Josh Uche leads 10 LA Rams Big-10 2020 NFL Draft targets

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LA Rams Cesar Ruiz
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Michigan interior offensive lineman Ruiz

The LA Rams found it necessary to patchwork the offensive line multiple times in 2019.  The Rams drafted four offensive tackles and then deployed them at the interior of their offensive line, with poor to modest results.  The better solution for the Rams is simply to draft an interior lineman from the get-go. And Michigan center/guard Caesar Ruiz fits the bill nicely. Cesar Ruiz is a 6-foot-4 319-pound offensive center/guard who projects as an NFL starter.

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Where Ruiz succeeds as others have failed is his track record of understanding the interior offensive line position. Offensive tackles simply look to the outermost pass rusher and count in. The offensive guard must distinguish defensive tackles, linebackers, safeties, or even stunts to determine who is their responsibility. That is a tough “on-the-job” lesson for a newly indoctrinated offensive lineman.  Ruiz understands the nuances of the position and creates the power to plow forward. He pops then sets back into a wide stance pass blocking. His center of gravity and wide base give him great ability to absorb a defender’s attempt to dislodge him.

He is good at pass blocking but is a downright mean relentless run-blocker. His burst out of stance gives him an early advantage, which he keeps throughout the end of the play. He is an ideal run blocker, moving his primary target out of the play, then hungers to feast on secondary targets as well. He is an offensive lineman who seems thrilled to “hit somebody”, oftentimes connecting on two or three defenders. He is versatile, able to line up at each interior offensive line position, which makes him incredibly valuable for the Rams.

The knock-on Ruiz is he carries about 8 pounds more than he should. And as a center, he needs to set his guards better on blocking assignments. He shuffles his feet more than is necessary at times. He can also make poor choices on pass coverage when uncovered.

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