When the Los Angeles Rams decided to pursue surprise-free agent DT Ndamukong Suh, they showed the NFL they were serious about upgrading their defense.
Not only is Suh a superb player and five-time pro bowler, but he was a luxury addition to a defensive line that was already very well equipped with all-star Aaron Donald, and underrated-star Michael Brockers.
The guys over at Pro Football Focus have ranked the Rams pass-rushing unit (OLB’s included) as the fourth-best unit in the league.
Here’s what they said:
4. Los Angeles Rams
Projected starting lineup:
Edge defender: Matt Longacre, 73.8 overall grade
Defensive interior: Aaron Donald, 99.7
Defensive interior: Ndamukong Suh, 90.9
Edge defender: Samson Ebukam, 70.0
Key Rotational Player: Michael Brockers, 83.1
Pressure Percentage as a team, 2017: 38.5% (6th)
The Rams are the only team in the NFL who can boast a player like Donald. At just 27 years old, he has already racked up 41 sacks, 67 hits and 199 hurries in his career. While there are question marks on the edge with Longacre and Ekubam currently set to start despite having combined for just 50 total pressures so far in their careers, the Rams made a big addition on the defensive line in Suh. He arrives on a one-year deal, and while he isn’t quite as dominant as Donald, has still racked up 57 sacks, 87 hits and 289 hurries over his eight-year career.
The guys over at PFF didn’t even mention Brockers, which goes to show you how deep that defensive line really is. Brockers is the Rams primary run-stuffing defensive lineman who has also shown an ability to rush the passer in doses.
The defensive line positions continue to climb in importance as the league continues to evolve into a primarily passing league.
The Rams’ unit is one that can help put the defense on their back so-to-speak, that is if they can fulfill their goal of going deep into the playoffs.