Los Angeles Rams fans better prepare to enter the Twilight Zone. After trading away multiple picks in order to go all in on the Super Bowl the last few seasons, the franchise will be relying heavily on the 2023 NFL Draft and undrafted free agents to fill out their extremely lean roster.
Astonishingly, LA has just 45 players currently under contract for next season, according to Field Yates of ESPN. A rebuild was expected after its championship window abruptly closed last year en route to an ugly 5-12 campaign. An unprecedented exodus, however, still not even two years removed from a title is probably not what All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald had in mind when he decided to remain on the team.
The Rams have cleaned shop all offseason. They mutually parted ways with Bobby Wagner, traded Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins, and just dealt Allen Robinson to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday. They have quickly compiled quite the draft haul with 11 total picks. Unfortunately, none of them will be in the first round.
The organization is in a very unusual spot. Donald, Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford are all players whose value needs to be maximized. Filling half the roster after free agency does not really adhere to that philosophy. Hidden gems can still be found in the NFL Draft, though. And the Rams have a lot of chances to find a diamond or two.
The offensive line might be the best place to start their search. They tried a number of combinations, but none proved successful last season. If Stafford is staying put, then he must be protected.
The next few weeks will be intriguing. For any amateur or ex-football players out there, there may be an opening for you at SoFi Stadium.