The Los Angeles Rams were unable to clinch a playoff berth in 2019 after making an appearance in the Super Bowl in 2018. Even though the Rams watched the playoffs from the confines of their houses, there was some reason for optimism moving forward.
Since Sean McVay was hired by Los Angeles in 2017, they’ve continually been a winning football team. Despite the 2019 season being a down-year for the Rams, they still went 9-7 and nearly snuck into the postseason.
Of course, the likes of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey produced All-Pro seasons for Los Angeles. On the offensive side of the ball, both Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were remarkable.
Along with the household names in the locker room, the Rams had a few players that made themselves known in 2019. With that in mind, here are the three players that broke out for the Rams in 2019.
3. Dante Fowler
Back in 2016, Dante Fowler was a first-round pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars. During the 2018 season, Fowler was traded to Los Angeles with the hope that he could reach his potential with a change of scenery.
Prior to 2019, Fowler averaged fewer than six sacks per season with the Jaguars and Rams. Last offseason, Los Angeles signed the former first-round pick to a one-year deal to earn himself a new contract in 2020.
The 25-year-old edge rusher definitely earned himself a pay-raise in the offseason whether it comes from the Rams or another team. In his fourth season in the NFL, Fowler tallied 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles in 2019. Fowler picked a perfect season to break out as he negotiates a new contract.
2. Tyler Higbee
In the first two seasons of McVay’s tenure in Los Angeles, his offense was centered around utilizing 11-personnel (one tight end and one running back). But with the issues along the offensive line in 2019, McVay began using more of 12-personnel (one running back and two tight ends).
As a result, Tyler Higbee saw an expanded role in the passing attack in Los Angeles. Before the 2019 season, the Rams signed Higbee to a four-year extension that made him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.
At the time, many questioned the move of extending Higbee before he proved his worth. However, the fourth-year tight end erupted for 69 receptions for 734 yards and three touchdowns. In his previous three seasons, Higbee combined for 60 catches, 672 yards, and four touchdowns.
1. Troy Hill
Ahead of the trade deadline in 2019, the Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars. While Ramsey made his presence felt, it was another cornerback that turned some heads in the regular season.
With the Rams trading both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, Troy Hill saw an uptick in snaps in the secondary. On the opposite side of Ramsey, Hill allowed just one touchdown in coverage per Pro Football Focus. The fifth-year corner also contributed eight deflections and two interceptions.
There is some uncertainty surrounding the future of the secondary in Los Angeles. But if Hill can perform how he did in 2019, the Rams may have an elite trio of Ramsey, Hill, and Nickell Robey-Coleman for the foreseeable future.