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Pro Football Focus Grades the Los Angeles Rams Offseason

The Rams lost some key contributors on defense this offseason, but helped their cause by retaining CB Trumaine Johnson and DE Williams Hayes, adding QB Jared Goff in the draft and inking DT Dominique Easley. This is how PFF justified their B- grade for the Rams' decisions over the last few months.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If Goff lives up to his potential, the Rams offseason grade could very well become a retroactive A+, and if not, it’s an F. For now, we’ll be cautiously optimistic. -PFF's Nate Jahnke

First off, we've covered ad nauseum how the Rams lost four defensive starters (S Rodney McLeod, CB Janoris Jenkins, LB James Laurinaitis and DE Chris Long) and one key rotational piece on the DL from 2015 (DT Nick Fairley).

We get it, they will have some new faces on defense.

Looking for defensive help in free agency, the Rams replaced Fairley's role with 2014 first round pick Dominique Easleyadded 2012 first-round pick DE Quinton Coples into the DL rotation to add pass rushing help and signed CB Coty Sensabaugh to help supplant the loss of Jenkins.

Per PFF's Director of Analytics Nate Jahnke, the Rams "have a few clear strengths—running back and defensive line—but too many weaknesses to expect the team to be successful with a rookie QB in year one".

He's concerned about the loss of highly graded players in the secondary (the Rams were one of five teams to lose three players with a grade of 80.0 or more last year).  Trading up to the first pick for new QB Jared Goff cost the Rams the ability to add top-tier replacements at free safety and cornerback, respectively.

Here is PFF's projected 2016 Rams defense, which looks about right.  The Rams don't really play a base 4-3 defense (mostly in a 4-2-5 hybrid), but you can clearly see that other than Johnson, PFF does not think highly of the Rams secondary:

One of their biggest strengths last year was their secondary, but now they’ve lost half of their starters in that unit. -Jahnke

He argues that the Rams' picks in the fourth and sixth rounds, TEs Tyler Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway and WRs Pharoh Cooper and Michael Thomas, should be instant contributors on an offense looking for receiving help:

If the Rams can get solid contributions from Goff and the rookie pass catchers and players such as T.J. McDonald, E.J. Gaines, Maurice Alexander, Cody Davis and LaMarcus Joyner can step up, the Rams will earn more of PFF's praise.