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PFF Grades Los Angeles Rams’ Preseason Game One

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The player of the game for the Rams may have a similar name to a certain basketball GOAT

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Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Upon conclusion of the Los Angeles Rams first preseason game vs the Dallas Cowboys, the PFF team has taken a look at the game and officially graded the top players in the game.

TOP 5 GRADES

CB Michael Jordan, 91.2 overall grade

DI Tanzel Smart, 87.5 overall grade

C Austin Blythe, 82.7 overall grade

QB Sean Mannion, 81.4 overall grade

LB Kevin Davis, 80.1 overall grade

Interesting for sure. Mike Jordan had a very impressive game. An active player all game, he was sticky in coverage and nearly pulled down an incredible game clinching INT that eventually got ruled as a drop, but regardless, it’s great to see a CB step up in the wake of E.J. Gaines being traded.

Sixth round rookie DL Tanzel Smart was extremely impressive. He made his presence felt in the run and pass game, and was evident he not only has a spot on this roster, but with more performances like that can potentially work his way to a lot more playing time since Dominique Easley’s injury.

Blythe could get some more run, potentially as a starting RG as Jamon Brown struggled mightily. Props to backup QB Sean Mannion, because he received a lot of flack, and he had a good game. Now, not too much was asked of him at all, but he executed with precision and accuracy, though he did do the exact same thing last year vs DAL. Lastly, that’s a great start for a UDFA LB like Kevin Davis, who was active in the second half of the game, and also had the game winning tackle short of the first down marker on fourth down against a Cowboys TE. Oh, and he needs to change that #60, it’s hideous.

QB Sean Mannion, 81.4 overall grade

With QB Jared Goff playing only two series, Mannion took advantage of a showcase opportunity going 18-of-25, including three dropped passes. It was mostly short stuff for Mannion, but his one pass over 10 yards was a post route that was right on target until Xavier Woods knocked it out. Mannion also handled pressure well, completing 4-of-5 passes with his only incompletion the aforementioned post route.

Yeah, similar to last years game, Mannion can only do what’s asked of him, and though they were mainly short and quick routes, he had the offense moving effectively. If the Rams were capable of holding onto the ball, the score may have been much different.

C Austin Blythe, 82.7 overall grade

Blythe made an impact in the run game where he executed a variety of blocks at a high level. He made linebackers pay at the second level and he made multiple reach blocks to stonewall opposing nose tackles. He fielded the game’s second-highest run block grade of 83.0. It wasn’t all great as he airmailed a snap over QB Sean Mannion’s head and he surrendered a QB hit, but Blythe’s work as a run-blocker won’t go unnoticed in his battle to join the offensive line rotation this season.

This is noteworthy. Blythe stood out more-so as a run blocker, and Jamon Brown seemed to struggle a good amount as a run blocker, maybe if Blythe continues to impress he could potentially steal a starting spot.

CB Michael Jordan, 91.2 overall grade

Jordan played up to his lofty name making numerous plays in the passing game all night. On his five coverage targets, he surrendered just one catch for 11 yards with two passes defenced. Quarterbacks targeting Jordan posted just a 39.6 passer rating.

As a rookie UDFA last season, Jordan logged plenty of snaps, at least more than you’d think a UDFA rookie would. I think it’s clear that experience showed as Jordan was very solid in his first game back, and could potentially have given Troy Hill a run for his money for the fourth CB spot upon the departure of E.J. Gaines.

DI Tanzel Smart, 87.5 overall grade

The rookie sixth-round draft pick out of Tulane filled up the stat sheet and was disruptive all night against the run and affecting the passer. Smart recorded one hit, three hurries, one batted pass at the line of scrimmage and two tackles on his 37 snaps. He finished with a very respectable 11.1 pass-rush productivity mark.

All in all, you gotta like what you seen from the Rams. Sure, they’ve got things to clean up (fumbles, tackling, penalties), but in terms of execution and a relatively clean switch to new schemes, it looks like things are definitely off to the right start.