Biggest Question On The Rams Offensive Line
Injuries devastated the Los Angeles Rams offensive line last season. There are questions across most of the Rams roster, but the most important is who will be the starter at left tackle. Recently the Rams offensive line has been graded all over the place from year to year
Who Will Start At Left Tackle For The Rams?
Joseph Noteboom began last season as the starter but was injured early in the Week 6 game against the Carolina Panthers. His results were mixed. In five games he gave up five sacks and 23 pressures. But all five sacks and 70 percent of his allowed pressures game in just two games, Week 1 against Buffalo and Week 4 against San Francisco.
In the three other games, he allowed just seven pressures, including one against Dallas. They proved to be a formidable pass-rushing team last season.
Players that fail to meet Sean McVay‘s expectations often end up in his dog house. It is hard to know precisely where McVay’s head is with Noteboom at the moment, but the Rams are paying him quite handsomely, far too much to bench him.
Noteboom will have a starting position on the Rams offensive line in 2023, but will he be the left tackle or move to guard?
Alaric Jackson was the first player the Rams asked to fill in for Noteboom. He came in Week 6 and played just two more games before getting hurt himself. Jackson wasn’t top of the Rams depth chart but moved to the starting role when taking over for Coleman Shelton when Shelton moved to center to fill in when Brian Allen hit the Rams injury report. This was in Week 2 mind you.
Jackson played 166 snaps as the left tackle, allowing just 3 pressures in three games. He did allow 2 sacks against the 49ers, but that accounts for two of his three pressures. So the rest of the time he was tremendous on the Rams offensive line
Jackson should enter training camp as the odds-on favorite for the starting role. According to the man himself, he should be in consideration for the job.
A 2023 Drafted Player
After last season, many are calling for a complete overhaul of the Rams offensive line. In this scenario, using their 36th pick of the draft would be the ideal way to bring on a new left tackle. He would be cheap and could be a fantastic pro football player.
In recent history, about 4-6 offensive tackles go before that. So a look at the top mock drafter’s boards, the Rams offensive line could add one of a few prospects. Broderick Jones, Cody Mauch, and Anton Harrison are all graded to go in that area of the draft
Drafting in general is a bit of a coin flip and even though the Rams are picking just outside of the first round all of these prospects come with as many red flags as they do have green flags.
A Free Agent Signing
The Rams don’t seem too eager to spend any money right now, but the Rams may be in the market to sign a left tackle. Protecting the quarterback is always one of the highest priorities and has become even more of one with Matthew Stafford coming off a season where he sustained concussions and a significant spinal injury. As well as nursing a mysterious elbow condition. Not to mention he will be well into his 35th year when the season begins. The Rams offensive line does need to at least not let Stafford get beat up
There are several more than capable free agents left on the board. They are all about 30 years old, which doesn’t mean they are over the hill, but does mean they will be looking for a good-sized deal, and perhaps one that is long-term.
This doesn’t exactly match what the Rams are looking to do. It is a possibility to bring a veteran on a short-term, Rams-friendly deal.
It depends on how the next few weeks and months of the offseason play out, but Donovan Smith, George Fant, and Matt Pryor are all currently available. They and their agents may get desperate enough to take a deal to anchor the Rams offensive line.
Other names to consider would be Taylor Lewan, Jason Peters, and Eric Fisher. They are both coming off a series of injuries and are past their prime. This means they may want one last chance to make a roster.
These aren’t exciting nor are they ideal, but nothing is for the Rams offensive line this offseason.
Ty Nsekhe is another player to consider. They brought him on after the wheels really fell off the Rams offensive line. He signed a modest one-year deal and as of now, he is a free agent. He played great along the Rams offensive line. He allowed just three sacks and eight pressures in eight games.