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NFL Most Underrated: Who’s Rams Best Candidate?

The Rams are loaded with stars, but it's the underrated role players that help glue the team together

The current mold of the Los Angeles Rams after a successful offseason in free agency almost fits perfectly under the Hollywood spotlight. Star-studded talent covers both sides of the ball, as the Rams are the kind of team you'd choose when loading up a game of Madden. 

But on a 53-man roster, not everyone can be a star. There are always important role players that help keep things going, even if not everyone notices. This is especially the case on a team defending a Super Bowl title. 

Sports Illustrated revealed its rankings on June 24 of every NFC team's most underrated player entering the 2022-23 season.

The pick for the Rams? Fourth-year defensive tackle Greg Gaines. Here's what SI had to say: 

I know I write about Kyler Murray’s disastrous pick-six from his own end zone a lot—maybe it’s just burned into my brain—but I’m still blown away by Greg Gaines’s ability to draw blocks from three separate offensive linemen at once while sharing a line with Aaron Donald. So I decided to pull up a random play—any play—from the 2021 season to see if Gaines did something special. The result? A Week 5 game against the Seahawks. Gaines was sandwiched between two zone blockers, he somehow uppercut his way toward the ballcarrier and helped create a traffic jam that trapped the running back for only a yard gain. Gaines doesn’t get blown off the line of scrimmage, he’s deft on his feet and knows how to set the table for Donald. What could be more valuable for the Rams right now?

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Gaines found himself a bit overshadowed on an elite Rams defensive line that included Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, Ernest Jones, and Sebastian Joseph-Day this past season, but he still played a vital role in helping LA win Super Bowl LVI.

With Miller and Joseph-Day now gone via free agency, Gaines has more opportunity to build off his 28-tackle, 4.5-sack season. The 2019 fourth-round pick out of Washington played in all 17 regular season games and all four playoff victories. He had three tackles and an impressive two passes defended from his defensive tackle spot in the NFC Championship against the 49ers. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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