Ready to Knock, Ready to Drop: Rams Defensive Line Breakdown

With a .438 season in 2015 the then St. Louis Rams have much room for improvement. The defensive line known as one of the scariest in the NFL needs to show up and show out again this upcoming season. A 7-9 record isn’t as bad as others, but with some of the powerhouses the team has it should have been better. The now Los Angeles Rams have made some revisions to their line which can prove to show the newbies are worth their potential.

Veteran OLB Akeem Ayers, previously of the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, had 47 combo tackles and 1 forced fumble, proving his worth to the team as he put in work. As a strongside linebacker that is often subbed out as a defensive back Ayers tallied up an additional 21 tackles. He also had three fumble recoveries one of which lead to a 45-yard return for a TD in week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Leading the D-Line last season was Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers. At the point of attack during most plays, Donald and Quinn were a force to be reckoned with. Donald led all defensive tackles with 11.0 sacks, only .5 away from tying the Rams franchise record. He also tallied up 69 tackles. Even though Quinn took a short break from practice to watch his sister in the Rio Olympics, it didn’t hurt his game one bit. Preseason hasn’t shown much action for Quinn, saving him for regular season is definitely beneficial to the team.

Many teams have seen a slew of injuries during preseason, putting some of their players out for the first games of regular season. That’s not the case with Brockers, he had a nice bit of action for preseason showing 4 combo tackles and 1.0 sacks.  Brockers is going into his fifth season with the Rams franchise. Starting in almost every game he’s ever played in his professional career, Brockers has shown his worth and power to everybody.

Mark Barron is another powerhouse the Rams have at their disposal. Barron put up an astounding 116 combo tackles, 1.0 sacks, 5 passes defended and 3 forced fumbles. Not many other players on the team, let alone in the sport have had a season as well as Barron did. Only being with the team for two short years, safety turned linebacker, Barron has made a promising impact on the team that will continue into this 2016 season.

Although the Rams lost Alec Ogletree in game four, to a broken leg, he was still able to pull in large numbers. Knocking out 42 combo tackles and 2.0 sacks in four games is pretty impressive. As he has recovered he is ready to step into his new position, moving from weakside linebacker to middle, he also had to deal with changing cities and becoming a father. None of those factors seem to faze Ogletree he is ready to put up high numbers and stay in the best physical health he possibly can for the season.

With many other defensive players ready to take the team to the superbowl, this season can be promising for the Rams. Being known as one of the NFL’s scariest defensive lines, the Rams need to live up to their name.

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