What is the Rams’ plan at inside linebacker for 2021?

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BonifayRam

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What is the Rams’ plan at inside linebacker for 2021? (yahoo.com)
What is the Rams’ plan at inside linebacker for 2021?
Cameron DaSilva
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Although the first wave of free agency is already in the books, the Los Angeles Rams still have plenty of opportunities to bolster their roster before the regular season begins in September.There are free agents to sign, prospects to draft and players to acquire via trade, but the Rams have yet to make a single move at inside linebacker.

They haven’t been linked to any free agents at that position, nor have they been reported to have met with any linebacker prospects. That doesn’t mean they haven’t looked into adding help to the linebacker corps, but it doesn’t seem to be a high priority for the front office.

This has made some wonder what the Rams’ plan is heading into the 2021 season. Are they going to roll with the same group as last season? Is Travin Howard going to become a starter after he was slated to be one in 2020? Will the draft bring notable reinforcements?

All of these are very possible for Los Angeles, given the way its defense is built. Despite getting subpar play from Micah Kiser, Kenny Young and Troy Reeder a year ago, the Rams still had the NFL’s No. 1 defense. That has to count for something, and it’s probably why the front office didn’t go out and sign Kyle Van Noy, Denzel Perryman or Christian Kirksey.

As unimpressive as the Rams’ linebackers were at times, all had their flashes of potential. Reeder had a three-sack game, Kiser won Defensive Player of the Week and Young had a pick-six. That doesn’t mean they should be locks to play significant snaps next season, but the Rams obviously see something in them to deprioritize the position in free agency.
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There are still players out there who could fit with the Rams, such as K.J. Wright, Kwon Alexander and Avery Williamson. All should come relatively cheap, even by the Rams’ standards.

But in all likelihood, Les Snead and the front office are waiting for the draft. It’s a somewhat deep class at linebacker, with plenty of athletic and rangy prospects available on Day 2. Jabril Cox, Jamin Davis, Monty Rice, Chazz Surratt, and Justin Hilliard could all be options for the Rams in the second or third rounds, and all of them would be potential Day 1 starter.

If they add one of those rookies, it’s not unreasonable to think they could pair him with a player such as Reeder, Young, Kiser, or Howard. Reeder and Kiser are better run defenders than they are in coverage, so ideally, the Rams would add a rangy coverage linebacker as a compliment. Or, they could bring in a thumper to pair with Howard, who’s a former safety and has promising pass-defense skills. They have options available, it’s just a matter of which path the front office wants to take – or which way their draft board falls.

Regardless, it’s hard to imagine the Rams going into Week 1 without drafting at least one linebacker or signing one in free agency. They need talent in the middle of their defense and shouldn’t rely on the holdovers from 2020 to improve next season.
 

Tano

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There are some decent inside linebackers out there still that they could go out and get as depth players after the draft.
 

Elmgrovegnome

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Surat has potential but he’s a project and likely will go higher than he should. I could see the Rams taking him in the mid rounds if he’s available. He seems to fit the loves football type with leadership skills that McVay likes.

I don’t see a real run stuffing middle linebacker reaching the Rams. I like Jamin Brown as sideline to sideline guy that can also cover as well. I have no idea if he fits the character profile that we’ve seen Snead target though
 
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BonifayRam

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There are some decent inside linebackers out there still that they could go out and get as depth players after the draft.
Seems to be always plenty of ILB'ers available from my perspective Tano.

I have no heartburn with utilizing a late 3rd-day draft selection on a true MLB'er type ILB'er but I just do not see the need this season unless this MLB'er just happens to have fallen for no reason & packs outstanding skills backpack with very high second-day value.

Rams have the same six ILB'ers returning that were here last season. The fact is last season the Ram played most of the entire season & made the playoffs & played in the divisional round with both backup ILB'ers as starters. This season (hopefully) the two starting 2020 ILB'ers will remain healthy & provide a boost to this unit without having to spend any of that precious rare earth Ram draft elements on this position.

Rams lost a starting team captain @ safety, Lost their 2nd top corner, lost starting DL'er & his back up & lost a starting OLB'er, but they did not lose an ILB'er........those facts makes my point. In addition to the six signed under contract ILB'ers only one is due to hit UFA'cy next year.
 

Ram Ts

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Jamin seems like a good fit if he’s there when they pick in the 2nd. I wouldn’t mind that at all. Just a feeling they go OL.

Chazz Surat is very intriguing if they can get him at 103. Boom/bust type. Love his athleticism,speed, fire, etc....but sure tackling is like kind of important for an iLB ya know. He’s raw and new to the position so maybe that’ll come around quickly.
 
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dang

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Reeder had a three-sack game, Kiser won Defensive Player of the Week and Young had a pick-six. I’d like to see that ability wrapped into 1 ILB. Kiser and Howard may improve and form a decent tandem. Reeder is a nice depth player. Young could be replaced by a good FA for a little more $$$. I’d like to see a FA brought in.
 

Riverumbbq

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Reeder had a three-sack game, Kiser won Defensive Player of the Week and Young had a pick-six. I’d like to see that ability wrapped into 1 ILB. Kiser and Howard may improve and form a decent tandem. Reeder is a nice depth player. Young could be replaced by a good FA for a little more $$$. I’d like to see a FA brought in.

My thoughts exactly. I don't see a drafted ILB being of much use for 2021, although I still favor drafting one for future service. There should be plenty of inexpensive post draft free agents available to pick from. jmo.
 
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ReddingRam

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Seems to be always plenty of ILB'ers available from my perspective Tano.

I have no heartburn with utilizing a late 3rd-day draft selection on a true MLB'er type ILB'er but I just do not see the need this season unless this MLB'er just happens to have fallen for no reason & packs outstanding skills backpack with very high second-day value.

Rams have the same six ILB'ers returning that were here last season. The fact is last season the Ram played most of the entire season & made the playoffs & played in the divisional round with both backup ILB'ers as starters. This season (hopefully) the two starting 2020 ILB'ers will remain healthy & provide a boost to this unit without having to spend any of that precious rare earth Ram draft elements on this position.

Rams lost a starting team captain @ safety, Lost their 2nd top corner, lost starting DL'er & his back up & lost a starting OLB'er, but they did not lose an ILB'er........those facts makes my point. In addition to the six signed under contract ILB'ers only one is due to hit UFA'cy next year.
I think Rozeboom and Howard are going to be the reason we may not take one in the draft. Like you said, we have our returning guys, then these two... of which TH was slated to be a starter at the beginning of the season until he got injured. And the seem to be pretty high on Roseboom as a guy who could make a push. They just don't seem to value the ILB position as we do. I get it. Usually only one of those guys on the field for most of the game. But damn I want a DOWNHILL ILB! I want a Bobby Wagner...Fred Warner .. LaVonte David type guy manning the middle.
 

BonifayRam

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How about releasing Kenny Young and adding Avery Williamson. Would that improve the group?
From what I understand on that Kenny Young contract (which by the way makes him the highest-paid ILB'er) the Rams have no dead $$$ involved if they release KY now or anytime before the season begins. It's approx $2.2 million saved when released.

So Snead can keep Young here to see how things work out in OTA's & Training Camp with all six ILB'ers under contract. Hopefully, injuries will finally leave the LB'ing unit alone this season. I see potential not only in the young Christian Rozeboom but that CFL all-star Derrick Moncrief should also stand out in TC & preseason too.

Snead/Mcvay is sure to have mandated LB'er Coach Shula to develop these younger cheaper UDFA's/ WWC's/ Practice Squad Licks in order to supply backfill vacancies due to these super-high salaries Ram players. There is no other way to go.

There is a very good chance that it will be ILB'er Travin Howard on the field in Nickel & Dime defenses with SS Taylor Rapp more than the MLB'ers Kiser & Reeder. Reeder may be a weak link in passing situations but on run downs, Reeder is a force. Plus Reeder has played & remained fully healthy whereas Kiser has been the opposite.

Last season the ILB'ing unit really lost their three main players who had participated in working in this unit ...Howard then Rapp then Kiser. It seems members in here tend to look at this unit as being weak. Do they consider just what happened to this unit in 2020? All those missing components will be returning for 2021. Does that move the needle for these members who constantly ring the bell for significant investments of rare Ram assets to be inserted into this unit? Where do we rob these assets from the Rams OL or the DL or where?

IMO Snead will be looking for those cap millions from the KY cut to put back in the Ram bank than to spend & go in debt for Avery Williamson.
 
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So Ram

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I think Rozeboom and Howard are going to be the reason we may not take one in the draft. Like you said, we have our returning guys, then these two... of which TH was slated to be a starter at the beginning of the season until he got injured. And the seem to be pretty high on Roseboom as a guy who could make a push. They just don't seem to value the ILB position as we do. I get it. Usually only one of those guys on the field for most of the game. But damn I want a DOWNHILL ILB! I want a Bobby Wagner...Fred Warner .. LaVonte David type guy manning the middle.

agree - if a Wagner type becomes available.The depth though right now just became deeper than the start of 2020 when The Rams rolled with what they had. All the names you talked about,but Kenny Young has to be apart of this ILB convo as well. He ozzed talent & potential.Was actually a starter.
Howard ??
Kiser showed so much last season by just playing hard & did what he was asked. He might have had the play of the season on special teams to help get The Rams into the Playoffs with his fumble recovery.
 

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Jamin seems like a good fit if he’s there when they pick in the 2nd. I wouldn’t mind that at all. Just a feeling they go OL.

Chazz Surat is very intriguing if they can get him at 103. Boom/bust type. Love his athleticism,speed, fire, etc....but sure tackling is like kind of important for an iLB ya know. He’s raw and new to the position so maybe that’ll come around quickly.
I would take Jamin Davis late round 1. I just think he's going to be outstanding in the NFL he's a top run stopper right now with pass game athleticism and upside. So I'm skeptical he falls to us but if he does the Rams will definitely consider him.

Suratt I'm not a fan of. I think he's soft.
 

Merlin

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I think Rozeboom and Howard are going to be the reason we may not take one in the draft. Like you said, we have our returning guys, then these two... of which TH was slated to be a starter at the beginning of the season until he got injured. And the seem to be pretty high on Roseboom as a guy who could make a push. They just don't seem to value the ILB position as we do. I get it. Usually only one of those guys on the field for most of the game. But damn I want a DOWNHILL ILB! I want a Bobby Wagner...Fred Warner .. LaVonte David type guy manning the middle.
I'm with you Redding. And btw I don't see any of our guys as the type of players that would keep them from taking a top ILB. IMO it's more about a top ILB actually falling to us where we don't have a greater need in a similar level player.

Look at Uche last year. He would have helped us but we needed to replace Gurley with Cam and they prioritized Jefferson. I think that was a mistake (Uche will be a better player long-term to my eye) but there's a long way to go to know for sure. This year though is there some huge priority we absolutely must take there in round 2? Probably not.

Greatest need is Center but the position looks great round 3. Which insinuates they can go BPA at 57 and that's ideal.
 

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My pick is Bolton or Werner. I doubt Bolton escapes the top half of the second round, but stranger things have happened.
 

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Looks like we're happy with the crop we had....and honestly I don't mind because we have a nice group. Honestly outside of Zaven Collins falling to us...which isn't happening...I see no reason for us to worry about ILB until late in the draft, if at all. Rozenboom and Moncrief from the practice squad along with our top 4 of Kiser, Howard, Reeder and Young should work our just fine for us.
 

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Adding a fairly cheap KJ Wright wouldn't be bad. After the June 1st cut off however. As far as drafting one, I'd be happy with Davis, Collins, or Bolton in the 2nd. Werner would be a good grab in the 3rd. Outside of that, I'm not thinking we need to use any early draft capital on ILB. I'd rather go C, CB, or Edge personally.
 

So Ram

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From what I understand on that Kenny Young contract (which by the way makes him the highest-paid ILB'er) the Rams have no dead $$$ involved if they release KY now or anytime before the season begins. It's approx $2.2 million saved when released.

So Snead can keep Young here to see how things work out in OTA's & Training Camp with all six ILB'ers under contract. Hopefully, injuries will finally leave the LB'ing unit alone this season. I see potential not only in the young Christian Rozeboom but that CFL all-star Derrick Moncrief should also stand out in TC & preseason too.

Snead/Mcvay is sure to have mandated LB'er Coach Shula to develop these younger cheaper UDFA's/ WWC's/ Practice Squad Licks in order to supply backfill vacancies due to these super-high salaries Ram players. There is no other way to go.

There is a very good chance that it will be ILB'er Travin Howard on the field in Nickel & Dime defenses with SS Taylor Rapp more than the MLB'ers Kiser & Reeder. Reeder may be a weak link in passing situations but on run downs, Reeder is a force. Plus Reeder has played & remained fully healthy whereas Kiser has been the opposite.

Last season the ILB'ing unit really lost their three main players who had participated in working in this unit ...Howard then Rapp then Kiser. It seems members in here tend to look at this unit as being weak. Do they consider just what happened to this unit in 2020? All those missing components will be returning for 2021. Does that move the needle for these members who constantly ring the bell for significant investments of rare Ram assets to be inserted into this unit? Where do we rob these assets from the Rams OL or the DL or where?

IMO Snead will be looking for those cap millions from the KY cut to put back in the Ram bank than to spend & go in debt for Avery Williamson.

Reeder in goal line & 3rd & short excelled.He just doesn’t have the range in the open field. He will probably have to be a core special teams guy in 2021.
Rosen over Mono.
Avery Williamson ?
 

CGI_Ram

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Rams have the same six ILB'ers returning that were here last season. The fact is last season the Ram played most of the entire season & made the playoffs & played in the divisional round with both backup ILB'ers as starters. This season (hopefully) the two starting 2020 ILB'ers will remain healthy & provide a boost to this unit without having to spend any of that precious rare earth Ram draft elements on this position.

Yeah... Hard to imagine the Rams seeing this as a “need” position.