that Iloka would make for a suitable replacement - but one that might cost more than expected.

When it's all said and done, I would be surprised if Fisher and Snead don't at least be kick the tires on a few of these individuals in the coming weeks.