Rams PFF grades: Best and worst performers from 2022 season
Pro Football Focus’ grades aren’t the perfect way to evaluate a player’s season, but they do give fans some quality context. It doesn’t take an expert to know that the Rams’ 2022 season didn’t go according to plan, but PFF’s grades tell us which players performed well and which ones struggled.
Looking back at this past season, here’s how PFF graded the Rams’ best and worst players. These lists only include those who played at least 100 snaps on offense or defense.
Top 5 offense
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WR Cooper Kupp: 86.3
RB Cam Akers: 80.7
RT Rob Havenstein: 73.2
WR Tutu Atwell: 70.9
LT Ty Nsekhe: 70.6
Kupp missed a good chunk of the season, only playing nine games. However, he was by far the Rams’ most productive and efficient player on offense, catching 75 catches for 812 yards with six touchdown receptions, all of which led the team.
Akers came on late in the year and looked like a high-end running back, which pushed his PFF grade above 80.0 after hovering in the 50s for most of the year.
Havenstein allowed the most pressures on the team (41), but he was solid as a run blocker. He also faced a ton of difficult matchups, often going up against the opponent’s best pass rusher.
Atwell wasn’t a full-time player for the Rams, and although he did show some flashes of improvement after a quiet rookie year, he wasn’t nearly consistent enough – even after the injuries LA suffered at wide receiver.
Nsekhe helped replace Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson after they went down with injuries, allowing just eight pressures in 10 games.
Top 5 defense
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LB Bobby Wagner: 90.7
DT Aaron Donald: 90.5
CB Jalen Ramsey: 86.4
S Taylor Rapp: 76.2
CB Cobie Durant: 73.3
Looking at the Rams’ defensive grades, one thing is clear: There was Wagner, Donald and Ramsey, and then there was everyone else. No one came close to matching the production of those three players, who were three of the best players at their respective positions.
Wagner had 140 tackles and six sacks, putting together one of his best seasons ever. Donald had 40 pressures in just 11 games, earning a 90.7 pass-rush grade. Ramsey had four picks, two sacks and 88 tackles, as well.
Rapp’s inclusion in the top four on defense is somewhat surprising. He struggled in coverage but was steady as a run defender (82.3 grade). PFF only pegged him with six missed tackles.
Durant came on late in the year after being injured and mostly playing special teams, finishing with three picks and an NFL-high 151 interception return yards.
Bottom 5 offense
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QB Baker Mayfield: 51.7
G Matt Skura: 48.3
QB John Wolford: 40.0
OL Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1
OL Bobby Evans: 29.8
The Rams’ weakest positions this year were pretty obvious. They got poor play out of their quarterbacks and offensive line, with those two positions being represented in the bottom five on offense.
Mayfield had a couple of good performances against the Raiders and Broncos, but overall, he played pretty poorly. Wolford was even worse, losing his two starts and throwing three interceptions.
Skura and Kolone were thrust into action after the Rams’ primary linemen went down, allowing 13 pressures each on the interior.
Evans really had a tough season, allowing 24 pressures in just nine games on 203 pass-blocking snaps.
Bottom 5 defense
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DL Jonah Williams: 53.6
CB David Long Jr.: 53.6
OLB Terrell Lewis: 46.1
DL Earnest Brown IV: 46.0
CB Derion Kendrick: 43.7
Long and Kendrick were eventually benched in favor of Cobie Durant after playing poorly in coverage. They each had coverage grades below 55, according to PFF, giving up too many big plays down the field.
Lewis was highly ineffective as a pass rusher, recording only four pressures on 174 pass-rush snaps. He was cut, along with Justin Hollins.
Williams and Brown were forced to step up when Donald and A’Shawn Robinson got hurt and as pass rushers, they didn’t produce much. They also had two of the six lowest run-defense grades on the team, too.