If the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl against his former team, Andrew Whitworth may call it quits and ride off into the sunset. However, even if he does not, the Rams need to make an investment into their offensive line. At this point, after selling their top two draft picks, the Rams don’t have too much firepower to land anyone truly exciting. Instead, it would be good for them to leave the excitement with the Super Bowl and get the unsexy offensive line picks they need to bolster the running game and Matthew Stafford‘s time in the pocket. One step towards making that selection is to take a close look at the offensive line at the Senior Bowl. Here are some observations about the group’s second day of practice.
Senior Bowl Takeaways: Rams’ Offensive Line Prospects
The second day of practice was marked by pouring rain. Heading into the week, all three days were expected to be rainy, but the second and third days were the ones to deliver. The weather was perfect for the first day of practice, but it was as bad as it gets for a temperature north of freezing. For the offensive line, it was a great look at what to expect on days when the weather isn’t exactly perfect.
Unfortunately, pretty much the entire offensive line had a bad day. Since the water made their hands and the opponents’ jerseys slippery, it proved to be extremely tough to consistently block anyone. Essentially, the offensive line was getting beat basically every other play. Had it been a game situation, the quarterback would have gotten smacked around all day long. That said, it wasn’t completely horrible for a couple of players.
After a tough opening period of drills, I was asking myself if anyone could beat the elements and their opponent. That was when a few players started winning their assignments. The most notable one was Boston College’s Zion Johnson, who may have had the pass block of the day. The play before the great block, Zion Johnson was one of the first to get a solid block in the last dozen repetitions or so. After heating up with one repetition, Johnson lined up against Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey.
Winfree came at Johnson with all of his might, attempting to spin, power, and swim his way around Johnson. Johnson kept his feet churning and danced around the moves while keeping the pass rusher in his place. It was a work of art in a Senior Bowl rainstorm that on a day when no one was winning. Based on that play alone, he should be worth an extra-long look by the Los Angeles Rams.
Heading into the week, I had hoped to get a conversation with Bernhard Raimann, an offensive lineman out of Central Michigan during the media breakfast. However, LAFB was not the only media outlet interested in Raimann, as the offensive lineman quickly garnered a group of media. It seemed that the Senior Bowl hosts understandably may not have anticipated as much interest for the lineman as they plucked him from the general breakfast area and got him a podium. The lineman drew a crowd of more than a score of reporters. Put simply, based on how much interest he’s getting, he won’t be on the board for the Rams in the third round.
That said, the aforementioned Johnson may be running under the radar, in addition to someone named Daniel Faalele. Either could be available for the Rams, who lack a first and second-round pick. Faalele had a couple of outstanding plays on the first day of practice while Johnson showed an ability to stack plays together (as discussed above). Faalele showed promise in blocking for the running game with great size and power. However, Faalele showed a need to get faster, as he had a slow repetition on one of the speed pass blocking drills.
The Senior Bowl can be seen live on NFL Network at 1:30 PM CT.