Daily Dose: ESPN Names Rams as the Defense to Watch in 2018

This offseason, theRams.com will be taking a look around the internet for the top Rams headlines of the day. Here’s a look at what’s out there for Thursday, June 7th about your Los Angeles Rams:

NFL's Best Defenses: Who Got Better, Worse, and Who's Next Up?

There might be three months remaining until the 2018 regular season kicks off, but the conversation surrounding the league’s best defenses has already begun. During the offseason, several clubs took steps to make big improvements to their defensive personnel.

This week, ESPN.com is taking a look at where things stand for the top five defenses from last year as well as which other teams might crack the top five by season’s end. The Rams were among those clubs expected to take

Check out photos from Day 9 of the Los Angeles Rams OTAs.

a big leap in 2018.

One to Watch in 2018

— LOS ANGELES RAMS

2017 NFL rank: 19th

Major additions: CB Marcus Peters, CB Aqib Talib, DT Ndamukong Suh, S Lamarcus Joyner (re-signed)

Major losses: CB Trumaine Johnson, DE Robert Quinn, LB Alec Ogletree

“2018 outlook: The Rams took a win-now approach in the offseason, opting for the veteran trade market and free agency to add key pieces to Wade Phillips’ defensive unit. Yes, the lack of proven edge rushers and second-level defenders should be brought into this discussion. I get it. However, with the additions of cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib via trades -- along with placing the franchise tag on versatile safety Lamarcus Joyner -- the L.A. secondary looks legit. That’s a ball-hawking unit, a physical group with the ability to play man coverage, challenge routes and finish. Love it. Lock those receivers down and let the boys up front hunt the QB. Plus, with the Rams landing Ndamukong Suh in free agency, L.A. can pair the veteran defensive tackle with All-Pro Aaron Donald. That gives L.A. two disruptors in the middle of the defense who can also put those linebackers in a position to run free. Read, react and track the ball. And with Phillips pulling the strings in the game plan, the Rams can cater to their strengths to create turnovers, pressure and positive field position. The way I see it, this is a unit with the talent and the upside to make a sizable leap in 2018. - Matt Bowen” 

**2018 NFL Season: Predicting Every NFC Team's MVP

**

On Wednesday, the NFL.com rolled out its predictions for team MVPs in the AFC and on Thursday it was the NFCs turn. Writer Dan Hanzus is breaking down which player he believes will be the most valuable for every club — for the Rams, that player is defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald, DL

The Rams pushed all the chips to the center of the table with the offseason acquisitions of Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, but Donald will remain the most important part of Los Angeles' D. Donald has been one of the best defensive linemen in football for years now, but general manager Les Snead's offseason haul has the potential to take Donald's game to another level. Suh's arrival, in particular, as an elite space-eating nose tackle should free up Donald to attack the quarterback in a way he's never done before. Donald is already in a class of his own as an interior pass rusher -- this could be the year he reaches his statistical apex. It's a scary thought.

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