Rams Rookie Preview: Cody Wichmann, Offensive Line
The St. Louis Rams continued to overhaul their offensive line well into the third day of the 2015 NFL draft when they selected offensive lineman Cody Wichmann in the sixth round, 215th overall, out of Fresno St.. Wichmann was the fourth offensive lineman drafted by the Rams this year including Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown and Andrew Donnal. With such a glaring need at multiple positions on the line, it wasn’t surprising St. Louis went deep here.
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Wichmann was selected with a compensatory pick, but still looks to have a good chance of making the roster. He was a two-time All-Mountain West honoree, including second-team honors in 2014. The year before that, he was part of a unit that allowed the sixth fewest sacks in FBS protecting current NFL quarterback Derek Carr.
Wichmann spent most of his college playing career as a right tackle or right guard, but he has been reported as saying he would like to be more diverse and play the other positions up front as well. It’s that type of versatility that will help a player like Wichmann to make the 53-man roster.
Wichmann has been praised for his durability. He started 50 games for Fresno State since 2010, that’s good enough for second most by any player in the last eight years for the Bulldogs. He is strong and has good size at 6’6″ 315 lbs. He has the ability to push the line and create holes for the running game, but he is also athletic enough to get to the outside and seal an edge. Wichmann was part of a coaching regime change during his time at Fresno State. Being successful under both head coaches says a lot about his ability to adapt and learn quickly.
As with any sixth round pick, he needs some work. He is not the quickest of linemen, and can sometimes struggle in space. He doesn’t always see a change of direction and can be caught looking if his block isn’t on time. He needs improvement as a moving piece, but can maul opponents in 1-on-1 type assignments.
Given Wichmann’s draft postion, and his below average grade as a blocker on the move he will need to impress in static/power blocking schemes. Wichmann adds depth to a growing list of players looking to fill multiple slots on the Rams offensive line. It would take quite a bit of work from Wichmann to move in to a starting position in camp, but there is no reason to believe he couldn’t contribute as a rotational player.