Image Credit: (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
With Training Camp about to start for the NFL in a few weeks, there are questions that follow each team. Like I did with the Bengals, I will be doing the Top 5 Biggest questions for every team heading into Training Camp. Next up is the Los Angeles Rams who did not have a 1st round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft due to the Matthew Stafford Trade (Well worth it). But there are still questions that remain with this team.
1. If Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp, or Van Jefferson get injured, who would step up?
The Los Angeles Rams have a strong receiver core with the addition of Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp being a Top 5 receiver in the league, and Van Jefferson emerging as a receiver for the Rams. But like I did with the Bengals I kind of have the same question here with the Rams as besides the three receivers above if one were to get injured, who would step up? Ben Skowronek showed flashes on offense but is more of a special teams player. Tutu Atwell disappointed last season and did next to nothing on offense. Maybe with a year of development, he can impress. Brandon Powell showed flashes in Atlanta in 2020 but has not done much in the past few years. The rest did not do much and will have to impress to make a roster spot. But the Rams must have a plan if Robinson, Kupp, or Jefferson gets hurt.
2. Who will replace Andrew Whitworth at blindside tackle?
When I heard many say that Aaron Donald and Sean McVay were contemplating retirement I did not believe it for a second. I was right, but the most predictable retirement came with Andrew Whitworth who finally got his well-deserved Super Bowl ring. With his retirement, the Rams will have to find a replacement for him. Well surprisingly, they did nothing during the offseason to replace Whitworth. Joe Noteboom was a solid rotational offensive lineman but mainly played guard during his time with the Rams. AJ Jackson and Max Pircher have not done much in the NFL, but with a strong training camp, they could take the role. One thing is for sure, you can’t rule out the Rams potentially signing a free agent in the next few weeks. There is a chance that nobody impresses and each tackle struggles to take that job. It is a position to watch during training camp and the pre-season.
3. Who will replace Darious Williams in his role at cornerback?
The Rams did not lose a lot of players in free agency, but one big departure was Darious Williams. He was a very underrated part of that secondary. With him gone I wonder who he will be replaced with, and it of course won’t be Jalen Ramsey. Especially as he is the number one cornerback. Troy Hill was signed during the offseason and he could potentially be the guy, but can he translate his play with the Cleveland Browns to the Los Angeles Rams. David Long had a career year last season and hopefully, he can repeat and improve the next season. They used a 4th round pick on Cobie Durant and if he develops well he could be something. Derion Kendrick could be something as he was once considered a 1st round pick but fell to the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Robert Rochell was not great but showed flashes last season. Russ Yeast could be something as he was selected in the 7th round but is mainly a wildcard.
4. With Johnny Hekker’s departure, who will with the job as the punter?
I got to say out of all the teams in the NFL the Rams have the least amount of weaknesses and It was thought about asking questions regarding this team. But one of their big free agents was punter Johnny Hekker. I have to be honest, it is going to be very weird not seeing Johnny Hekker as a Los Angeles Rams. He is one of the best punters in the past few years and I will always remember him as a Ram. But with him no longer there the Rams are going to have a punter positional battle between Riley Dixon and Cameron Dicker. Riley Dixon has been punting in the NFL for 6 years and has played with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos. Cameron Dicker is an undrafted rookie who was punting from the University of Texas. Both have potential in the role but are going to need a strong performance in training camp and in the preseason. Hopefully either can do a great job replacing Johnny Hekker.
5. Can the Los Angeles Rams repeat and win another Super Bowl?
As many of you reading this know, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56. No matter who wins the Super Bowl the question that many ask next is whether or not the Los Angeles Rams can repeat and win a Super Bowl, thus starting a dynasty. But there's a part of me that thinks the Rams have the opportunity to repeat as they have very few weaknesses and are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. However, there is that part of me where the Rams would suffer regression or a chunk of their team will get injured. But there is a good possibility that the Rams could repeat and win another Super Bowl. They just need to now prove it on the field.