After winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams didn’t have as splashy of an offseason as they did a year prior when they acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford. But their 2022 offseason was a busy one.
Los Angeles added All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner after his release from Seattle and also signed wide receiver Allen Robinson to a big multi-year deal. The Rams might not have had their first- and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, though they still had a busy draft weekend by making eight selections and re-acquired cornerback Troy Hill in a trade with the Browns.
However, they also had several notable losses. Starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth announced his retirement in March. Star edge rusher Von Miller signed a six-year deal with the Bills. Starting right guard Austin Corbett signed a three-year deal with the Panthers. Receiver Robert Woods was traded to the Titans to make room for Robinson. Cornerback Darious Williams signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars. And star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains unsigned after he tore his ACL during Super Bowl LVI.
With the meat of the offseason over, analysts around the league are starting to evaluate how each team did. The Rams received a decent mark from Pro Football Focus.
PFF Gives Rams a B- Grade for the Offseason
In calculating its overall offseason grade for each teams, PFF’s Sam Monson graded how each team did in free agency and in the draft. Monson gave the Rams an “Above Average” grade for free agency.
The move that appears to intrigue Monson the most was the Rams’ decision to re-sign Joseph Noteboom to a three-year, $40 million deal, making him the Whitworth replacement.
“The Rams were surprisingly active given the framing of their entire all-in strategy by many people,” Monson wrote. “Andrew Whitworth‘s retirement led the team to throw considerable money at Joseph Noteboom to ensure he stayed in the building to take over at left tackle. Noteboom played well last season when Whitworth was hurt (PFF pass-blocking grade above 70 when lined up at left tackle), but his sample size of quality play is very low, so this is a calculated gamble.”
As Monson mentioned, Noteboom does have starting experience but most of it has come at left guard over his four-year career. So, trusting Noteboom to replace Whitworth, who was viewed as one of the best offensive tackles in the league last season by PFF, is certainly a bit of a risk.
Monson did seem to like the shuffling around the Rams did at receiver, though.
“Odell Beckham Jr.’s ACL injury in the Super Bowl likely removed him from the team’s plans, and they traded away Robert Woods, but that cleared space to sign Allen Robinson, who was coming off his worst season in the NFL in Chicago,” Monson wrote. “Robinson finally has a high-level quarterback for potentially the first time in his entire football career.
While Robinson put up the worst season of his eight-year career (outside of his one-game season in 2017) in 2021, he has put up some monster seasons with mediocre quarterbacks in the past. When he played with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles in 2020, Robinson caught 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns. When he was with the Jaguars in 2015, catching passes from Blake Bortles, Robinson had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns. Matthew Stafford is the most accomplished quarterback Robinson has ever played with, which could mean he has a bounceback year in 2022.
How the Rams’ Draft Affected Their Grade
Monson also used the Rams’ draft grade to help shape the overall offseason grade. He gave the Rams a C+ for their draft, crediting them for drafting positions of need to help make the most of the non-luxurious draft capital they had.
“In the draft, the Rams spent Day 1 having a house party in the Hollywood Hills before finally getting down to some business as the third round came to a close,” Monson wrote. “They targeted clear areas where they needed valuable depth, drafting offensive lineman Logan Bruss and cornerback Decobie Durant. Overall, the team picked eight times, and that’s been a key part of the strategy in recent seasons.”
Los Angeles certainly used draft weekend to address areas of need. Bruss was selected in the third round and appears to be a potential replacement for Corbett at right guard. The Rams selected four defensive backs, drafting Durant in the fourth round, Quentin Lake and Derion Kendrick in the sixth round, and Russ Yeast in the seventh round.
The Rams also drafted Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams in the fifth round, selecting him after Sony Michel left for the Dolphins. Even though he might not get much playing time as a rookie with Cam Akers returning from injury, Williams could have a big role in the future as Darrell Henderson’s contract expires at the end of the season.