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Los Angeles Rams remain top 5 in preseason NFL.com power rankings

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The Rams begin the 2018 preseason with the highest expectations in more than a decade. The power rankings remind us as much.

General overall of cutouts of LA Rams RB Todd Gurley, ILB Alec Ogletree, QB Jared Goff, WR Tavon Austin and DL Aaron Donald during a Week 12 game against the New Orleans Saints, November 26, 2017.
General overall of cutouts of LA Rams RB Todd Gurley, ILB Alec Ogletree, QB Jared Goff, WR Tavon Austin and DL Aaron Donald during a Week 12 game against the New Orleans Saints, November 26, 2017.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Elliot Harrison has updated his power rankings at NFL.com for the preseason and the Los Angeles Rams remain in the top five while taking a somewhat superficial drop:

#4.) Los Angeles Rams

Previous rank: No. 2

Slight drop for the Rams since the last time we performed this exercise. Mainly because Aaron Donald isn’t getting exercise ... at least, not at camp. No Donald means L.A. is devoid of the premier player on the roster and arguably the top defensive player in pro football. That doesn’t mean Donald won’t eventually find his way back to Candy Land. It just means he plans on landing on the double-pink first ... Never mind. Even without Donald, the Rams are as loaded as any team in football. Unless we’re putting too much faith in Wonder Twins Jared Goff and Sean McVay, whose power activated last year. Can’t wait to see Week 1 versus the Raiders. Fun game.

The real question is one of where things will stand headed into that season opener. Will Donald be back in the fold? He returned to the team last year one day prior to the season opener motivating McVay to leave him sidelined for Week 1. This year, the preseason rhetoric has ramped up with the reported suggestion that Donald might not play a single down until he gets a new deal.

If we get to Week 1 and we’re still facing this standoff, perhaps then the power rankings need to be adjusted. And perhaps then depending on the result of that game, they may require a significant adjustment.

For better or worse.