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Is PFF right about who the Rams’ most underrated player is?

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By: Kenneth Arthur

Photo by Kaelin Mendez/Getty Images

PFF named Ernest Jones as the Rams most underrated player, but is that right?

PFF named Ernest Jones as the most underrated player on the Los Angeles Rams, but is that accurate? First, here’s what PFF had to say about Jones:

Naturally, Aaron Donald received all the attention on the Rams’ defense over the past decade. His retirement means Jones should get more recognition, especially if he continues to play like he did in his third season. He finished the 2023 campaign with an 86.2 PFF overall grade, which ranked 13th at the position. He was also one of just three linebackers to earn run-defense and pass-rush grades above 80.0.

It sounds like PFF is saying that Jones isn’t remarkable, but isn’t a liability either. Does that qualify as the “most underrated” on a team with plenty of players who probably don’t get as much recognition as Jones? Even though Ernest Jones isn’t a league star and many fans might not know of him, he stands out on the defense for 145 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks. All you need is look at any Rams stat page for Ernest Jones to stand out.

I thought PFF’s purpose was to do more than just rely on traditional stats and to find the hidden gems of the league. I think if you asked plugged in Rams fans about the best players on L.A.’s defense without Aaron Donald that Jones might get the most votes.

Who else is underrated?

G/C Steve Avila

Has a great season as a rookie left guard, now proving to have the versatility that allowed the team to pursue Jonah Jackson in free agency and move Avila to center. Avila got a little lost in the news of Kevin Dotson and Jackson, so I bet he’s underrated.

QB Matthew Stafford

As always.

DB Quentin Lake

The question isn’t who is the most valuable, it is who is the most underrated and Quentin Lake is nowhere near as known or popular as Ernest Jones. He played 453 snaps last year, is versatile at safety and in the slot, and he held opponents to only 4.7 yards per target on 51 passes in his direction last season. Of all the young corners and DBs on L.A.’s defense, Lake might have the best chance to keep his job and even get an upgrade in snaps next season.

WR Demarcus Robinson

As far as number four receivers go, you can’t do much better than Demarcus Robinson. That is his ceiling, but maybe Robinson will also contribute as a kick returner in 2024.

What players do you think are among the most underrated on the Rams?