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2016 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: Defensive Line

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The DL remains the Rams strongest unit in 2016, but faces several changes from years past.

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Let the annual hyping of the Rams defensive line begin.

Whether you prefer #SackCity or #MobSquad, there is no debating that the Los Angeles Rams' DL ranks among the best in the league. NFL.com has them ranked at the top of their DL rankings for this season. The Rams are no strangers to kudos along the DL, having been ranked at the top of a similar list in 2015.

Position Player Chances of Making Roster
DT Aaron Donald 10/10
DE Robert Quinn 10/10
DT Michael Brockers 10/10
DE William Hayes 10/10
DE Eugene Sims 9.5/10
DT Ethan Westbrooks 9/10
DE Quinton Coples 8.5/10
DL Dominique Easley 6/10
DE Matt Longacre 4.5/10
DE/LB Ian Seau 3/10
DE Morgan Fox 0/10

This doesn't include Louis Trinca-Pasat who tore his ACL/MCL in June and will miss the entirety of the 2016 season.

Roster Battle

Your starting four is set with Quinn, Donald, Brockers, and Hayes. The second group has a bit more up for grabs, though Sims, Westbrooks, Coples, and Easley likely have a leg up at this point. Longacre is likely the only other individual who could make the final roster. I would take a good showing in the preseason for him to unseat Easley or Coples.

Jeff Fisher has carried eight DL in all but one of his seasons with the Rams, but it's worth knowing that 2014 was the season he had nine DL on the final roster - and that Alex Carrington was all but useless.

The battle to watch here is for the practice squad spots. Longacre knows the drill here, but will have to fend off Seau to secure his position. If both play well, it's not out of the question to both be on the practice squad - but youth at WR and OL could squeeze one of them out.

Expectations

For going on three years now, this unit has been labeled as one of the best in the NFL. Yes, injuries have played a part of that, but it's time to live up to your billing. If the unit can avoid major injuries, there is no reason why the DL can't put up 40+ sacks by itself.

Impact on Final Roster

Not much honestly. Aside from potentially shaking up the practice squad, the DL won't have an impact on other position groups unless Longacre plays out of his mind in the preseason. If he does and the Rams decide to carry nine DL, it could be at the expense of one of the young OL or WR groups.