ESPN insiders Kevin Seifert, Dan Graziano and Mike Clay have ranked all 32 NFL teams in terms of how much each team improved from 2018 to now (subscription required).
Clearly, they’re not impressed with the Los Angeles Rams’ offseason ranking them 27th:
27. Los Angeles Rams
Big additions: S Eric Weddle, LB Clay Matthews
Key losses: DT Ndamukong Suh, S Lamarcus Joyner, OG Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, LB Mark Barron
The defending NFC champions took hits on both sides of the ball during the offseason. Weddle is a strong Joyner replacement, but Suh is a big loss after the 32-year-old played exceptional ball on more than 1,000 snaps (including the playoffs) last season. Los Angeles’ offensive line has been a strength, but there are big question marks in the interior with youngsters Brian Allen, Joseph Noteboom and Bobby Evans competing to replace longtime starters Saffold and Sullivan. The Rams are still loaded, though not quite as good as last season.
I don’t think it’s all that unfair given how strong the roster was last year. And given that the Rams’ activity in free agency included losing five starters and bringing in two veterans at the tail end of their careers and a 2019 NFL Draft haul that started with the 61st overall pick, it doesn’t line up with the rest of the league in terms of improving their stock. These same rankings have the New England Patriots ranked 30th, so part of this is just the difficulty in “improving” things when you’re already in very good standing.
But the NFL world moves quickly. You can get left behind in the blink of an eye. If by year’s end these rankings hold up, the Rams will be pressed in the 2020 offseason to ensure next year’s version of these rankings have the Rams higher up the list.