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Rams’ Stock up, Stock Down after Bucs loss: The draft picks are not developing

Bobby Evans, Van Jefferson, and others are struggling to make noise in L.A.

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The stock of the Los Angeles Rams 2022 season is trending in a downward direction after Sunday afternoon’s 16-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams dropped to 3-5 on the season, seconds away from pulling back to .500 on the year.

Stars provided all they could but in the end L.A. was undone by their inefficient offense. The stock of Cooper Kupp remains sky high, but what other players saw their stock climb? What five players are trending in the same direction as the Rams record?

Stock Up

1. Bobby Wagner, ILB

Bobby Wagner was all over Raymond Jones Stadium. The 32-year-old linebacker had 13 tackles (eight solo), one tackle for loss, and blocked a field goal by jumping over the long snapper. Wagner and the defense held the Bucs to 51 yards rushing (2.6 yards/carry).

2. Aaron Donald, DL

Donald was putting pressure on the Bucs offensive line the entire game. AD only had three tackles (two solo), but he was the only one to sack Tom Brady. He also had a tackle for a loss, two quarterback hits, multiple pressures, and a pass deflection.

3. Jalen Ramsey, CB

Ramsey has been dominant in the secondary for multiple weeks in a row. When Ramsey was locked on Evans in press man to man, #5 came away victorious almost every single time. In the box score, he had seven tackles (six solo) and two passes defensed, one of which was a fourth down stop. Like us all, Ramsey was disappointed in the offense.

4. Cooper Kupp, WR

I have not written Cooper Kupp on here enough this year, mainly because the star receiver just balls out every week. But with how glaring and inept the offense is, Kupp’s performances are even more impressive. Keep being you, Coop!

5. Troy Hill, CB

Troy Hill joined Ramsey with two passes defensed. Hill tallied seven tackles (four solo), including one tackle for a loss. This was arguably his best game of the 2022 season. Pro Football Focus (PFF) also noted Hill for his impressive performance.

Defensive spotlight: Rams CB Troy Hill was targeted seven times in coverage tonight, but he gave up just four catches for 13 yards. He didn’t give up a single first down and forced two incompletions.

Stock Down

1. Sean McVay, HC

At the end of the day, Sean McVay is the one who is responsible for the team’s standard. Yes, injuries have occurred, by McVay and his staff are responsible for the poor development of players. The scouting department has invested draft capital in the following: Gerald Everett, Taylor Rapp, Bobby Evans, Van Jefferson, Brycen Hopkins, Jacob Harris, Tutu Atwell, and Logan Bruss. All these players were selected in the fourth round or earlier.

Failing to find an upgrade over Bobby Evans at left guard is inexcusable. The entire fan base sees that Evans cannot play left guard for the team. If it means signing a free agent, then do so. But to entrust that Evans will somehow change the trajectory of the offensive line play is like beating your head against the wall. Evans was not even favored to make the team out of training camp and preseason.

“Not good enough, not even close to good enough, and I’m part of that.” - Sean McVay following 16-13 loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers @JordanRodrigue

2. Bobby Evans, LG

The dud himself. Bobby Evans play was atrocious. Evans was the catalyst of three sacks surrendered. Evans routinely was blocking no one or picking Stafford up off the grass. When Stafford wasn’t sacked, he was being hit by Bobby Evans assignment.

3. Van Jefferson, WR

Van Jefferson suited up for his second regular season game. He was targeted five times but failed to haul in any receptions. This one was the first target and should have been an explosive play for LA.

4. Derion Kendrick, CB

Kendrick was Tom Brady’s puppet. Even though the Rams were playing a zone coverage, Brady specifically targeted Kendrick’s area of the field. On TB’s game winning drive, Kendrick committed a defensive pass interference penalty near the goal line setting up the Bucs for the go-ahead score

5. Tyler Higbee, TE

Two weeks in a row where Higbee has been “MIA”. The tight end was only targeted once and failed to bring in his lone target. Higbee just did not appear to be a significant part of McVay’s game plan.