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There are unquestionably still some holes to fill before the season, but as of now, the Rams look as good as anyone.
Pro Football Focus doesn’t exactly agree with that sentiment, however. PFF’s Anthony Treash ranked every team’s roster ahead of the 2021 NFL draft and the Rams weren’t in the top five, nor were they even in the top 10.
And perhaps most surprisingly, they were slotted lower than the Broncos and Washington. The Rams came in at No. 11, one spot behind the San Francisco 49ers.
Had the Rams re-signed safety John Johnson III and slot corner Troy Hill over edge defender Leonard Floyd, they’d be a few spots higher on this list. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald might just be the best player at his position the NFL has ever seen. He has generated 2.95 WAR since 2014, a full win more than any other interior defensive lineman and two wins more than all but seven players at the position.
In the secondary, the Rams still feature a quality outside cornerback duo in Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams. They ranked third and sixth, respectively, in WAR generated in 2020. On offense, Los Angeles traded for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who will add a downfield passing element. He’ll have Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp at his disposal, both of whom rank inside the top 30 in WAR generated since 2019. Los Angeles could still stand to add to its receiving unit, though.
Their free-agent losses will definitely hurt. It’ll be difficult to replace Troy Hill and John Johnson in the secondary, as well as Morgan Fox, Austin Blythe and even Michael Brockers, whom they traded to Detroit.
But to rank the Rams lower than Denver and Washington, neither of which have surefire starters at quarterback and more roster holes than Los Angeles, is questionable. The Broncos shockingly came in at No. 6, with Washington two spots lower at No. 8. Yes, there is the draft and the Rams lack a first-round pick unlike Denver and Washington, but the Rams are Super Bowl contenders right now before even adding any rookies. The same can’t be said about the other two teams.
The Broncos do have a great secondary, Von Miller and a promising receiving corps led by Jerry Jeudy. And Washington has a borderline elite defense, as well as Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson on offense. But from top to bottom, it’s hard to argue either team looks better than the Rams.
At the top of the list were the Buccaneers, followed by the Browns, Chiefs, Packers and Bills to round out the top five. The Seahawks were ranked 13th, with Arizona at No. 14. So all four NFC West teams were represented in the top 14, which shows how tough the division will be.