The regular season is winding to a close, and so too is voting for the Pro Bowl. The best teams typically send the most players to the game, and the Los Angeles Rams are certainly deserving of having more than just a couple selected.
Here are eight players who should get strong consideration in fan voting, as well as voting by players and coaches.
DT Aaron Donald
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Donald is a no-brainer for the Pro Bowl. He predictably leads his position group in voting and is one of the favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year. He’s made the Pro Bowl every year he’s been in the NFL and this season will be no different. With a league-high 12.5 sacks and 71 total pressures, Donald is unquestionably the best pass rusher again this year and has been for several seasons. Making the Pro Bowl is automatic at this point.
CB Jalen Ramsey
(AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Another guy who should be a lock for the Pro Bowl, Ramsey is having an outstanding season. He made it last year despite not playing up to his usual standards, and he should absolutely make it this year playing the way he has. While his interception numbers aren’t high – he only has one pick and three passes defensed – he’s rarely getting tested by opposing quarterbacks. In 12 games played, he’s only been targeted 57 times and has allowed just 29 catches for 273 yards, according to Pro Football Reference. And considering he’s taken away playmakers such as DK Metcalf, Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins, his value is off the charts for L.A.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong )
Williams has been an unsung hero for the Rams this season. He’s broken up 13 passes to go along with four interceptions, providing tight coverage on the other side of the field opposite Ramsey. In his first year as a starter, he’s allowed just 32 catches on 61 targets, a passer rating of 56.1 against. He may not get the national recognition that other cornerbacks do, but he’s certainly deserving of being named to the Pro Bowl. Ramsey himself said it after Williams picked off two passes in the Rams’ win over Seattle.
S John Johnson
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John Johnson leads the team with 88 tackles and has one interception, breaking up eight total passes and also recording two tackles for loss. In other words, he’s been all over the field for L.A. It’s hard to make the Pro Bowl at safety because of the stiff competition at the position, but Johnson has been on the rise for years and after being snubbed in 2018, he’ll hopefully get enough votes this season to earn his first Pro Bowl selection. There are very few safeties in the NFL that do more than he does, especially seeing as he calls the plays on defense.
P Johnny Hekker
(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Hekker is having a stellar season for the Rams, really proving to be the only bright spot on a terrible special teams unit. He’s punted 55 times and has downed 25 of those kicks inside the 20. His net average of 39.4 yards only ranks 20th among punters, but he’s consistently flipped the field for his team and done an excellent job when called upon. It’s no surprise that he leads all NFC punters in Pro Bowl votes, being one of the most popular special teams players in football.
LT Andrew Whitworth
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Whitworth has missed the last four games for the Rams after suffering a knee injury, but he was playing at a Pro Bowl level before getting hurt. Even despite missing that time, he ranks third in ESPN’s pass-block win rate at 94% and eighth in run-block win rate at 79%. He’s statistically been one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL when healthy this season and an injury shouldn’t prevent him from earning another Pro Bowl selection.
C Austin Blythe
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
It should come as no surprise that Blythe improved after moving back to his natural position of center. He’s been an anchor in the middle of the Rams’ offensive line, helping shore up what was one of the weakest parts of the offense last season. His overall grade of 73.1 puts him sixth among all centers, according to Pro Football Focus, and he’s allowed just one sack with one penalty committed in 913 snaps. That’s an impressive ratio, especially considering the defensive tackles he’s gone up against.
WR Cooper Kupp
(AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
With Robert Woods also eating up much of the targets for the Rams, it’s been hard for Kupp to truly rack up the yardage. Yet, he’s still managed to catch 79 passes for 869 yards with three touchdowns. He’s one of 10 players to post at least 75 catches, 860 yards and three touchdowns up to this point, matching some of the top receivers in football. It’ll be hard for Kupp to make it with guys like Davante Adams, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Amari Cooper and DeAndre Hopkins all in the NFC, too, but he’s deserving of it considering he splits a lot of targets with Woods, Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson. Woods should also get some consideration with his 76 catches, 796 yards and seven total touchdowns. Not to mention, both are among the best blocking receivers in the NFL.