Rams LB Mark Barron and CB Kayvon Webster Both Have Shoulder Surgery

Two of the Rams’ top defenders have gone under the knife, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports.

Rams linebacker Mark Barron and cornerback Kayvon Webster both underwent shoulder surgery recently, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per sources.

Barron should be ready for camp, while Webster’s availability come summer will depend on how he recovers from the torn Achilles tendon that kept him out of L.A.’s final six games.

Rams Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb

N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb is an impact player who many teams will have their eyes on when the NFL Draft takes center stage this offseason.

Touted as the best defensive player in the draft by many, he’s a talent that could make a huge impact on a team right away depending on where he ends up.

Here’s a look at Chubb and what various places are saying about him.

NFL Draft Diamonds


HEIGHT: 6’4”


PROS: Plays with a very high motor and does not quit on plays. Chubb also plays for 4 quarters and wears down O-lines for 60 minutes. Great team leader and displays an energy that teammates feed off. Displays lots of burst off the edge and can beat offensive lineman with techniques, both inside and out. Uses his hands well to get around the edge and has enough speed to get to mobile quarterbacks. Has really good size and long arms that he uses efficiently to get into the backfield and disrupt plays. He plays the run well and is a dominant presence on the edge against opposing running backs. 190 career tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and a handful of forced fumbles make Chubb a statistical dream for the draft, and his play on the field backs it up. He should be a first-round prospect come April.

CONS: Has been known to get beat in run blocking and sometimes gets handled at the LOS against the run. His speed and energy also mean that he over-pursues at times and runs past the play. Coaches have asked him to drop into coverage in the past and, while adequate in those situations, his pass coverage is overshadowed by his abilities as a pass rusher. He is also a bit heavy at 275 and will likely need to shed a few pounds once he enters the league.

USA Today Draft Wire

One of the nation’s most dominant and disruptive defenders, Chubb has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Wolfpack, racking up 48 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Despite opposing offenses scheming to avoid him, Chubb has continued to put up huge numbers and make a seismic impact.

A tailor-made 4-3 defensive end, Chubb is one of the most complete prospects in this year’s draft class. Though there may be more athletic pass-rushers available this year, Chubb’s combination of power, technique and a physical playing style make him this year’s best edge defender.

A Story on NFL.com about Chubb

The scoop: “If you compare him to Derek Barnett, he has similar production but he is a much more explosive athlete. I think he is way ahead of (Boston College’s Harold) Landry as a pro prospect. — AFC scout on N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb

The skinny: I’m not sure why a comparison to the Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive end was made for Bradley Chubb, but let’s dig in. Chubb (6-foot-4, 275 pounds, per school measurements) is bigger than Barnett (6-3, 259) and I would agree that Chubb is the better athlete. Barnett has better hands. Chubb is faster than Barnett and might be the best pass rusher in the 2018 class. I’m undecided on where I project him, but he will be drafted earlier than where Barnett, the 14th overall pick in 2017, went.

What Walter Football Says on Chubb

“Chubb is a quality defender against the run. He can hold his ground, at times, and has the ability to shed blocks to get in on tackles outside of his gap. However, he could use more strength in his base and needs to get better at shedding blocks that are coming downhill straight at him. That would help him against NFL offensive linemen. Chubb is good at getting upfield to knife through his gap and cause havoc in the backfield. For the passing-driven pro game, Chubb looks like a solid base end who would fit really well in a 4-3 defense. That is what he has played at N.C. State, and he has shown some versatility to move inside and rush as a tackle in obvious passing situations. He could continue that in the NFL. Right now, Chubb looks like a tweener for a 3-4 defense between a five-technique and outside linebacker. At this time of year, one never knows if listed measurements are accurate, and players can change their weight during the process, so that could be subject to change.”

Rams Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is a dynamic player who some have going as early as #1 to the Browns in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Today we give you a look at what this big-time player has to offer wherever he ends up in the draft.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Daniel Jeremiah

What I liked: I’ll do my best to condense my thoughts here. I pretty much like everything about Barkley’s game. He has patience, vision and power as an inside runner. He can step through tackles or drop his shoulder and run through them. He is very quick laterally to avoid defenders in the hole. He has an excellent burst to the perimeter on outside runs. Once he gets the corner, he’s elusive in space and has the speed to go the distance.

He’s very dependable in pass protection. He’s assignment aware and does a nice job squaring up blitzing linebackers to stall their charge. He also has very strong, reliable hands. He can pluck the ball away from his frame and he’s explosive after the catch. He gets rave reviews from teammates and coaches for his tireless work ethic. His weight-room accomplishments have been well noted this offseason.

Where he needs to improve: There aren’t many areas where Barkley needs to improve. There have been a few occasions where he gets “bounce happy” instead of staying inside and taking a 2-3 yard gain. He has some negative plays as a result of his eagerness to hit the homerun. I’d love to see him used in a more diverse way in the passing game. He has the ability to split out and run routes like a receiver, but his opportunities were limited last year. Hopefully that will change this fall.

Biggest takeaway: Barkley is everything you’d want in a modern-day running back. He can run with power, generate explosive runs and contribute on passing downs. As a player, he reminds me a lot of Ezekiel Elliott coming out of Ohio State. I thought Elliott was one of the best pass-protecting college running backs I’d ever evaluated and Barkley is right on that level. Both guys have that ideal blend of size/speed and they are very instinctive football players.

Walter Football’s Take on Barkely going #1 to the Browns

Another Scouting Report on Barkley:


Everything? Yeah, just about everything. Before we even get to his game, it’s worth noting that everyone who knows Barkley describes him as high character guy, including current Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead, describing him as “Smart, humble. He’s the rare guy whose humble attitude supersedes his talent.” On the field he is a powerful and explosive runner between the tackles, showing great vision on cut backs and the ability to run through someone if needed. He also has the ability to get outside on sweep plays and is extremely elusive in space. He has good hands and really improved his receiving game in 2017, contributing 54 catches. Add in that he is a great pass protector, something that can keep rookies off the field, and you are looking at one of the most complete running backs to ever enter the draft. Bonus: want to see someone power clean almost twice their body weight?

There are basically no holes in Barkley’s game. He can get a bit indecisive in the hole at times and try to make too much happen, but those tendencies are due to him being better than everyone on the field. With his graduation to the NFL, I expect those bad habits to go away. He has a little room to improve on his pass catching as he dropped a couple easy balls over the year, but these critiques are splitting hairs.
Grade: A+

Saquon Barkley is a generational type running back. He’s an athletic specimen with a well-rounded game that will make an instant impact for an NFL team. How well he does immediately in the pros will be much more a function of where he lands than his skill set, he can do it all.

Albert Breer for SI saying that ‘Barkley is the Future of the NFL’

The Titans, built sturdy and tough up front, rushed for 195 yards on the vaunted Seahawks defense on Sunday. The Ravens spent the last two offseason getting younger and quicker on defense, and that group kept the Bengals and Browns out of the end zone in Weeks 1 and 2. Then in London, a Jaguars offense reworked this offseason with size in mind ran for 166 yards on them.

This is how the NFL works. Teams spent the last decade building around quarterbacks and receivers, and defenses are now stocked with 220-pound linebackers and 250-pound pass rushers. And now we’re getting the zig to that zag—personnel czars like Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin and Tennessee’s Jon Robinson capitalized by building jackhammer offenses to run at those defenses, while creating better environments for their young QBs.

“That’s been going on since the 1970s,” said one NFC personnel exec. “It’s not a new trend, it’s the same cycle. New people rise in the football world, history repeats itself.”

Report: Rams Likely to Cut Wide Out Tavon Austin

The Rams are expected to cut wide receiver Tavon Austin, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN Los Angeles reports.

The Rams can save $3 million in 2018 by parting with Austin, who comes with an $8 million cap hit and a $5 million dead cap, according to Spotrac. If he’s still on the team by March 16, Austin is paid a $5 million roster bonus.

The “only reason” Austin might keep his roster spot is because just 37.5 percent of his $8 million salary/bonuses would come off the books this year, as opposed to 100 percent in 2019.

Rams RB Todd Gurley Wins AP Offensive Player of the Year Award, Loses Out to Brady in MVP Voting

Despite a season in which he took over games at some points and lead the Rams to a NFC West Title, Todd Gurley finished second in the NFL MVP voting on Saturday night, losing out to Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Brady earned 40 votes in balloting by a nationwide media panel, easily winning over Gurley, who got 8 votes, and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who got two votes.

Gurley did get a big honor though, as he took home the AP Offensive Player of the season, winning the award scoring 37 of 50 votes.

Gurley’s memorable campaign played a decisive role in helping the Rams reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The third-year back churned out a league-best 2,093 scrimmage yards (accounting for 35 percent of team’s offensive output) and finished second in league rushing with 1,305 yards. He became only the third player in NFL history to tally 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing TDs and six receiving TDs — a feat replicated only by Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and O.J. Simpson. His 19 total touchdowns were the most by a Rams player since Faulk’s 21 in 2000.

In addition, Gurley had 788 receiving yards — a big chunk of which came in a truly spectacular late-season showing against the Tennessee Titans (158 receiving, 118 rushing). His 152-yard, four-touchdown output against the Seattle Seahawks in a Week 15 cemented his offensive player of the year credentials. Over his final four games of the regular season, Gurley had 440 rushing yards and five touchdowns along with 22 catches for 302 receiving yards and three touchdowns en route to NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors.

Rams Lose Coordinator Matt LaFleur to the Titans as New OC

Another member of the Rams’ 2017 offensive coaching staff has departed for a new opportunity, as the Titans named Matt LaFleur their new offensive coordinator, Myles Simmons of the Rams official website reports.

With the move, head coach Sean McVay has promoted offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to run game coordinator and tight ends coach Shane Waldron to pass game coordinator.

“I’m excited for Matt LaFleur and his family as he transitions to the Titans as offensive coordinator,” McVay said in a statement. “We’re grateful for his contribution to the Rams and our NFC West Championship season last year. As we move to 2018, we are confident in the leadership and guidance of Aaron Kromer and Shane Waldron as they begin their roles as run coordinator and pass coordinator.”

While LaFleur was an important piece of the Rams’ game planning and installation, he did not call plays in his first year as a coordinator under McVay. With former Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel newly hired as the Titans’ head coach, LaFleur will presumably call plays in Tennessee, which amounts to a promotion for the 38 year old.

Rams Hire UCLA Interim Head Coach Jedd Fisch as Senior Offensive Assistant

The Rams have hired former UCLA interim head coach Jedd Fisch as a senior offensive assistant, the Associated Press reports.

Rams head coach Sean McVay announced the move Wednesday.

Fisch was the Bruins’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season, markedly improving the Bruins’ offense during his only year in charge. He also developed a strong bond with star quarterback Josh Rosen, who had a bounce-back season before declaring for the NFL draft.

Fisch then took over for fired head coach Jim Mora for UCLA’s regular-season finale, and the Bruins secured bowl eligibility with a victory over California.

Fisch will bolster the Rams’ offensive coaching staff after the departure of quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, who is the Oakland Raiders’ new offensive coordinator.

Sean McVay Speaks High About Rams Future After Wild Card Loss to Falcons

After a bittersweet Wild Card loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday at the Coliseum, Rams coach Sean McVay is taking a positive approach, Adam Maya of NFL.com reports.

“Certainly we’re not content with the way that this season ended,” McVay said in the aftermath of a 26-13 defeat, “but it doesn’t take away the fact that our players and our group of coaches accomplished a lot of things where we feel like we’re building a foundation where that trajectory is pointing upward for the Rams.”

“I think you do have a lot of respect for experience and certainly this is an example that we can learn from,” McVay said. “But, what I don’t think is, is I don’t think this game was too big for our players. We’re a young football team, we didn’t make enough plays tonight to be able to get it done, but I don’t think that means it was too big for our guys. … It’s going to be great motivation as we go into the offseason program leading into next year.”