Los Angeles Rams Team Overview 2020
Rams Team Overview 2020
Stan Kroenke. Kroenke is the owner of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. That business holds the english premier league. He is also the owner of a lot of other teams throughout many sports. It’s a lot.
Too much for me to name all of them in this post. However, he had to give up some of the ownership rights to some of those teams when he became the principal owner of the Rams in 2010. Now his wife and son own a couple of those teams.
Kroenke also owns the soccer team Arsenal. He has an estimated net worth of $10 billion U.S. dollars.
Les Snead. Snead was a scout for the Jaguars and the Falcons. Then in 2012, he became the GM of the St. Louis Rams. Now they are the Los Angeles Rams. Snead has done a pretty good job of managing the Rams.
He built a team and hired a new young budding coach that managed to make it to the super bowl in 2018. Now the Rams are kind of reeling and he needs to get them back into the playoffs. He has a lot of high salaries and high profile names to manage.
I think he is doing a pretty good job but the NFC west is very competitive. It’s is going to take some good managing on his part to get the Rams back into the post season.
Sean McVay. McVay is only 34 years old. He has already accomplished a lot in his young coaching career. He is most known for his start with the Washington Redskins in 2010 where he eventually became the offensive coordinator.
He was with Kyle Shannahan and Matt Lafleur while in Washington. The 3 of them are still really good buddies and both have similar offenses. McVay became the head coach of the Rams in 2017. In 2018 he took them to the superbowl.
The Rams missed the playoffs in 2019 and the offense struggled a lot too. They also lost their star running back in free agency but the verdict on Gurley is up in the air if he was still effective. I think it was mostly due to Gurley’s large contract.
However, this is for sure a transitional year for the Rams and they need to play a lot better on both offense and defense. I think McVay is a sharp football mind. I think he figures this thing out in 2020 and returns the Rams offense into the top 10.
McVay has a very impressive track record. He has had multiple different players since 2015 but he has been able to have a 12th best offense or better in terms of points.
Not many offensive coordinators can even say that they have had 5 top 12 finishes. So McVay is special. He is also the offensive play caller.
Fantasy Outlook for the Rams
QB: Jarred Goff
I think with Kevin O’Connell’s new offensive input and Sean McVay’s humility and bright football mind, that the Rams will figure this thing out in 2020 and put together an efficient offense. The O-line gets a worse rap than they deserve.
However, there are still major question marks surrounding the O-line but I believe if that group stays healthy, then it will be serviceable in 2020. With that being said, I like Goff to have a better season in 2020.
They lost Brandin Cooks but he isn’t a huge game changer. Josh Reynolds is a very good receiver and they drafted a WR in the 2nd round out of Florida. They also really like the tight ends in Higbee and Everett.
They have 4 running backs that could all see time too. The biggest thing working for Goff’s fantasy numbers is that the Rams do not have a very good defense. This team will be in a lot of high scoring games in 2020. With all of this being said, I like Goff to throw for 4,500 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2020.
He also adds 1 or 2 rushing touchdowns every year too. That will get him to around 300 fantasy points. That should be good for a top 8 or 10 quarterback this season. Goff is being drafted in the 12th round.
He is a prime example of why you should not draft a QB early in your draft. Goff and other really good QB’s are available throughout later rounds. Take Goff as your back up and be thrilled about it.
RB: Cam Akers/Ram’s RB’s
Even though Akers was selected in the 2nd round for the Rams, the head coach Sean McVay said that he wants to have his backfield mimic the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers used 3 or 4 backs all season and never really established a lead back until late in the season. I still think Cam Akers eventually leads the way in carries but I wouldn’t bank on it either.
Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are both good running backs so who knows what really happens out of these 3 backs.
Akers is going around the 8th round but I wouldn’t take a risk on him in the 8th round. I would only do it if you are super desperate for a 3rd running back.
But even then I would look at a guy like D’Andre Swift or James White over Akers.
WR: Cooper Kupp
Receivers usually break out in their 3rd or 4th seasons. Kupp really broke out last season with over a 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.
I think this trend continues in 2020. I think he posts similar numbers. Kupp is clearly Goff’s favorite receiver and they have great chemistry together. They are definitely in a bromance. Kupp would be a great WR to pick up in the 3rd round of your fantasy draft.
WR: Robert Woods
Woods is clearly Goff’s #2 favorite. I like Woods. If he had a couple more touchdowns last season than he would have been a great fantasy receiver. He is currently going in the 5th round of fantasy drafts. I think Woods finds the endzone more in 2020.
I think he also gets around 85 catches again and 1,000 yards receiving. He no longer has to compete with Brandin Cooks. Josh Reynolds should have a really good season too so maybe Reynolds could be the guy to come on strong.
Goff also really likes the tight end Higbee. I don’t know about drafting Woods so high. My gut tells me he will have a solid year but there are a lot of question marks.
I guess the safest thing to rely on is that the Rams defense is not going to be good this season. So the Rams will have to throw a lot and that means Woods, Higbee and Kupp will all benefit from this. It’s a toss up in my opinion on drafting him in your 5th round.
WR: Josh Reynolds
McVay said that he thinks Reynolds will have a big year in 2020. I think that’s just slang for he will be involved a little more this season.
I really like Reynolds and he is the bigger receiving option out of the rest of the receivers. He isn’t even being drafted in most fantasy leagues.
I think you should definitely keep an eye on Reynolds or in deeper leagues, draft him late. I think he gets around 6 touchdowns and 800 yards receiving pretty comfortably.
TE: Tyler Higbee
Higbee and Goff had quite the connection there late in the season. Higbee even earned himself a nice little contract with the Rams because of it. Unfortunately, everyone is catching on to Higbee in 2020.
He is projected to be taken in the 6th or 7th round. Higbee is also only the 3rd or 4th option in this offense. They also really like using the other tight end Everett too.
The Rams played more 2 tight end sets or personnel groupings during the end of the 2019 season so that should be in play in 2020 because of how successful it was.
Even with all of that said, I am going to have to pass on Higbee. If he was available to me in the 10th or 11th round then I would say draft him for sure.
He is too risky to draft that high in your fantasy team. He will probably only get you around 160 fantasy points this year.
Rams Offensive Preview 2020
Sean McVay is the play caller as well the head coach. I just read a ton of articles on what the Rams are planning for the 2020 season on offense. McVay has really concealed his new tactics. At the scouting combine he said he will use more fullbacks.
However, there isn’t a fullback on the roster. He hired Kevin O’Connell as the offensive coordinator but McVay will still call the plays. O’Connell came from the Redskins last season and did alright with limited talent.
O’Connell is considered a young bright football mind. McVay also said that he will use his running backs like the 49ers uses their running backs. This means that he won’t rely heavily on 1 running back like he did with Todd Gurley for the past 3 seasons.
McVay likes the 3 running backs on the roster and says he will give the one with the hot hand, the more carries. Lastly, McVay said that he is eager to learn from what O’Connell has learned as a coach.
O’Connell has worked with Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, and a smart offensive mind in Jay Gruden. O’Connell learned from Josh McDaniels that 80% of successful passing plays are determined by keeping the QB upright.
O’Connell also learned from Jay Gruden to exploit matchups that the defense is giving you. O’Connell also doesn’t use play action pass whereas McVay used it the most in the NFL in 2019. So what does all of the above information mean?
It’s a great question. I think it will mean this. The Rams offensive line is bringing back the same players in 2020. They lost 2 players last season in the beginning and middle of the season and the line did a terrible job blocking.
Also, McVay didn’t call great games to counter his poor blocking offensive line. Somehow this offense still managed to score the 11th most points in the NFL.
This is my take on everything. I think McVay understands that this is a huge season for his coaching reputation. McVay is an incredibly smart person.
I strongly believe that he is going to let Kevin O’Connell influence his 2020 offensive scheme. O’Connell likes quick and short passes initially to get quarterbacks in rhythm and to also set up longer passes as the game goes on.
He also doesn’t play action as much as McVay. I think McVay will still use a lot of play action but probably won’t as much as he did in 2019. I think McVay will also not use 11 personnel as much in 2020.
McVay used 11 personnel around 85% of the time the past 3 seasons. He started using 12 personnel more during the last 6 games of the season. This was probably because the O-line was banged up but I think this personnel grouping opened his eyes.
It worked really well for the offense. I think he uses this more in 2020 because this offensive line is not a great offensive line even when all healthy. McVay really has his work cut out for him this season.
Goff showed he can’t sling the ball around the field all day in obvious passing situations. So McVay’s creativity and game planning with Kevin O’Connell will be pivotal to the 2020 success.
The success will depend on neutralizing this mediacore to bad offensive line. They will have to do this with quick passes, rotating fresh running backs and creating perfect game plans against the opponents.
I don’t love this offense in 2020. I don’t see much of a ceiling. I think they finish around the same position they did last season.
Somewhere in the 10 to 15 range due to McVay’s brilliance. However, if this offense wants to get back to its old self, then they will have to address the offensive line in the next off season.
Rams Defensive Preview 2020
Brandon Staley. This is Staley’s first time being a defensive coordinator in the NFL. He has been a defensive coordinator in college but that was only at FCS and division III levels. He has only coached outside linebackers the past 3 seasons.
This is truly a gut feeling by McVay. Staley is only 38 years old. He has been under Vic Fangio for those 3 seasons so he has been trained well.
This also bodes well for the current defensive roster because Staley comes from a 3-4 defense which is what the Rams ran last year. The only problem with all of this is that Staley wants to implement a lot of different things.
This was a problem for some Broncos players like Chris Harris Jr last season under Vic Fangio. I am not sure that this Rams defense will pick this all up with only a month to practice it on a football field.
Yes, they have learned it but they haven’t gone through it as a full 11 man defense on a football field. Staley believes in players knowing how to play multiple positions. This is a lot to expect from your players even during a regular off season.
Staley will have to simplify this defensive scheme the best way possible.
Let’s look at the D-line. The stud of course is Aaron Donald. He is the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He isn’t the biggest but he has incredible moves and is still super strong. His stats are incredible. Next to him will be Nose Tackle A’Shawn Robinson.
It’s funny when looking up players to see if they are good or not. You will find 2 different sides of the stories from 2 different media teams. The Ram’s media and fans all love this signing while the Lions spoke poorly of him before he hit free agency.
I watched a little film on Robinson and I don’t think hes that good of a signing. He lacks the ability to make impact plays. He is purely a big body that takes us space and makes a nice play occasionally. Next to Robinson will be Michael Brockers.
Brockers is a longtime Ram and will enter his 9th season with the Rams in 2020. Brockers is a really solid to good player. He always has around a couple sacks and tackles for loss. He is always hustling and making tackles too.
He is a very good NFL player. The back ups are Sebastian Joseph-day and Morgan Fox. They aren’t anything amazing but Joseph-Day does bring some good things to this D-line. The outside backers are now Leonard Floyd and Samson Ebukam.
Floyd has been a disappointing NFL player after he was highly regarded coming out of Georgia. Floyd has regressed in his sack numbers and overall play the last 4 seasons in Chicago.
He is what he is at this point. He has already played with great defensive players and great coaches. I don’t think he has any type of breakout season with the Rams. Ebukam is an interesting player.
The Rams couldn’t keep Dante Fowler Jr. due to salary cap issues so they are expecting a lot from Ebukam. Ebukam is pretty good in pass coverage and is able to rush the quarterback somewhat effectively.
He has 7.5 sacks the past 2 seasons while only playing around 55% of the defensive snaps. He might have a nice year if he plays around 70% of the snaps. The back up is 3rd round rookie out of Alabama, Terrell Lewis.
Lewis was a 5 star recruit coming out of high school. He never really put on any dominant performances at Alabama. He has the ideal size, weight and speed but is very raw. He has also had a lot of injuries. I don’t think he will be amazing with the Rams.
I think he has a chance to be a very good NFL player. The last option is Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Okoronkwo is a fan favorite and potential sleeper. He has some ability but again I don’t think he becomes a household name after this season.
So in looking at this defensive line, It isn’t the best. It’s not horrible but its very, meh or bland in other words. After Aaron Donald, it’s like, who do you really get excited about or have faith in.
The inside linebackers are a bunch of unproven players. They really did nothing or didn’t have the money to sign an inside linebacker to replace Cory Littleton.
The projected starters are Micah Kiser and either Travin Howard, Kenny Young or Natrez Patrick. I watched Kiser alot when he was at UVA. He is a solid run stuffing linebacker. He isn’t serviceable to defend the pass in the NFL.
Kenny Young has the most playing experience out of the other 3 players. Young has flashed some play making ability in his 2 seasons but the verdict is still out on him.
Patrick is liked by the fans but again, he has not proven anything. His scouting report coming out of Georgia wasn’t very impressive either.
Howard is intriguing in that he is a very savvy football player. He earned a lot of accolades and awards at TCU. He didn’t play much last season. Howard is only 210 pounds but runs fast and is good in coverage. He can also play safety.
Overall, this isn’t a great situation for the Rams. If I had to pick 2 players it would be Young and Howard. This will be a very important position to this defense after losing Littleton this off season.
Front 7 Conclusion
I don’t love this front 7. I think collectively they will be average to a little above average in sacks but stopping the run might be a problem. I think this is a middle of the pack run defense. Maybe even potentially a really bad run defense.
I will have to monitor the Inside linebackers and A’Shawn early on to see what this looks like on the field.
The secondary is led by Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey is really good. Top 3 cornerback in the NFL for sure. He isn’t the fastest but he has length and strength to match up with the strongest receivers in the game.
He is very instinctual and reacts really well.
The other corner is Troy Hill. Hill only started 9 games last season but had 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended.
He is an above average cornerback but doesn’t have a lot playing experience. However, after those 2 corners, the Rams literally have nobody.
There is no backup that has much of any playing time. The only other player that has any hope is 3rd round jack of all trades, Terrell Burgess.
Burgess played safety, corner and nickel for Utah. He was also surrounded by 7 other caliber NFL players.
He was never great at any of his positions but was able to play all of them. He is smart and versatile and will definitely have a chance to show his goods in 2020.
The starting safeties are Taylor Rapp and Josh Johnson. Johnson had a really good 2018 season but only played a couple games in 2019 due to a shoulder injury.
Johnson is a really good player when healthy. Rapp was a rookie last season and stepped in nicely when Johnson was injured. He recorded 2 interceptions and had 100 tackles.
These 2 players should make for a good safety pairing in 2020. The other backup, besides the rookie Burgess, will be another rookie, Jordan Fuller.
He was a 6th round selection out of Ohio State. So the starting 4 players in this secondary are pretty darn good or atleast NFL talented.
However, they are paper thin in terms of depth. There really is not a lot of depth from the inside linebackers and secondary.
This whole defensive equation doesn’t look promising. I will really be shocked if the Rams defense comes out strong in the opening weeks. There are so many question marks from their slot corner and the run defense.
They are also having to learn an elaborate Vic Fangio inspired defensive scheme. They don’t have any known or exciting potential playmaker at inside linebacker.
They also don’t have a great option from an edge pass rusher. The secondary looks really good if they are all healthy. I don’t know.
This defense has very little room for error. 1 injury and I think this thing could get really ugly. I think it’s very safe to say that this defense will be in the bottom third in the NFL in terms of scoring defense.
Fun Facts About Coaches:
There isn’t much to report. I think the only noticeable thing to talk about is the new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.
O’Connell has worked with the Patriots and Jay Gruden with the Redskins. He is an up and coming offensive mind.
Contract Year Players:
CB: Jalen Ramsey
LB: Leonard Floyd
RB: Malcolm Brown
WR: Cooper Kupp
TE: Gerald Everett
OL: Austin Blythe
Rams Offensive Line Preview
This is a huge question mark. This O-line played really bad in 2019. The left tackle is Andrew Whitworth but he will turn 39 years old during the 2020 season.
He is still pretty good but who knows with him turning 39. Maybe this is the season where his body finally looks really old and not able to play well.
The right tackle is Rob Havenstein. Havenstein had a knee problem and missed a lot of the season. He wasn’t playing well up to that point either.
Maybe he was battling injury before that knee problem. He was usually a really good tackle. He will only be 28 years old this season. Hopefully his knee and body feels better. If it does then he should return to form.
The left guard will be Austin Corbett. He was acquired at the trade deadline in 2019 from Cleveland. He isn’t anything amazing. He only gave up 1 sack and was the best reliable blocker they had at the time. Corbett was a high draft pick in 2018 but didn’t play that much with the Browns.
So he was thrown into the mix really fast with the Rams and had to learn a completely new system in the middle of a season. Corbett does bring some hope to this line with an entire off season to fully learn the scheme and system.
The center or right guard will be a competition but one of those spots will be played by Austin Blythe. Blythe has the most playing time out of all of the unproven interior lineman. Bylthe took over for Jamon Brown in 2018 and played well.
Last season Blythe battled through 2 shoulder injuries and had to get surgery after the season. If he is healthy, he can play well for this unit. The last starting spot is between Brian Allen, Joseph Noteboom and David Edwards.
Edwards only gave up 1 sack in 10 games. Edwards was a rookie and stepped up his game as the season went along. Robert Woods said he played better but Woods is a receiver so he isn’t the most credible source.
Joseph Noteboom was the starter last season but got injured really early on in the season. He didn’t grade out well before he got injured. I don’t think he starts for this offensive line this season. He hasn’t played for a half a season either, very inexperienced. That leaves us with Brian Allen.
Allen was a 4th round pick of the Rams in 2018. He only started 9 games for the Rams last season and only gave up 1 sack. Pro Football Focus kept saying how this O-line was really bad in pass protection but I don’t see many sacks given up.
I do know that Jared Goff was pressured a lot. So maybe this line lacked good play calling and continuity.
Every single running back averaged around 3.6 yards per carry last season. I think it was honestly a combination of bad play calling, predictable scheme and play calling, O-line injuries and team’s realizing Goff isn’t a natural shot gun and throw the ball 50 times a game QB.
I think this O-line is better then people give it credit. If they can all stay healthy, have a better offensive scheme and better play calling then I think this offense could be a top 10 scoring unit.