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ESPN future power rankings keep Los Angeles Rams in top 10

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The future remains bright in LA.

Construction worker Sheyonna Grayson takes a photo with some of the Los Angeles Rams’ 2019 rookies, Jun. 7, 2019.
Construction worker Sheyonna Grayson takes a photo with some of the Los Angeles Rams’ 2019 rookies, Jun. 7, 2019.
Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images

ESPN has been putting out future power rankings every year since 2014 using the same process:

To project which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons, we asked our panel of experts to rate each team’s roster non-QB, quarterback, draft, front office and coaching using this scale:

100: A+ (Elite)
90: A (Great)
80: B (Very good)
70: C (Average)
60: D (Very bad)
50 and below: F (Disastrous)

After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score -- roster (30 percent), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent). The result is a comprehensive ranking based on how well each team is positioned for the future.

For years, the future power rankings’ placement of the Los Angeles Rams dovetailed with the Fisher era before coinciding with the success of the McVay era:

No surprise then that the correlation continues as the Rams come in at 8th this year (subscription required):

8. Los Angeles Rams
Overall score: 82.8

Why they’re here: It didn’t take long for the Rams to reverse their fortunes, much of it aligning with the hiring of head coach Sean McVay prior to the 2017 season. That was followed up by an aggressive free-agent period led by GM Les Snead that put this roster in position to compete immediately. The Rams remain in good competitive position going forward with a roster chock full of talent and a quarterback in Jared Goff who found his groove under McVay. Major questions for the Rams going forward surround the ability to retain this outstanding core, as the Rams have a sizable list of players who are due for extensions. That’s a good problem to have. -- Yates

Biggest worry: Everything the Rams do offensively is predicated on strong offensive line play (as it is with every team) and an efficient, strong zone-running game that has been led by Todd Gurley over the past two seasons (658 touches, 3,924 scrimmage yards). There are major concerns about just how healthy Gurley (knee) is going to be moving forward, and it is unknown just how well rookie third-round RB Darrell Henderson will adjust to the NFL (although Rams coaches love him). There will be at least two new starters on the offensive line at center and left guard, where John Sullivan was released and Rodger Saffold left via free agency. -- Riddick

What could change for the better: The Rams have a pretty good long-term outlook with presumed high-end stability at coach and quarterback. What could further elevate their position? Many of their defensive stars will be past their prime, at least in terms of age, in 2022. Defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, along with cornerback Aqib Talib, will all be on the wrong side of 30. An infusion of defensive talent seems necessary. -- Seifert

It’s a strong endorsement of the Rams’ medium-term chances at success and for good reason. The Rams are well-positioned to compete for the next few years at the level we’ve seen the last two seasons.