When looking at the defense of the Los Angeles Rams, there are several players you could spotlight. Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, and Michael Brockers are all on top of that list. However, we here at INSC like to go deeper every now and then. Our defensive spotlight for the Rams is S/LB Mark Barron.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL Draft originally drafted Barron. He played two and a half seasons with the pumpkin and pewter before they traded him to the Rams in October of 2014.
Since the Bucs traded him to the Rams, Barron has excelled. He has shifted to more of a hybrid linebacker/safety role. He is a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators. He can cover tight ends and give excellent run support.
Barron will need to continue to do the things that he has been doing for Wade Philips. He was second on the team in tackles for 2016. Only Alec Ogletree was better. He was tied for team lead in INTs. He defended eight passes.
The defense of the Los Angeles Rams is going to carry this team. The offense is too young to be the driving force behind this growing team. They are going to have to rely on the top ten defense to keep them in games and win maybe even win a few games.
With players like Mark Barron on this defense that is not entirely out of the question. Barron has quietly become a leader. He will continue to lead for Wade Philips in 2017. The question will be at what position? Will Philips move him back to his natural position of safety or keep him playing the hybrid. Honestly, I am not sure Wade Philips has not seen a player like Barron.
They usually say it is a bad thing when a member of your secondary is in the top five in tackles. However, Mark Barron is not just a member of the secondary. He is a member of a defense, that in 2017 is going to need to be on their game. If not, it could be a season that Los Angeles Rams fans will soon want to forget.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.