4. LB Cory Littleton (Los Angeles Rams)
In recent years, the Los Angeles Rams have added their share of highly-regarded defensive players either via free agency or trade. From defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to safety Eric Weddle, outside linebacker Clay Matthews and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The results have been mixed as Sean McVay’s club did make a Super Bowl appearance in 2018 but didn’t necessarily stop teams on a consistent basis.
Former University of Washington standout Cory Littleton joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He’s played in every game for the team the past four seasons – including a combined four postseason contests. He’s been a 16-game starter the past two years and has racked up big numbers. During the club’s Super Bowl campaign of 2018, there were 125 tackles, four sacks, three interceptions and a team-best 13 passes defensed on the way to being named to his first Pro Bowl.
This past year, Littleton again led the Rams with 134 stops and also paced the club in fumble recoveries (4) and passes defensed (9). Add in 3.5 quarterback traps and two forced fumbles and it’s quite the impressive two-year resume.
Of course, Wade Phillips has moved on as the team’s defensive coordinator. Enter Brandon Staley, who via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry is expected to stick with the 3-4 in 2020. But will the Los Angeles Rams be able to stick with Littleton?