4 Rams players who deserve a bigger role in 2nd half of season

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

We have reached the halfway point in the season as Week 10 is prepared to kick off in what is an 18-week season for the first time in NFL history. The Los Angeles Rams are positioned near the top of the NFC with a 7-2 record, good enough for second place in the NFC West behind the Arizona Cardinals.

At this point of the season, we have a decent grasp of who is going to play pivotal roles for the Rams. Matthew Stafford is going to be the lead man on offense, with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Darrell Henderson dominating touches.

On the defensive side of the ball, Los Angeles will rely on Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, Von Miller (when he makes his debut), and Darious Williams, among others. There are also guys like Ernest Jones and Greg Gaines that have been thrust into heightened roles due to injuries or roster decisions.

Even though Los Angeles won’t want to alter too much of what it has going on, there are still some changes that could be in the works. With eight more games on the schedule, here are four players on the Rams that deserve to see a bigger role in the back half of the season.

Van Jefferson

We’ve seen Van Jefferson get a decent-sized role with the Rams this season as the No. 3 wide receiver behind Kupp and Woods. The second-year wideout is having a semi-breakout campaign this season with 27 receptions, 433 yards, and three touchdowns.

While Jefferson has seen his usage increase – and he saw a season-high snap share (96%) and tied his season-high in targets (7) in Week 9 – Jefferson should see an even bigger role moving forward. Jefferson hasn’t given us any indication that he shouldn’t be trusted with more snaps and targets.

Teams are centering their attention on Kupp and Woods, with those two guys combining for a 55.27% target share thus far. I’d love to see Jefferson get more looks as the Rams will be playing more 11 personnel with their lack of a No. 2 tight end alongside Tyler Higbee.

Dont'e Deayon

It is baffling – especially after getting to see him earn more playing time – that Dont’e Deayon has spent most of his time with the Rams on the practice squad. Deayon has been given an opportunity to play in the nickel spot for Los Angeles amid injuries, and he hasn’t looked back.

Besides being quite the character, Deayon has been very solid in the past four weeks, logging 17 combined tackles, one tackle for loss, and a pass breakup. He also came close to making a highlight-worthy interception versus the Houston Texans in Week 8.

In Los Angeles’ loss to the Tennessee Titans a week ago, Deayon saw the lowest snap share (62%) that he’s seen in the past four weeks he’s been active. But even if Robert Rochell or David Long Jr. are healthy, I believe he’s done enough to earn the starting nickel spot alongside Ramsey and Williams in the secondary.

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

The addition of Miller at the trade deadline alters the edge-rusher depth chart for the Rams moving forward. Miller wasn’t able to make his debut with Los Angeles in Week 9, but it’s only a matter of time he dominates snaps on the opposite side of Floyd.

While it will be exciting to see Floyd and Miller work off of the edge together, with Donald and Gaines in the interior, the Rams should still make an effort to keep Terrell Lewis and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo involved. Lewis is still seeing a decent share of the snaps on defense, so I decided to list Okoronkwo here.

Since being able to return from injury in Week 4, Okoronkwo has rotated in with the pass-rushing unit of the Rams. In the past two weeks alone, he’s posted a half-sack in each contest, along with five tackles, and three quarterback hits. Even with the arrival of Miller, I hope Okoronkwo can be utilized in a way that helps him remain engaged, as well as keeping the other guys fresh.

Terrell Burgess

When the Rams selected Terrell Burgess in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, it was assumed that he’d be the eventual successor to John Johnson, or he would move to the nickel position. Neither of those things came to light, and Jordan Fuller has replaced Johnson at the strong safety spot.

While Fuller is performing well as a captain on the team, fans have been clamoring for Burgess to get more playing time. There was a moment earlier this season where Burgess did draw the start at nickel versus the New York Giants in Week 6.

But that start was just false hope as he’s been relegated back to a primary special teams role in recent weeks, playing only 25 total snaps in the last three weeks. As the season continues to roll along, I believe that the versatility that Burgess brings can come in handy for a Rams team that is still deciphering what they want to do on the backend of their defense.

1

1

1

1