The Los Angeles Rams’ roster underwent a ton of changes this offseason, with some coming on the offensive side of the ball.
The surprise moves of the offseason were the release of running back Todd Gurley and the trade of wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, considering both players are just a year removed from being stars in the league and signing long-term extensions to remain in L.A.
While their departures are big ones, the Rams didn’t waste much time replacing them as they used their first two picks in the second round in the 2020 NFL Draft on running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Van Jefferson.
The team also returns so veteran weapons like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett as well, so they still should have some quality pass-catchers for Jared Goff in 2020.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently ranked all of the offensive arsenals in the NFL, and the Rams’ group came in at No. 11:
The dream fell apart for the Rams, who responded to a frustrating season by doing something that would have been unimaginable two years ago: trading away Brandin Cooks and cutting Todd Gurley. They replaced the duo by using second-round picks on Cam Akers and Van Jefferson. Sean McVay desperately needs Akers or 2019 third-rounder Darrell Henderson to step up as an every-down back given how ordinary Malcolm Brown has been for most of his career.
The big three at wide receiver is now a big two with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, but Los Angeles still has three devastating receiving weapons when you add tight end Tyler Higbee to the mix. Over the last five weeks of 2019, Higbee led all receivers — not tight ends, but all pass-catchers — in receiving yards (522). That number probably isn’t sustainable with Gerald Everett back in the mix, given that the other Rams tight end played just four snaps over that five-game stretch, but if Higbee is a top-end TE1, this team might not miss Cooks.
Being ranked 11th is a big dropoff from the last couple of years when the Rams had one of the best set of weapons in the league. Their 2018 group was recently ranked the best offensive supporting cast of the decade by Pro Football Focus.
Perhaps the biggest question mark for the Rams on offense will be replacing Gurley. Akers has a ton of talent but is only a rookie so could split time with Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown.
If the Rams want to get back to the postseason in 2020 then their offense will have to be a lot more explosive then they were in 2019, so it will be up to those young guys to step up and produce when given the opportunity.