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Random Ramsdom: As many as 13 Rams rookies set to make NFL debut

The Rams will feature a lot of new players against the Seahawks, many of them rookies

NFL: Preseason-Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams could feature as many as 13 rookies in their season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

We know that Byron Young, Steve Avila, and Puka Nacua will have key roles on offense and defense. It sounds as though Kobie Turner should be a regular part of the defensive tackle rotation. And we know that longsnapper Alex Ward will be teaming up with Ethan Evans on punts.

That makes for at least six.

There’s also cornerback Tre Tomlinson, edge rusher Nick Hampton, and running back Zach Evans. They could be closer to action than some other Rams rookies.

Less likely to see the field is tackle Warren McClendon, if he’s even active. There’s also tight end Davis Allen, defensive lineman Desjuan Johnson, and safety Jason Taylor.

We won’t see Stetson Bennett, as he’s too injured to play. The team placed sixth round pick Ochaun Mathis on injured reserve.

That makes up all of the L.A. Rams rookies so far this season. There are 15 total, 13 of them could play, at least a half-dozen should have key roles. Who are you most looking forward to see against the Seahawks on Sunday?

Power Rankings: Rams too high?

A year ago, expectations were high with the Rams after coming off a Super Bowl victory. But now ... they aren’t even seen as a playoff team.

Sports Illustrated agrees, placing the Rams at No. 17 in its power rankings before Week 1.

“This is a team breaking in new players and expecting really young talent to act much older than their birth certificates,” SI writes. “It can either create a fantastic kind of momentum or lead to some real ugliness. Do I think Sean McVay will let it get ugly? No. But, do we put a kind of unnecessarily weighty pressure on a guy who is human like the rest of us? Hell yeah.”

Betting analyst predicts Rams to stun Seahawks

It was just two years ago that the Rams were Super Bowl Champions. After an injury-laden season, Matthew Stafford is back under center and Aaron Donald is ready to get into backfields.

“I think these two teams are a lot closer in ability than people think. We can’t over-value last year’s results. A lot of things went right for the Seahawks and a million things went wrong for the Rams,” MacMillian wrote in his game preview.

“These odds aren’t set right in my opinion. It should be much closer to a pick’em than what the current odds indicate. Therefore, you can keep your points. Give me the Rams to win this game out.”

The Rams mortgaged their future. Was it worth it?

But is a Super Bowl worth it if your franchise immediately falls off a cliff?

Any excitement was quickly halted once the Rams took the field last season. Andrew Whitworth, the team’s trusty left tackle, finally retired. The offensive line was a shambles, trotting out 11 different starters. It allowed 59 sacks, the third most in the league.

Miller, a massive part of the Rams Super Bowl run, became a Buffalo Bill after a midseason trade. Stafford, who threw 41 touchdowns in 2021, looked old and feeble with his new makeshift line. He missed eight games after suffering multiple concussions, a contusion, and a nagging elbow injury. The passing game resembled the Greatest Show on Turf Rams during the Super Bowl run, but were largely pulseless last season. The Rams had just four passing plays of more than 40 yards last year compared to 17 the year prior. Losing Kupp to an ankle injury halfway through the season didn’t help matters. The icing on the rotting cake was Mr Indestructible, Donald suffering a high ankle sprain in late November, the first notable injury of his nine-year career.

The season, in short, was a shitshow. The Rams finished 5-12, including losses to opponents quarterbacked by Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton. It was the worst Super Bowl hangover in 40 years.