clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steal any defensive player to help the Rams next season

New, comments

We checked in on the offense, but how would you best help Brandon Staley’s defense?

Carolina Panthers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

On Sunday, a question was posted asking “Which non-QB would you steal for the LA Rams offense?” and the poll results weighed heavily in the favor of Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson. The sixth overall pick in 2018, Nelson has already made two Pro Bowls and been a first team All-Pro in both seasons. He’s 24 years old and were the Rams to find themselves a guard like him, they’d be set at that position for a long time.

Second place was Baltimore Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley, signaling that LA fans are still focused on and hopeful for upgrades to the offensive line. What about on defense?

This offseason has seen the Rams replace both offensive coordinators and on defense that means Brandon Staley taking over after three years under Wade Phillips. Staley will be working with a unit that has lost star middle linebacker Cory Littleton and their most gifted edge rusher, Dante Fowler, Jr. It’s at these two positions that the need is probably greatest, but adding another shutdown cornerback or simply an elite talent regardless of position, would also have to be a consideration.

Secondary

Tre’Davious White, CB

I think White has a claim that he was as good or better than Stephon Gilmore — the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year — but he wasn’t playing for the New England Patriots so he wasn’t really getting that consideration. White is also five years younger than Gilmore and potentially is the most desirable cornerback to have in the league right now. Another guy who might get his name in there is the Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey, who was a 23-year-old All-Pro last season as well.

Jamal Adams, S

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S

Derwin James, S

The NFL has somewhat quietly had this influx of incredible safeties lately. Safeties have notoriously had a difficult time cracking the Hall of Fame but the oldest player here is Adams and he’s only 24; could one or two of these players emerge as modern legends? They’ve all already made an All-Pro roster. Fitzpatrick switched teams and the Pittsburgh Steelers nearly made the postseason with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges thanks to their defense. You also had 23-year-old Budda Baker leading the NFL in solo tackles last season.

The Rams have John Johnson for one more year and there’s a lot to like about Taylor Rapp, but is the difference between Adams and a good safety enough to warrant the transition?

Tyrann Mathieu, DB

Isaiah Simmons, DB

I’m just mentioning these two players because they seem to fit in their own category and Mathieu was a big help in Kansas City winning the Super Bowl last season. Will Simmons be the better version of him?

Linebackers

Darius Leonard, LB

Does any other linebacker warrant mention after Leonard? If you’re going to steal any linebacker, it feels like it would just be Leonard. Simply put, he’s been dominant since the Colts drafted him two years ago, recording 284 tackles, 12 sacks, seven interceptions, and six forced fumbles.

Fred Warner is also a great young linebacker and that would be taking a player off of the San Francisco 49ers.

Edge Rushers

T.J. Watt

Nick Bosa

Joey Bosa

Chandler Jones

Chase Young

Myles Garrett

Chris Jones

Josh Allen

I wasn’t sure which player to highlight and I didn’t want to write a breakdown of each of them. It really comes down to personal preference or who you think fits best in Staley’s defense and next to Aaron Donald. These players don’t all play the same position. You wouldn’t confuse T.J. Watt with Chris Jones, who isn’t really any edge rusher but he is certainly known because of his pass rush and what would that look like on the line next to Donald?

Jones is the oldest here and yet also perfectly capable of being the most productive pass rusher here over the next two to three years, which is what should probably matter more than anything else.

I would personally take that into account when making the pick below. Who helps the team the most right now? With the bonus being the longevity of their success thereafter.

Poll

Which player on defense would you most like to steal for the Rams?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Nick Bosa
    (94 votes)
  • 1%
    Chris Jones
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Tre’Davious White
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Jamal Adams
    (8 votes)
  • 29%
    Darius Leonard
    (104 votes)
  • 3%
    Chase Young
    (13 votes)
  • 6%
    Myles Garrett
    (24 votes)
  • 10%
    T.J. Watt
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    Minkah Fitzpatrick
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    Derwin James
    (7 votes)
  • 6%
    Joey Bosa
    (21 votes)
  • 4%
    Other
    (17 votes)
348 votes total Vote Now