Defining the Rams offensive line

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Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Eric Weddle (32) is tackle by St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks (88) and guard Rodger Saffold (76) after recovering a blocked field goal during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams have gone all-in on some young talent to fill large holes in what is arguably the weakest part of the current team, the offensive line. After the release of tackle Jake Long, center Scott Wells and turning down the option to sign Kendall Langford, the Rams cleared out the cookie jar and went for broke in this years rookie draft. Most recently, they also spent a fifth round pick in the supplemental draft on Isaiah Battle out of Clemson. Battle makes the fifth rookie offensive linemen added to the Rams roster this offseason.

Returning Starters:

Greg Robinson, LT

Robinson was the second overall selection in last years NFL draft, the first of two first round selections the Rams would make. Robinson was a beast in college playing for Auburn University. However, that success didn’t quite translate so smoothly to the NFL. Robinson came in with high expectations, but was not a week 1 starter. He would play in all 16 games, however, but would not become a regular starter until week 6 against San Francisco. The talent is certainly there but only time will tell if Robinson will be a productive mainstay with St. Louis.

Dec 7, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; St. Louis Rams guard Greg Robinson (79) prepares to block against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rodger Saffold, LG

Saffold has been with the Rams since 2010, but almost wasn’t on the current roster last year after a free agency snafu prior to the season. Saffold attempted to sign a big-time free agent deal with the Oakland Raiders in March of 2014, but due to a previous shoulder injury Saffold failed his physical. This caused the Raiders to get cold feet and explore other options. Saffold would return to the Rams on a similar deal and started all 16 regular season games last year. Saffold can play both the left and right side of the line, which makes him a versatile player to keep around. He is also now the most seasoned player on the line.

The Battle for Center:

We’ve separated this position out as one of the most important items St. Louis will need to address when training camp begins in a few weeks. The consensus is the position could go to one of three players currently on the roster. They are Tim Barnes, Barrett Jones and Demetrius Rhaney. The problem is, none of these players has any real NFL experience on their resume. Barnes can lay claim to having started four games in his career, but the experience comes to a screeching halt there. That alone makes Barnes the favorite to win the job, but Jones and Rhaney have their upside as well.

Jones is a smart player and has been noted as the most intelligent of the three. He knows the line and schemes better than Barnes and Rhaney. Rhaney missed his entire rookie season due to a knee injury, but has received praise for his athleticism. Head coach Jeff Fisher has been open about allowing the three to play it out in training camp and preseason. He is content on letting the best man win the job. All three players practiced with the first string group during OTAs.