The Los Angeles Rams has had a lot to talk about off the field in recent days as the NFL Draft brought more attention to their issues with racial discrimination. But the team, which finished 4th in the NFC West last year, is also busy on the field. The team’s roster features some interesting ensembles, particularly on offense. So let’s take a look at some potential Los Angeles Rams Superbowl hopefuls.
The Rams selected Alabama wide receiver Trevard Lindley out of MSU in the first round of the NFL draft. The Rams later traded up to get Lindley at a lower cost, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t have him as part of their future plans. Lindley has excellent speed, agility, and ball skills, but he needs to learn to be more patient in his route running. The team will likely use him as a slot receiver or a running back/running style. The Rams need to make sure they get their money’s worth with Lindley, otherwise he could sign with one of the many other teams in play for his services.
Another potential breakout star in Los Angeles is running back Chris Johnson. A first-round pick in 2021, the versatile Johnson has been very impressive during his two seasons with the Cardinals. He has established himself as a solid, downhill runner, and it looks like the Cards will continue to give him all the touches in 2021. The team will likely use him in both the running game and the passing game down the seam. It’s easy to see why Arizona fans have been so excited about this dual-threat threat.
The secondary for the Los Angeles Rams is also in need of some young talent. Two first-round picks, Sedrick Shaw and Lamarr Woodruff, have both been spectacular in the last few weeks. Shaw is playing with a broken hand, but he made some big plays down the field to seal the win for the Vikings last Sunday night. Woodruff made a great one-handed grab to stop a possible game-winning drive by the Raiders last week. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this type of combination of a defensive back tandem in the NFL.
Outside of the first two picks in this year’s draft, there isn’t much excitement in the Los Angeles Rams D-line. Kamerion Lewis and Chris Johnson aren’t making much impact on the line, despite their presence. Starter Kyle Vanden Bosch has looked nothing like the player he was during his prime with the Chiefs. I would expect the Rams to find a way to improve this unit somehow, but they don’t seem all that serious about it. It seems the fans want to see more production out of rookie Travis Benjamin, but the team has been pretty unwilling to add him to the lineup.
The Raiders seem to be the team that loses out on most excited NFL fans’ attention, and they’ll hardly even take a break from mundane tasks such as grooming their dog’s paws to look up at the screen. Despite having a number one overall player in Michael Crabtree, and arguably the best secondary in football, the Raiders seem to lack any real “fire” to go along with their Super Bowl aspirations. Carson Palmer is coming off an impressive Pro Bowl performance, but this doesn’t do much to help the cause of the fans who are waiting for a lot more out of this young franchise. Even if Crabtree develops into the type of player that can help this team push towards the playoffs, this group of Raiders has enough talent to reach the playoffs, but they need to produce more than they have been in recent years.
The Jets seem to have the least exciting NFL team, which is surprising given the fact that they’ve been one of the better teams over the course of the past few seasons. However, there is no doubt that Darrelle Revis would make an excellent fit in New York, along with some of the other free-agent acquisitions that the club has made over the off season. Of course, all these moves will come at a price, and while the fans may not be as excited as everyone else is about these moves, the expectations are still very high for the Jets. This should make for a fascinating offseason for the team, but it is doubtful that the fans will be as excited as everyone else is over what the new regime is doing.
Some may say that the Los Angeles Chargers is in a worse situation than the Raiders, but that is far from the truth. They have a number one overall pick in this year’s draft, and they also have some very solid players already on their roster including Vincent Jackson, LaDanian Tomlinson, Travis Kelce and Antonio Gates. This team has been steadily getting better, which is a bit of a surprise given their recent history, but they still hold a number of top notch players, including Vincent Jackson, LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. With a strong nucleus of players, coupled with some great coaching, it is expected that the Chargers will be able to put together a successful season in 2021.
Walter works as a sports analyst and has traveled all over the world. He is currently living in LA with his three dogs.