The NFL draft is now behind us, which means we’re one major step closer to the start of the 2022 season.
Entering the draft, the Los Angeles Rams were commonly viewed by experts as one of the top teams in the league and oddsmakers gave them relatively good odds to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
While the Rams were idle in the first two rounds of the draft, selecting eight players between rounds 3-7, some of the top title contenders made movers over the weekend. For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs made four picks in the first two rounds of the draft that were lauded by analysts. The Cardinals, a division rival of the Rams, traded for an impact receiver in Marquise Brown and the Packers, who’ve held the No. 1 seed in the NFC the last two seasons, made three picks with the top 34 selections.
Even though the Rams’ draft weekend wasn’t too exciting compared to some of their top rivals, analysts and oddsmakers still view the defending champs as one of – if not the – best teams in the league.
Multiple Power Rankings View The Rams as The Top Team
Bleacher Reports NFL staff still has the Rams as its top team with the start of the season looming. It lauded the Rams’ efforts to reload after winning the Super Bowl, giving particular praise for the moves to sign receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
“The Rams aren’t without their issues,” Bleacher Report NFL analyst Gary Davenport wrote. “With [Von] Miller gone and Andrew Whitworth retired, there are questions on the edge and at left tackle. The Rams are also going to get every team’s ‘A’ game this season—everyone wants to knock off the champs. But the Rams are indeed the defending champions and a team stacked with talent on offense and defense. The top spot is theirs until another team knocks them off it.”
CBS Sports NFL analyst Pere Prisco also views the Rams as the best team in the NFL entering the regular season. Part of that is because he “always keeps the defending Super Bowl champions in the top spot until the regular season kicks off.” He also praised Rams general manager Les Snead’s ability to add talented younger players to the team, asking just one question of Los Angeles entering the 2022 season.
“The champs will be poised to make another Super Bowl run. They are basically the same team. The question is can they handle being the hunted,” Prisco wrote.
For The Win’s Christian D’Andrea similarly views the Rams as the league’s top team due to their status as reigning champions. He also liked one of Los Angeles’s draft picks.
“The king stays the king, even if the Rams’ foundation is built on aging players and one vital injury could stress LA’s precarious depth to a point of failure,” D’Andrea wrote. “Matthew Stafford did the damn thing and left the Lions in Detroit. Cooper Kupp emerged as a one-man offense. Cam Akers should be healthy for the full season and flanked by Darrell Henderson and Kyren Williams. The defense added Bobby Wagner. Most experts would suggest this is not bad. Not bad at all.”
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus doesn’t have the Rams at No. 1 in his power rankings, placing them at No. 2 right behind the BIlls. Hanzus wasn’t as intrigued by the Rams’ draft, but he does believe there’s still a move they can make to cement themselves as one of the league’s best.
“As the Thursday night press conference featuring Sean McVay and Les Snead made clear, the party goes on for the defending champs. The Rams are one of just two teams (Dolphins) since 2009 to not make a selection in the first 100 choices of a draft, so, yes, the “Eff Them Picks” era of Rams football remains alive and well,” Hanzus wrote. “I could share my trenchant thoughts about Logan Bruss, third-round pick out of Wisconsin, but I think we’re all more interested in whether Odell Beckham Jr. will return to Los Angeles in 2022. The veteran wide receiver remains a free agent while he recovers from his latest ACL reconstruction surgery.”
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer appears to be a bit more concerned with the players the Rams lost during the offseason. He has them ranked fifth in his power rankings behind the Chiefs, Bills, Buccaneers, and Packers.
“The Rams also took some hits after their Super Bowl run, including Andrew Whitworth, Von Miller, Robert Woods, Darious Williams and, for now, Odell Beckham Jr,” Iyer wrote. “But they also recovered by adding Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner before filling a few more smaller holes in the draft. With Matthew Stafford still operating the offense for Sean McVay, the champs stay on the Super Bowl short list.”
Oddsmakers Remain High on Rams’ Super Bowl Odds
When you don’t do much at the NFL draft, it appears your odds to win the Super Bowl don’t change. At least that was the case for the Rams.
On March 23, Tipico Sportsbook gave Los Angeles +1000 odds to win Super Bowl LVII. After the draft, its odds to win the Lombardi are still +1000, which is tied for the third-best odds in the league with the Chiefs and Packers. Only the Bills (+650) and Buccaneers (+700) are ahead of the Rams.
As for wins, DraftKings Sportsbook has set the Rams’ over/under win total at 10.5, which is the fifth-highest in the league. Los Angeles won 12 games last season.