If there’s one thing we can all agree on when it comes to the NFL, it’s that nothing can ever be predicted with 100% certainty. That’s what males fantasy football so much fun, as well as the reason sports betting continues to soar in popularity. Along this same line of thinking, final rosters and depth charts are also something that’s constantly changing. That first “final 53” roster that’s solidified at the start of September often holds one or two surprises that fans and media members didn’t see coming.
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski, one of the site’s lead NFL writers, took this idea and went about listing one “surprise starter” for each NFL team in 2020. That player for the Rams was rookie outside linebacker Terrell Lewis.
“The Los Angeles Rams need someone—anyone—to fill the void left by Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews, “ says Sobleski. “They combined for 19.5 sacks last season. Aaron Donald collapses the pocket, but the Rams don’t have anyone else who can consistently apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Lewis has all of the physical tools (6’5” and 262 pounds with 33⅞-inch arms) to displace Samson Ebukam or Leonard Floyd as a starting outside linebacker if his upside translates to the professional level.”
Lewis finished his final season in Alabama with a career-high 11.5 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. While those numbers fail in comparison to past defensive greats for the Tide, Taylor is notably a better athlete than previous pass-rushing specialists, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson, who went around the same place in the draft.
As Sobleski stated above, the Rams need absolutely anyone to step up and get after the quarterback. The Rams also brought in former Bears Leonard Floyd this offseason and still have Samson Ebukam waiting for his chance. I fully expect this trio to be the main rotation at both outside linebacker spots in the team’s primarily 3-4 defense.
Now for today’s links.
Stu Jackson previews the Rams’ 2020 safety group (TheRams.com)
Stu Jackson highlights PFF’s selection of DT Aaron Donald as the #1 player in the NFL this season (TheRams.com)
Bret Stuter predicts who will lead the Rams in sacks this season (Ramblin’ Fan)
Bill Barnwell grades the signing of QB Cam Newton by the Patriots (ESPN)
NFL players react to the Patriots signing QB Cam Newton (ESPN)
Tyler Conway highlights CB Richard Sherman’s reaction to QB Cam Newton’s deal with New England (Bleacher Report)
Brent Sobleski lists a “surprise starter” for each of the 32 NFL clubs (Bleacher Report)
Jason La Canfora makes six pre-training camp predictions (CBS Sports)