Los Angeles Rams Linebacker Corps Fall to 22nd in New Unit Ranking

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FTN Fantasy unveiled their 2024 Linebacker Unit Ranking this week and the Los Angeles Rams starting four linebackers were ranked toward the bottom, despite the teams’ recent attempts to shore up the group.

The Rams fell between the Denver Broncos at 21 and New Orleans Saints at 23

The Rams have looked to the draft rather than free agency to add to this unit. Which of course means they are young. This is a big reason FTN ranked the unit so low. Ernest Jones, the inside linebacker is the only proven quantity. Christian Rozeboom has been a below-average starter. Jared Verse has yet to play a snap of NFL football and Byron Young has to prove he can develop into a three-down threat.

Analysis of the Los Angeles Rams Linebackers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
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Here is what FTN wrote of those four linebackers;

The Rams found a gem in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Tennessee’s Byron Young. Young finished his rookie season with the second most pressures (50) and sacks (8.0). He was also top five on the team in tackles (61) and tackles for loss (8). His development will be crucial for a team looking for consistent pressure without Aaron Donald.

Los Angeles also used the draft in 2024 to fortify their edge-rushing talent, selecting Florida State’s Jared Verse in the first round. Verse had three straight seasons with a PFF grade above 82.0, including a 2023 season that saw him post career highs in sacks (11.0) and hurries (36). He also had a 90.8 pass-rush grade in his final collegiate season and will have an opportunity to see immediate playing time with the Rams. Veteran edge rusher Michael Hoecht (39 pressures and 6.0 sacks in 2023) can provide some stability if Verse needs time to acclimate.

Interior linebacker Ernest Jones IV took a major step in his third season, generating 145 tackles and 4.5 sacks while setting career-highs in PFF grade (82.1), run defense grade (90.0) and pass rush grade (78.2). He will be joined by Christian Rozeboom, a below-average starter who had a 49.0 PFF grade in 2023 despite having 79 tackles and an interception.

Ultimately, this group’s ranking hinges on how well Verse can play across from Young. If he struggles to adjust to the NFL level, then it could be a very long first season without Aaron Donald for the Rams.

Despite the low ranking, FTN has mostly good things to say about the individual players but note development is needed for the two edge rushers, Verse and Young. Also, the effusive praise heaped on Jones isn’t enough to lift this unit to a higher tier.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts
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