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Who are the top 10 most important players to the Rams defense?

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We don’t have to argue about number one.

Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

For the LA Rams to get back to the Super Bowl next season, they may need improvement on defense more so than improvement on offense. That’s not to say that their offense is better than their defense — by DVOA, the opposite was true last year — but perhaps that is the side of the ball that is closer to being elite.

And it all starts with MVP candidate Aaron Donald. (If we don’t start proposing that a player like Donald can win MVP, then they’re never going to change the votes to reflect that a player like Donald can win MVP. And why shouldn’t he if so many people agree that he’s the best player in football?)

Where does it go after Donald?

That’s an opportunity to debate which players on the defense hold the most important towards the defense working next season. We don’t know exactly how new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley will defer from Wade Phillips though we can assume that many of Sean McVay’s core principles and the drafting efforts of Les Snead on that side of the ball will continue to reflect what we’ve seen since 2017.

Jalen Ramsey is perhaps the only other player that would get mention on top other than Donald. He could be the best cornerback in football and he’s the top priority for Snead when it comes to 2021 free agents. He’d be first priority again if the Rams are forced to use the franchise tag next year.

Safety John Johnson has been referred to as one of the key building blocks for McVay’s defense. I could imagine that Donald, Ramsey, and Johnson are the top three, but surely some people would take some issue with the order or the top-three.

Safety Taylor Rapp, linebacker Leonard Floyd, defensive tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Michael Brockers, and cornerback Troy Hill may fall in the 4-8 range in some order. There may also be some question as to who the starting nickel will be and given the importance of that position in the modern NFL, would David Long, rookie Terrell Burgess, or Darious Williams get top-10 consideration?

Linebackers Samson Ebukam, Micah Kiser, Terrell Lewis may request a spot in the top-10, as would defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day. Anyone else?

Poll

Who is the most important player on the Rams defense?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Aaron Donald
    (249 votes)
  • 5%
    Jalen Ramsey
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (5 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is the 2nd-most important player on the Rams defense?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Jalen Ramsey
    (186 votes)
  • 10%
    John Johnson
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    Aaron Donald
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (5 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is the 3rd-most important player on the Rams defense?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Jalen Ramsey
    (16 votes)
  • 52%
    John Johnson
    (116 votes)
  • 18%
    Michael Brockers
    (42 votes)
  • 14%
    Taylor Rapp
    (32 votes)
  • 7%
    Other
    (16 votes)
222 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is the 4th-most important player on the Rams defense?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    John Johnson
    (31 votes)
  • 11%
    Taylor Rapp
    (25 votes)
  • 24%
    Michael Brockers
    (53 votes)
  • 8%
    Troy Hill
    (19 votes)
  • 21%
    A’Shawn Robinson
    (46 votes)
  • 18%
    Leonard Floyd
    (40 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (3 votes)
217 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is the 5th-most important player on the Rams defense?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Taylor Rapp
    (41 votes)
  • 21%
    Leonard Floyd
    (42 votes)
  • 16%
    A’Shawn Robinson
    (31 votes)
  • 7%
    Troy Hill
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    Terrell Burgess
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Terrell Lewis
    (22 votes)
  • 16%
    Michael Brockers
    (32 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (3 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who have you not voted for yet who you absolutely still want to vote for?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Taylor Rapp
    (44 votes)
  • 12%
    Leonard Floyd
    (23 votes)
  • 12%
    Michael Brockers
    (24 votes)
  • 1%
    Darious Williams
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    Terrell Lewis
    (24 votes)
  • 9%
    Samson Ebukam
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    A’Shawn Robinson
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    David Long
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    Terrell Burgess
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    Micah Kiser
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Still Other
    (4 votes)
188 votes total Vote Now