Coming off the Super Bowl defeat, the Los Angeles Rams fell flat on their face in 2020. After making the playoffs in both of Sean McVay‘s first two seasons in Los Angeles, the Rams finished third in the NFC West and missed the playoffs. The team traded away two first-round picks midseason for Jalen Ramsey and still need to sign him to a long term extension. Hopefully, the Rams can turn things around in 2020 and make the playoffs. With that in mind, here are my team award predictions for the Rams.
Make sure to check out all of our other team award predictions here.
MVP: Aaron Donald
With Todd Gurley leaving Los Angeles and Jared Goff generally not performing at an MVP level, Donald clearly runs away with this award for LA. Donald has dominated as the defensive leader for the Rams in the last six seasons. The lowest sack total that Donald has had since coming into the league in 2014 was eight, and Donald consistently is atop the NFL leaderboards in pressuring the quarterback and often is a frontrunner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. After losing a few key defensive pieces, Donald will again carry the Rams defense and post monster numbers in 2020.
Offensive Player: Cooper Kupp
Kupp and Robert Woods combined for over 2,000 yards receiving in 2019, as Kupp was one of the biggest surprises of the season for the NFL and the Rams. The passing game will be a big key to the success of the Rams offense in 2020 with unproven Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers being unproven commodities. Kupp will be the number one option for Goff and will again be a top receiver in the NFC West.
Defensive Player: Jalen Ramsey
Obviously, the best defensive player will be Donald, but other than Donald the most important defensive player will be Ramsey. After having a rough transition from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Rams, Ramsey will absolutely have a bounce-back season. Ramsey will be settled into the Los Angeles system, and the amount of pressure coming from Donald will give Ramsey extra opportunities to wreak havoc in the secondary.
Offensive Rookie: Cam Akers
Akers was picked by the Rams with their first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after playing three years at Florida State. He totaled two 1,000 yard receiving seasons and now playing behind Henderson, who by no means holds a firm grip on the starting job, Akers could make a huge impact on the Rams offense. Look for Akers to make a difference in the passing game and to total at least 500 rushing yards which could grow with more touches later in the season.
Defensive Rookie: Terrell Burgess
Burgess was the Rams third-round pick in 2020. With a Rams defense that lost Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews, having a better secondary is very important. Burgess started every game in his junior season at Utah and was one of their top defensive backs. Burgess could easily move his way into a starting nickel role in the first few weeks of the season, especially if any players opt out of the NFL season or suffer injuries early on.
Biggest Surprise: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Leonard Floyd was good during his time in Chicago but was never dominant enough for the Bears to re-sign him in free agency. Although ESPN has Floyd starting on the depth chart, Okoronkwo will be right behind Floyd waiting to take the starting snaps. Although he only had seven tackles in 2019 in his 10 games played, Okoronkwo has the physique and talent to make a difference for the Rams. With the loss of two key pash rushers, the Rams will be on the lookout for as many edge rushers as they can which will absolutely allow for Okoronkwo to stun the NFC.
Biggest Disappointment: Jared Goff
If you read my predictions article for the Rams earlier in the year, you would know that I am not big on Goff and his chances to be a top quarterback in 2020. Although Goff threw for 4,638 yards in 2019, he had one of the worst quarterback ratings in the NFL, threw 16 interceptions, and was terrified to take a sack which led to erratic play. Look for a continuation of the poor man’s Brett Favre type play from Goff in 2020.
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