With free agency looming and a ton of decisions to be made, the Rams are going into the 2018 NFL Draft with a handful of openings that’ll need to be filled. Pro Football Focus team has taken a look at every team in the league’s biggest roster need and a potential filler through the draft.
Here’s their take on the Rams:
The Rams defense was at its best when they had Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn terrorizing offenses. Quinn though has declined every season since his mind-blowing 2012, and this season had just 40 total pressures all year, while struggling as a run defender in Wade Phillips’ scheme. The Rams could use a versatile edge rusher. Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has the kind of versatility that would thrive in this scheme, and notched 46 total pressures and 46 defensive stops this season in college while dropping into coverage 128 times.
Is there really any debate here? The Rams are going to have some big question marks at the OLB position. Starting OLB Connor Barwin is a free agent, and many, including myself, would say he served his purpose as a mentor to younger guys as well as helping the transition over to a Wade Phillips 3-4 defense. There is no reason to re-sign him, other than a cheap veteran for depth, but the youth on the roster may not allow that.
As for Quinn, some would say he is overpaid. According to OverTheCap, Quinn is the fifth-highest paid 3-4 OLB on average at $14.3m per year. Not only is that going to be a major question mark headed into free agency, but as the PFF team noted his effectiveness has diminished a tremendous amount.
Is his production worth his price? Will he be retained or let go? Regardless of whether he’s brought back or not, his production hasn’t been good enough for the Rams to ignore the edge position especially when you factor in the impending hole that Barwin should create.
The Rams are going to have many decisions to make with their free agent list that is quite extensive. Those decisions are going to be made in unison, having a domino effect on the offseason. Looking forward, one thing is for certain...
The Rams will not be fielding an identical team next season.