Los Angeles Rams offseason has them ready to take over NFC West in 2024

Sean McVay and the Rams are so back
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Rams lost future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald this offseason, so how could they be ready to take over the NFC West again?

The complexion of this Rams roster has changed drastically from the team that we all saw win the Super Bowl during the 2021-22 season. Back then, the Rams were a veteran-laden team with an "F them picks" mentality that even general manager Les Snead embraced. They were making trades for blockbuster names like Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, and Von Miller, and they had the good fortune of someone like Odell Beckham Jr. becoming available late in the season.

Over the last two years, the Rams have quietly reloaded the roster through the NFL Draft as opposed to using their selections to simply trade for veterans. Of course, they're not entirely made up of home-grown selections at this point, but when you look at the new core of this LA Rams team, it's really a testament to the outstanding work being done by head coach Sean McVay.

The Rams' 2024 NFL Draft class really highlights the incredible work they have been doing to load up this roster to be ready for an NFC West takeover in 2024:

  • 1st round: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
  • 2nd ruond: Braden Fiske, DL, Florida State
  • 3rd round: Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
  • 3rd round: Kam Kinchens, S, Miami
  • 5th round: Brennan Jackson, EDGE, Washington State
  • 6th round: Tyler Davis, DL, Clemson
  • 6th round: Joshua Karty, K, Stanford
  • 6th round: Jordan Whittington, WR, Texas
  • 6th round: Beaux Limmer, OL, Arkansas
  • 7th round: KT Leveston, OL, Kansas State

This draft class shows a commitment to building in the trenches, which has been the key to the Rams' turnaround overall. Again, the irony here is that the Rams lost Aaron Donald this offseason. While no one is going to replace AD, the Rams certainly have the ability to win at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball thanks to great drafting, opportunistic trades, and strong free agent signings.

Of course, player development is massive.

The Rams drafted Byron Young in the third round last year, and he ended up ranking 2nd on the team in sacks (8.0). Who led the Rams in sacks last year? It wasn't Aaron Donald, but another interior defensive lineman: Kobie Turner, a 3rd-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Richmond. Michael Hoecht is a former undrafted player who has developed into a full-time player on the defensive front.

Now, the Rams have added both Jared Verse -- arguably the best pass rusher in this class -- and his college teammate Braden Fiske?

Les Snead is good at team-building. He's got the quarterback (for now). He's got the weapons, but he keeps throwing darts there and hitting on guys like Cooper Kupp (3rd round) and Puka Nacua (5th round).

On the offensive line, the Rams have seen former undrafted free agent Alaric Jackson develop into a legitimate NFL left tackle after the retirement on Andrew Whitworth. They have studs all over the interior in 2024 free agent acquisition Jonah Jackson, 2023 2nd-round pick Steve Avila, and trade acquisition Kevin Dotson. Rob Havenstein is still manning the right tackle spot, and they have an entirely home-grown group of depth players at all positions.

This team was down bad in 2022 with all of the injuries they sustained, but they used that year to reset, and they overachieved a little bit in 2023. They're going to be ready to take over the NFC West again in 2024.