A few weeks after the Rams' move from St. Louis to Los Angeles was announced, defensive tackle Aaron Donald pondered adjustments that would result from the change in locale.
"I'm going to have to make a lot of new friends," he said during a visit to San Francisco before the Super Bowl. "But that comes with it."
On the field, no drastic transition is anticipated.
The Rams, coming off a 7-9 season, released veteran end
But the Rams spent the first week of the new league year re-signing free-agent ends
If Fairley returns, he would be one of five first-round draft picks on the defensive line, joining Quinn (selected 14th by Rams in 2011), Brockers (14th by Rams in 2012), Coples (16th by
Donald, 24, is the star of the group. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 285-pound Donald had 11 sacks.
"When you're going to discuss best defensive tackles in the
Brockers, 25, was a run-stopper and had three sacks last season. The former Louisiana State star is entering the fifth and final year of his contract. At last month's NFL scouting combine, with the start of this year's free-agency period soon to begin, Snead indicated that Brockers was among players the Rams might attempt to extend before they become free agents.
"The philosophy is to draft, develop and re-sign your own, a core group of guys," Snead said when asked about Brockers and linebacker
Hayes and Sims, both 30, proved valuable, especially in the aftermath of injuries suffered by Long and Quinn last season. Hayes started 11 games and had 5 1/2 sacks. Sims started nine games and had 1 1/2 sacks.
Quinn, 25, had a breakout season in 2013 with a career-best 19 sacks. He had 10 1/2 in 2014 but last season was limited to eight games and finished with five sacks.
Coples, 25, was released by the Jets last November. The Miami Dolphins signed him for the remainder of the season but released him last month. Coples has 16 1/2 career sacks.
End Matt Longacre, 24, and tackles Louis Trinca-Pasat, 24; Ethan Westbrooks, 25; and
The Rams have the 15th overall pick, two second-round picks and slots in the third, fourth and sixth rounds.
Defensive line depth is not a major issue, but how Quinn responds after back surgery is a question. The Rams also might start planning for the possible departure of Brockers after this season.
If the Rams are going to add depth along the defensive line, they might do so in the lower rounds where they can find some development players. They'll need the higher draft picks to fill larger holes either by picking in those spots or trading the picks to move higher.
Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Oregon's DeForest Buckner were projected by the Times' Sam Farmer as the third and fourth overall picks, respectively, in his first mock draft.
Clemson's Shaq Lawson, Louisville's Sheldon Rankins, Mississippi's
Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson and Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence are among other defensive linemen the Rams might consider if they are available.