Preseason stats show it’s time for the Rams to worry about their edge rushers

Rams fans have long been worried about the team’s group of edge rushers after Leonard Floyd was cut. Los Angeles doesn’t have a single edge rusher with a proven track record in the NFL, relying heavily on rookies and second-year players at one of the most important positions on the roster.

Sean McVay hasn’t shown any concern about the Rams’ outside linebackers up to this point, even saying the team declined to sign a veteran pass rusher because of the promising young players on the roster.

Well, it’s probably time for McVay and the front office to worry about the pass rush. Two weeks into the preseason, the Rams have put up putrid numbers in that department. According to Pro Football Focus, only one edge rusher on the team has more than one pressure: Keir Thomas, who has five.

The rest of the outside linebackers have two pressures combined, with Daniel Hardy and Nick Hampton recording one each; Hardy turned that one pressure into a sack.

Byron Young didn’t play the second preseason game so he’s been limited to just nine pass-rush snaps, but he hasn’t been credited with a single pressure. His best pass-rush rep was a sack that got called back because he grabbed the quarterback’s facemask. Michael Hoecht, the other projected starter, has zero pressures, sacks or quarterback hits in 16 pass-rush snaps.

The same goes for Zach VanValkenburg, who’s rushed the passer on 27 snaps with very little success.

Ochaun Mathis has been sidelined with a knee injury since the start of camp and has yet to play a preseason snap, but it’s unlikely the seventh-round rookie will dramatically change the outlook at edge rusher when he does return.

It’s admittedly a small sample size but the Rams can’t be pleased with what they’ve seen from their edge rushers outside of Thomas. Their pass-rush grade of 59.6 as a team ranks 24th in the NFL, according to PFF, and that’s partly thanks to the fact that Earnest Brown IV and Jonah Williams each have two pressures.

The primary source of pressure should be coming from the outside linebacker group but that hasn’t been the case this preseason. While McVay continues to express confidence in the players the Rams currently have, it’s long overdue that they look for external help.

The problem is, they’ve waited so long to sign a veteran that the market has dried up significantly. Melvin Ingram and Carlos Dunlap are probably the best two players available for the Rams to consider.

It’s one thing to give the young guys a shot, but it’s another to completely ignore the biggest hole on the roster for months.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire