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Rams projected to have second-fewest wins in 2023 in ESPN model

Will Sean McVay be coaching a bottom-five team?

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams offseason hasn’t resulted in many exciting new additions to the current roster. In fact, the Rams have gotten rid of more talent than they’ve brought in after releasing Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner and trading Jalen Ramsey to the Dolphins.

With the moves that the Rams have made thus far, it has some speculating that they could be tanking in 2023 in order to reset and bounce back for the 2024 season.

ESPN’s Mike Clay runs annual projections for all 32 teams and he’s projecting a down year for the Rams in 2023. According to Clay, he’s projecting L.A. to finish with 6.2 wins which ranks 31st in his projections despite having the 20th ranked strength of schedule.

Mike Clay - ESPN

This projection would have the Rams finishing last place in the NFC West and selecting second overall next season behind only the Washington Commanders.

Breaking down Clay’s projection by unit, and most of the Rams’ positions grade out in the red, with the defensive line being the only position given a “green label.” That high number is very much influenced by Aaron Donald.

The team’s running backs (31st), offensive line (29th), edge rushers (32nd), linebackers (32nd), cornerbacks (32nd), and safeties (32nd) all rank inside the bottom-five in the NFL. If you were keeping track, that’s four position units ranking last.

These projections may be more on the doom and gloom side and will be updated after the draft. However, 11 rookies, only three of which will be drafted inside the top-100, likely won’t make a significant impact. In fact, it may be unfair to expect a rookie class to come in and immediately change the trajectory of the Rams offseason.

The fact remains that the Rams haven’t made any significant changes this offseason following a year in which they went 5-12. While a more healthy 2023 will certainly be an improvement over last year, it’s dangerous to put all of their eggs in the health basket. The Rams also have other issues on the roster.

It’s hard to see Sean McVay having back-to-back bad seasons and the games are played on the field. However, the preseason projections won’t be working in their favor.