There was no question the Los Angeles Rams 2023 roster was going to get younger. The L.A. offseason began by purging high-contract veterans and culminated with adding 40 rookies through the draft and free agent process. 36 of those rookies survived OTAs and will participate in training camp.
Football Outsiders does a yearly review of each NFL team’s age for the previous season— with a twist. Rather than just averaging out each team’s roster, they have created a metric, snap-weighted age, where they calculate snaps played by age.
Last year, the Rams had one of the oldest teams in the league at 27 years old overall. The offense’s average age was 27.7, the defense 26.9, and special teams checked in at 25.5. Breaking down L.A. ‘s snap weight age positionally:
QB, 30.6 - This number should go up in 2023. Matthew Stafford is fully healthy and should gobble up the lion’s share of snaps
RB, 24.1 - Should stay stable, but depends how big a role Sony Michel wins. As a group, the backs are still quite young.
WR, 26.5 - Overall, it’s a young unit, although Cooper Kupp should return and seldom come off the field. Stable age-wise, again.
TE, 28.3 - This grouping should go down. There’s enough depth that aging Tyler Higbee shouldn’t be on the field for 90% + of snaps.
OL, 28.3 - Certainly coming down. Last years mid-season pickups of Ty Nsekhe, Matt Skura, and Oday Aboushi directly to the lineup skewed this number.
DL, 26.8- Aaron Donald is a year older, but is the only down lineman over 27. Depending who wins the roster battles to start, it might a young group.
E, 27.2- Gulp! None of the candidates is over 25 and only one, the transitioning Michael Hoecht, has three seasons in the NFL.
ILB, 28.4- 23 year-old Ernest Jones now wears the green dot and is expected to stay on the field for close to 100% of snaps. There’s exactly 7 defensive pro snaps amongst his mates.
DB, 26.3- Oft-injured Jordan Fuller aside, the secondary is young and green. Not one, corners or safeties, are over 25.
The Rams roster as it stands today
This early in the process, it would be an exercise in futility to try and predict snaps for 2023, but looking at the Rams roster, it’s not hard to conclude they will be substantially younger. As of today, the roster only shows 17 players over 25. Here’s the current L.A. roster by age.
P Ethan Evans, DB Rashad Torrence,
TE Davis Allen, ILB Kelechi Anyalebechie, DT Bobby Brown, WR Tyler Hudson, DB Derion Kendrick, OL Warren McClendon, TE Christian Sims, ILB DeAndre Square, RB Kyren Williams, RB Zach Evans,
WR Tutu Atwell, OL Steve Avila, K Tanner Brown, DB Vincent Gray, E Nick Hampton, DB Tanner Ingle, DT Desjuan Johnson, DB Quindell Johnson, WR Tyler Johnson, ILB Ernest Jones, DB Jordan Jones, DB Cameron McCutcheon, WR Puka Nacua, ILB Ryan Smenda, DB Jason Taylor, DT Taron Vincent, ILB Jaiden Woodbey, DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson,
RB Cam Akers, DT Earnest Brown, OL Logan Bruss, WR Braxton Burmeister, DB Tiyon Davis, E Daniel Hardy, ILB Jake Hummel, OL Alaric Jackson, DB Shaun Jolly, DB Quentin Lake, DB Richard LeCounte, TE Hunter Long, OL Sean Maginn, OL Mike McAllister, WR Lance McCutcheon, OL Grant Miller, RB Ronnie Rivers, WR Austin Trammel, LS Alex Ward, QB Dresser Winn, DB Russ Yeast, E Ochaun Mathis, DT Kobie Turner,
OL Tremayne Anchrum, OL A.J. Arcuri, QB Stetson Bennett, DB Timarcus Davis, DB DeCobie Durant, DB Jordan Fuller, E Michael Hoecht, DB Robert Rochell, WR Bennett Skowronek, WR Xavier Smith, E Keir Thomas, OL Zachary Thomas, E Zach VanValkenberg, E Byron Young
DT Marquise Copeland, TE Brycen Hopkins, WR Van Jefferson, DT Larrell Murchison, ILB Christian Rozeboom, QB Brett Rypien,
OL Brian Allen, OL Coleman Shelton, DT Jonah Williams
RB Sony Michel, OL Joseph Noteboom, WR Demarcus Robinson,
TE Tyler Higbee, WR Cooper Kupp,
OL Rob Havenstein,
DT Aaron Donald
QB Matthew Stafford
The Kids are Alright
Forced, or by choice, the Rams are looking at a youth movement. Their 2023 success will be greatly determined by how Head Coach Sean McVay can mesh his youngsters in with what veterans remain. There is some veteran positional leadership on to build on. On offense, Stafford at QB, Kupp at wideout, Higbee at TE and Havenstein on the front line. On defense it’s Donald up front, Ernest Jones on the second line and Jordan Fuller in the secondary.
Which rookies are up to the task? An arguable case could be made for Steve Avila and Logan Bruss (essentially a rookie) on offense. Across the line, it’s tougher row to hoe, but wide open, a standout camp is key. Bryce Young has been getting good buzz at edge, lineman Kobie Turner as well.
If we can take McVay at his word, it’s an open competition and the best players will see the field. So, for all the players, young or old, pedigreed or not, the stakes are high.