In Week 1’s loss to the Buffalo Bills in 2022, the Los Angeles Rams started Ben Skowronek and Allen Robinson at two receiver positions, Darrell Henderson at running back, and Sean McVay had David Edwards, Coleman Shelton, and Joe Noteboom manning three offensive line spots. Could Les Snead have upgrades in place for at least five of those players going into Week 1 of the 2023 season?
Perhaps the three most obvious places to improve would be at WR2, WR3, and RB1.
Henderson, cut midway through last season, remains unsigned after four seasons with the Rams. His career might be over after rushing for 1,742 yards and 13 touchdowns with L.A., scored 13 touchdowns and averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Henderson has never fumbled the ball, not even once, but he wasn’t the dynamic playmaker and yards-creator that the Rams desperately needed after Todd Gurley’s final knee injury.
The L.A. Rams look to find a starter or backfield committee between Cam Akers, Sony Michel, and Kyren Williams. That could be the first upgrade around Stafford going into the next season.
The Rams also hope that after the disastrous free agent signing that was Allen Robinson, some combination of Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Demarcus Robinson, Puka Nacua, Tyler Johnson, and Skowronek can do better. Ideally, Jefferson, Atwell, Robinson, and Nacua fill the four spots after Cooper Kupp and that also means upgrading Skowronek, who started the first five games of 2022 but only had 18 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown through those contests.
That was still better than his last six starts of the season: 15 catches for 145 yards and no touchdowns.
Finally, any combination of offensive linemen who are healthy should be an upgrade to L.A.’s historic collapse with that unit last season. Maybe A.J. Jackson is a better left tackle than Noteboom, Steve Avila is a first-year revelation at guard, and someone—Logan Bruss, Tremayne Anchrum, Coleman Shelton—takes a leap forward at the other spot opposite of Brian Allen.
Those six potential departures and replaced players—Henderson, Robinson, Skowronek, Edwards, and perhaps Shelton and Noteboom—might be one step forward for an offense that wasn’t good last season even before all of the injuries. Then McVay can lean on new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, a shot to upgrade that role over Liam Coen’s one-year stint, to try and get the Rams back to where they were as an offense in 2021.