Analysis

Sports Info Solutions: Los Angeles Rams 2022 Team Preview

Cooper Kupp

The 2021 Los Angeles Rams ended their season hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on their home field and will bring back 16 of its 22 starters from the championship team in 2022. However, they did lose some key contributors, while also adding some new faces to help fill some holes. 

Scouting the Offense

Coach Sean McVay helmed an offense that finished 4th in Total Points per play in 2021, and with quarterback Matthew Stafford, All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp and others returning this season, there shouldn’t be much of a drop-off in 2022. 

Offensive Line

The team will be replacing two starters on the offensive line, with the departure of left tackle Andrew Whitworth being the most impactful. Joe Noteboom will likely take over the position, and while he only started two games in 2021, he did make nine starts in 2020 and finished with 13 Total Points. 

The team drafted guard Logan Bruss with their first pick of the 2022 draft in hopes of adding depth to the line, but he has been ruled out for the season after suffering an injury during preseason play. 

Running Backs

Stafford will look for some more help from his running game in 2022, as the group finished 2021 31st in the league in positional Total Points with -29. Cam Akers looks to be healthy and should provide a boost, while Darrell Henderson Jr. could prove to be more effective in a limited role.

Wide Receivers

Kupp once again leads the wide receiver group, and the team added Allen Robinson II with the departure of Robert Woods and Odell Beckham Jr. to go along with Van Jefferson. 2021 2nd round pick Tutu Atwell could factor into the group and Ben Skowronek, Jacob Harris and preseason standout Lance McCutcheon could see opportunities as well. 

 

The Rams are a heavy 11-personnel usage team (86% in 2021, which was the highest in the NFL) and traditionally rely predominantly on their top three receivers to play a bulk of the snaps under McVay. 

Tight Ends

One potential wrinkle for 2022 could see the Rams using a bit more 10-personnel (2% of snaps in 2021). They cut tight end Kendall Blanton and will enter the season with only Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins on the depth chart at tight end.

Scouting the Defense

On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris still has a couple of the best players in the NFL in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. He did lose defensive end Von Miller to Buffalo, and the team didn’t do much to replace him. They will likely rely on Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis to fill those shoes opposite Leonard Floyd. 

 

Front Seven

The lineup will be largely unchanged up front, as Greg Gaines (18 Total Points in 2021) and A’Shawn Robinson (16 Total Points) will join Donald on the line. The big addition on this side of the ball is Bobby Wagner, who finished 2021 with 41 Total Points for Seattle. Wagner will join surprising 2021 rookie Ernest Jones (28 Total Points) in a much-improved linebacker group. 

Secondary

Ramsey once again leads the cornerback position, but they did lose Darious Williams to free agency. The team traded for old friend Troy Hill to replace Williams, and they have some depth behind those two in David Long Jr. and Robert Rochell. 

Rookies Decobie Durant and Derion Kendrick (who has impressed so far this preseason) could contribute as well. The safety position was ravaged by injury in 2021, but Jordan Fuller, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess are all back in 2022.

Outlook

Overall, it is a tall order to repeat as Super Bowl champs, but this Rams roster is still in its championship window and will be one of the favorites again in 2022. The questions on the offensive line and at the defensive end position are a concern. 

But the additions of Wagner, Robinson and Hill should help the overall talent on the roster. If the top players can stay healthy as they did in 2021, this team will likely be right there come playoff time with the potential to make another postseason run.

Justin Stine contributed to this report.

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