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Rams focused on offense, but where do they rank at skill positions?

Where do the Rams rank at the skill positions?

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have done a lot of subtracting this season on their roster, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. The team cut Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner while trading away Jalen Ramsey. They then opted not to bring back Greg Gaines or Nick Scott despite both signing for affordable contracts.

Heading into next season, the Rams will have a defense that looks much different while also being pretty inexperienced outside of Ernest Jones, Jordan Fuller, and Aaron Donald.

According to The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue in a recent mailbag,

“Rams head coach Sean McVay wants to keep much of the offense intact/building toward getting back to scoring points. McVay does not want to lose football games.”

McVay and the Rams want to focus on offense while a young defense grows with them throughout a season. By the time the 2024 season rolls around and the Rams have cap space and draft assets, they can then add pieces to take that defense to the next level.

The lone issue here however is that the Rams haven’t made any additions to the offensive side of the ball outside of a new offensive coordinator. This is a group that ranked 23rd in offense DVOA and 29th in EPA per play. They weren't lighting NFL world on fire last season by any means.

Connor Orr of the MMQB ranked the top-15 skill position groups in the NFL on Friday. The Rams didn’t make the list. Here’s how Orr’s rankings shook out:

  1. San Francisco 49ers (Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Quez Watkins)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon)
  4. Miami Dolphins (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr.)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, T.J. Hockenson, K.J. Osborn)
  6. Las Vegas Raiders (Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, Jakobi Meyers)
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars (Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Travis Etienne, Zay Jones)
  8. Kansas City Chiefs (Travis Kelce, Isiah Pacheco, Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling)
  9. Buffalo Bills (Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Dawson Knox, James Cook)
  10. Seattle Seahawks (Tyler Lockett, Kenneth Walker III, DK Metcalf)
  11. New Orleans Saints (Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara)
  12. Atlanta Falcons (Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Tyler Allgeier)
  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rachaad White)
  14. Chicago Bears (DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Chase Claypool, D’Onta Foreman)
  15. Green Bay Packers (Christian Watson, Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Romeo Doubs)

Orr calling the 49ers “the greatest collection of skill-position players on one team since the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf” aside, the Rams with Cooper Kupp didn’t even crack the top-15 of his rankings. Now, an argument could be made that the Rams should be higher than the Bears, Saints, or even the Packers. However, that feels like nit-picking. If the plan on offense is to out-score opponents, the Rams need to be in the argument of whether or not they should be in the top-10 or top-7 teams at the skill positions.

This ranking may be a little harsh. With that said, it also goes to show how the NFL currently views the Rams. Kupp was hurt for half of last season while Allen Robinson was the biggest free agent bust in the McVay-Snead era. Higbee had a solid year from a numbers perspective, but is getting older. Lastly, while Akers had a strong stretch to end the year, he remains consistently inconsistent.

The Rams have yet to make a free agent signing to add to the offense. While the could bring back Odell Beckham Jr., he may be looking to go to a contender or join Aaron Rodgers with the New York Jets.

As things currently stand, the Rams are running it back with Allen Robinson as their second wide receiver while also returning much of the same offensive line that they had last year. Of course, the Rams have 11 draft picks in the NFL Draft to change that. However, with the needs on the defensive side of the ball, it seems unlikely that the Rams would take a top wide receiver with the 36th overall pick or strike gold twice and find another Kupp in the third-round.

Last week, TurfShow Times’ very own Kenneth Arthur said that the Rams’ supporting cast likely ranks in the 11-16 range. That ranking seems a lot more fair than the one they were given from Orr at the MMQB. If one thing is for sure though, if the Rams are going to be outscoring opponents in 2023, they have a lot of work to do to get where they need to be on that side of the ball.