The St. Louis Rams have done a great deal this offseason to help improve a team that went 2-14 last season, but the linebacker position has been neglected for the most part in that overhaul. The team signed veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar from the New Orleans Saints in free agency to join the only two other linebackers on the roster in James Laurinaitis and Josh Hull. Aaron Brown, a weakside linebacker from Hawaii, was drafted in the seventh round, but he can only be counted as a special teams contributor at best in his rookie campaign.
With their third selection in the second round, the Rams had a shot to add a linebacker to their roster with Lavonte David still on the board. He was thought of by many as a borderline first rounder, but the Rams instead opted to trade down and select running back Isaiah Pead later on.
Now the search must begin to flesh out a depth chart among a cast of already picked over free agents. The best of that bunch has to be Washington Redskins’ Rocky McIntosh who fits well on the weakside of a 4-3 defense. Mario Haggan of the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals backer Brandon Johnson also fit the bill, but neither of them would provide a huge upgrade.
The Rams’ linebacking corps looked so weak last season in part due to the depleted complement of defensive backs that they were able to put on the field. With a revamped secondary and some definite improvements along the front four, the linebackers will have a lot more help in 2012 than they did a year ago.